Morning Musing: Isaiah 61:1-3

“The Spirit of the Lord God is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of our God’s vengeance; to comfort all who mourn, to provide for those who mourn in Zion; to give them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, festive oil instead of mourning, and splendid clothes instead of despair. And they will be called righteous trees, planted by the Lord to glorify him.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Who did Jesus come to save? I know the “right” answer to that question is everyone. But let’s actually think about it for a minute. Who did Jesus come to save? Here’s an answer that’s just as correct but isn’t in terms we usually use. Jesus came to save people who are in need of saving. Now, if that seems tautologous, it is, but that doesn’t make it any less important to understand. In this prophecy from Isaiah that Jesus claimed for Himself, we get a better sense of just what this means.

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Morning Musing: Zechariah 6:12

“You are to tell him: This is what the Lord of Armies says: Here is a man whose name is Branch; he will branch out from his place and build the Lord’s temple.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Yesterday, one of my boys had to do a small project on idioms. He had to choose one, illustrate it, define it, and use it in a sentence. He chose the phrase “butterflies in my stomach,” and did a great job with it. An idiom, of course, is a word or phrase that literally means one thing, but is used figuratively to mean something else. The person who speaks of butterflies in his stomach hasn’t been eating caterpillars, he’s nervous. Small animals weren’t falling from the sky here yesterday afternoon, but it sure did rain awfully hard for a little while. Why talk about idioms this morning? Because sometimes Scripture uses what can seem like idioms and this morning offers us an example.

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Morning Musing: Zechariah 6:1

“Then I looked up again and saw four chariots coming from between two mountains. The mountains were made of bronze.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

There’s a great scene near the end of the first Avengers movie when Iron Man is confronting Loki about his plans. The villain arrogantly crows about how superior he is to all the humans and how they are just ripe for being ruled by him and how none of them pose any threat to him. Iron Man relates how Loki has managed to anger some really powerful people. When he fires back that he has an army at his disposal, Iron Man quickly retorts, “We have a Hulk.” Loki later meets Hulk and it doesn’t go quite like he expected. It’s always nice in a moment of crisis to have a Hulk on your side.

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Digging in Deeper: Zechariah 5:10-11

“So I asked the angel who was speaking with me, “Where are they taking the basket?” “To build a shrine for it in the land of Shinar,” he told me. “When that is ready, the basket will be placed there on its pedestal.””‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

God hates sin. He hates it. He loathes it with every fiber of His being (and there are a lot of fibers of His being). But, He loves us. He loves us perfectly and completely. He could not possibly love us anymore and there’s not a single thing we could do that will make Him love us any less. Even sin. As much as He wants to have us close, though (and He created us specifically to be in a relationship with Him so He wants that a lot), sin cannot be in His presence. At all.

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Morning Musing: Zechariah 5:5-6

“Then the angel who was speaking with me came forward and told me, “Look up and see what this is that is approaching.” So I asked, “What is it?” He responded, “It’s a measuring basket that is approaching.” And he continued, “This is their iniquity in all the land.””‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter)

Sometimes you read passages in the Bible that just don’t make any sense. It could be that the imagery is just too weird to understand. It could be that the story takes such an unexpected direction your head is spinning too much to make heads or tails of it. It could be several different things. What do we do when we encounter one of these passages? Let’s ask that together here.

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