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Read Zechariah Chapter 2
1. What is the vision Zechariah receives in Zechariah 2:1-5?

2. Who is the young man referred to in Zechariah 2:4?

3. Copy Zechariah 2:5 here. Meditate on this. Record your thoughts and impressions.

4. What does God tell His people to do in Zechariah 2:6-7?

5. What does God say about His people in Zechariah 2:8?

6. What promise does God make to the daughter of Zion in Zechariah 2:10?

7. Who else will join the daughter of Zion in that day according to Zechariah 2:11?

8. What is the promise in Zechariah 2:12?

9. Copy Zechariah 2:13 here. Mediate on this. Record your thoughts and impressions.

 

It is our desire to help you grow in your knowledge of God and His Word. If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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Read Zechariah Chapter 1
1. When do the events of this first chapter take place according to Zechariah 1:1?

2. Review Haggai 1:1, what do you notice about the time line?

3. Who was Darius?

4. What do you learn of Zechariah in Zechariah 1:1?

5. What does the name “Berechiah” mean?

6. What is the message given to Zechariah according to Zechariah 1:1-6?

7. The first of the 8 visions of Zechariah is given in Zechariah 1:7-11. When does Zechariah receive this vision according to Zechariah 1:7?

8. Describe what Zechariah sees in Zechariah 1:7-11.

9. What question does the Angel of the Lord ask in Zechariah 1:12?

10. What is the Lord’s answer in Zechariah 1:13-17?

11. With whom does the Lord say He is angry in Zechariah 1:15? Why?

12. What does the Lord say of Jerusalem in Zechariah 1:13, 16?

13. What promise does God give His people in Zechariah 1:17?

14. The second vision is given in Zechariah 1:18-21. Describe what Zechariah sees.

15. What do horns represent in the Old Testament? What do they likely represent here?

16. What is the meaning of the vision?

 

It is our desire to help you grow in your knowledge of God and His Word. If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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Small

I was nearly made small
surrounded
hemmed in
by small thinking
midget musing
narrow knowledge
reactionary reason
inside-the-box
the cardboard box
lunch box
thinking

absence of thinking
nil
none
null set

my thoughts grew small
sympathetic response
to puny pundit
ready to retaliate

I tried to be small
to crawl into that place
of lower-level logic
sub-basement sentiments
tunnel ideation

that’s what they did
how they responded
what they understood
low–lower
base–baser
small–smaller
almost shut
closed mind

enter
arrow of light
spark of above wisdom
words spoken over me,

“Smallness is their distinctive
understood only by the puny.

Be BIG–bigger
big-hearted
big-minded
gi-normous

cast off smallness
every shred of stingy
faulty generosity
overlook wrongs
put asunder
live above
live in wonder.”

smallness
is the space inside us

greatness
takes the space beyond us

 

MaryBeth 2021

Esther Chapter 10

Read Esther Chapter 10

  1. Copy Esther 10:3 here. What do you see?

2. How did you see Esther exercise faith in the Book of Esther?

3. How do you see 1 Corinthians 1:27 in the story of Esther?

4. What application from the book of Esther can you make to your own life?

5. How is the salvation of man through Christ advanced through the Book of Esther?

Going deeper: How is the feast of Purim celebrated in Israel today?

It is our desire to help you grow in your knowledge of God and His Word. If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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Background
1. Who is the author of the book of Zechariah?

2. When was this book written?

3. What does the name “Zechariah” mean?

4. What prophet was a contemporary of Zechariah?

5. What do you learn about Zechariah from Ezra 5:1?

6. What do you learn about Zechariah from Ezra 6:14?

7. What do you learn about Zechariah from Nehemiah 12:16?

 

It is our desire to help you grow in your knowledge of God and His Word. If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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Chisel

Born in darkness
chisel in hand
my soul craves
the yet unknown

I carve the stone
cut away the rock
piece by piece
sliver by sliver
dust of granite my shroud

as I chisel, light enters
momentary blindness
passes
my cave illuminated
darkness dispelled
anxiety allayed
loneliness lifted

I see You
Your glory, my lamp
Shekinah runway lights
lead me

so I chisel more
hungry for light
pushing limits
to open the way
to one day live
in Light

MaryBeth 2021

My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.

He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.

In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Psalm 62:5-7

I love this. My own struggles reflected in the psalmist’s description. The psalmist says, “my soul, wait.” He is instructing his soul. He is saying to himself, “don’t become anxious, just wait. God will come through.” He confirms that all that he wants or needs is found in the one true and living God, Y-H-W-H.

Our soul is the entirety of our being–mind, heart, and emotions. I hold nothing back–leave no thought to flutter away to other concerns. Every ounce of my being is focused on, expecting Him–His glory and majesty, His provision, His protection, who He is and what He has done. The Psalmist confirms this when he says, “He only . . .” (Emphasis added.)

The Psalms says, I wait “for God alone.” This single-minded devotion is a natural out-flow of the command in Deuteronomy 6:5 (the Shema) to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” The Psalmist is modeling for us the life lived under the yoke of heaven.

I confess with the Psalmist, I have no other Gods before Him. He is my heart’s one desire. Worshiping God is what I was made for, but it is also what I most enjoy.

And so I wait as the Psalmist waited. In the waiting, God comes. After He comes, I wait enveloped in His presence. His Shekinah glory lights me up!

I wait silently. As Solomon said, “God is in heaven, and you on earth; Therefore let your words be few.” In the silence, I am filled with expectation–hope. Hope for provision, hope for protection, hope for healing, hope for renewal, hope for revival, hope for the future here and with Him–the endless eternal with God.

The Psalmist gives voice to his expectation in verses 6 and 7. Speaking of Adonai, he says, “He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense . . . In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.”

God is my rock–unlike sand or soil, He doesn’t shift or move. He is reliable. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is my rock of strength–a place where no enemy can reach me. He is my hiding place. In Psalm 27:5, the Psalmist tells us “in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.”

My experiential knowledge (not mere book knowledge) of God’s character as my rock and my strength–allows me to say with the Psalmist–“I will not be moved. I will not be shaken.”

 

It is our desire to help you grow in your knowledge of God and His Word. If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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Esther Chapter 9

Read Esther Chapter 9
1. What happened in the 12th month, on the day the King’s command was to be executed?

2. Who helped the Jews at this time? Why?

3. What do you learn from Esther 9:5?

4. In verse 12, the King offers Esther another petition. What does she ask for?

5. What do you learn from verse 15? Verse 16?

6. What did the Jews do on the 13th and 14th days of the month of Adar?

7. What was to be celebrated yearly on the 14th and 15th days of Adar?

It is our desire to help you grow in your knowledge of God and His Word. If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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Esther Chapter 8

Read Esther Chapter 8
1. What does the King give Esther?

2. What does the King give Mordecai?

3. What does Esther ask the King to do in Esther 8:3-6? How does the king respond?

4. What does the edict written by Mordecai in King Ahasuerus’s name give to the Jews?

5. How was the news delivered to the provinces?

6. How was Mordecai dressed according to Esther 8:15? Why is this important?

7. What was the response of the Jews to the news of the new decrees?

8. What was the reaction of the people in the land to the news?

 

It is our desire to help you grow in your knowledge of God and His Word. If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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Jeremiah chapter 2 lays out the causes of an unfortunately all-to-familiar phenomenon in the life of a God-follower: Falling away. In modern church-speak it may be called apostasy or drifting. Those who fall away lose their taste for the things of God, His Word, His presence, and His people. They are often lacking self-awareness and personal accountability for their conduct. They may seek to blame others for their failures and for their own apostasy.

To “fall away” is really a misnomer. Falling suggests lack of control or choice. Make no mistake, falling away is a choice–a series of little, seemingly inconsequential choices. It may be simple things. For example, Psalm 1:1-3 outlines warns against bad company. Moses warned them about the choices in the wilderness, “I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.” (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)

In Jeremiah chapter 2, we are given additional valuable insight into why Israel had fallen away from God, and how He viewed their apostasy.

Falling Away Occurs where there is Ungratefulness

Neither did they say, ‘Where is the Lord, Who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, Who led us through the wilderness, through a land of deserts and pits, through a land of drought and the shadow of death, through a land that no one crossed and where no one dwelt?’ I brought you into a bountiful country, to eat its fruit and its goodness. But when you entered, you defiled My land And made My heritage an abomination. Jeremiah 2:6-7 (NKJV)

God notes that His people either disregarded or forgotten all that God had done or them in bringing them out of Egypt and caring for them the forty years in the wilderness. They have so disregarded what He had given them as to defile it by their worship of idols and other related abominations. He accuses them of being ungrateful for His provision of the land of Israel with its bounty. This ungratefulness has contributed to their falling away.

Falling Away Occurs under Poor Leadership

The priests did not say, ‘Where is the Lord?’ And those who handle the law did not know Me; the rulers also transgressed against Me; the prophets prophesied by Baal, and walked after things that do not profit. Jeremiah 2:8 (NKJV)

God, through the prophet, describes the situation where the priests, those responsible to teach and guide the people in spiritual things, did not have a relationship with Him. He goes on to say those entrusted with political leadership sinned against His law, and finally, the prophets, who were to speak the word of the Lord to the people, failed and turned to idols. The Israelites didn’t have elections to choose their leaders as we do today in state and federal government, but they did have the ability to speak out against corrupt and ungodly leadership, especially in the house of God. Leaders can be wrong and misleading. It may be intentional or a drifting away from the truth. We must be diligent to always test what is being said from the pulpit or the lectern against the absolute truth of God’s Word.

Falling Away means forsaking God for false Gods and Self-reliance

“Has a nation changed its gods, which are not gods? But My people have changed their Glory for what does not profit. Be astonished, O heavens, at this, and be horribly afraid; be very desolate,” says the Lord. “For My people have committed two evils: they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns—broken cisterns that can hold no water.” Jeremiah 2:11-13 (NKJV)

This passage is so sad. God counts apostasy as a two-fold offense. First Israel rejects the true and living God, who has been faithful to them–who has given life and sustained life as the fountain of living water. Instead of living water, they choose polluted water, the kind that comes from broken cisterns which cannot even hold the rain water but allow it to be defiled by mixing with the dirt around it. Non-potable, unuseable, unable to sustain life. It is a choice to die, and God says as much through the prophet Jeremiah.

Self-reliance and self-confidence are two enemies of the believer today. It is easy to build up your personal strength rather than your reliance on God. It is a subtle difference, but one which can lead to less trust in God and more on one’s own abilities and resources. Life comes from living water. The living water comes from God–He is the source of living water–the water that brings with it life. We need to come to that fountain and forsake the broken cisterns of our own making.

Falling Away occurs where there is Resistance to God’s Correction

“Why will you plead with Me? You all have transgressed against Me,” says the Lord. “In vain I have chastened your children; they received no correction. Your sword has devoured your prophets like a destroying lion.” Jeremiah 2:29-30 (NKJV)

Correction is an essential part of being a child of God. It speaks of a close and ongoing relationship between each of us and God. We know we are loved because He corrects and teaches us. Moreover, one who receives correction is wise. (Proverbs 15:5) When we refuse God’s correction and ignore His discipline, we become distanced from Him and apostasy consequence.

Throughout the writings of the Major and Minor Prophets, God warns Israel about apostasy and falling away from Him. He gives them opportunities to come back and be restored to relationship with Him, but in the end, judgment falls in Israel and they go into captivity because they fail and refuse to return to God. May we learn the lessons taught in the pages of the Hebrew Bible. God is not mocked. What a man sows, that will he reap.

Let us consider ourselves: the company we keep, the hardness of our hearts, our resistance to God’s correction, the weakness of the leaders we follow, and the tendency in our hearts towards self-reliance. Be warned that such attitudes and conduct lead to a falling away from God. Beloved, choose life! Return to your first love.

 

It is our desire to help you grow in your knowledge of God and His Word. If you are looking for additional information and/or materials, please visit our website at RootedinHisWord.org and our Facebook page. 

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