In Zechariah 7 Zechariah calls for justice and mercy to be a part of the returned exiles character. The failure to do so sent them into exile in the first place. They were in danger of this happening again.
Zechariah 7: A Call for Justice and Mercy
1In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Chislev.
2Now the people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-melech and their men to entreat the favor of the LORD,
3saying to the priests of the house of the LORD of hosts and the prophets, "Should I weep and abstain in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?"
4Then the word of the LORD of hosts came to me:
5"Say to all the people of the land and the priests, When you fasted and mourned in the fifth month and in the seventh, for these seventy years, was it for me that you fasted?
6And when you eat and when you drink, do you not eat for yourselves and drink for yourselves?
7Were not these the words that the LORD proclaimed by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and prosperous, with her cities around her, and the South and the lowland were inhabited?"
8And the word of the LORD came to Zechariah, saying,
9"Thus says the LORD of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another,
10do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart."
11But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear.
12They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the LORD of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from the LORD of hosts.
13"As I called, and they would not hear, so they called, and I would not hear," says the LORD of hosts,
14"and I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations that they had not known. Thus the land they left was desolate, so that no one went to and fro, and the pleasant land was made desolate."
Things to think about…
1.Zechariah 7 is the sad reality of the state of the heart of the returned exiles from Babylon. They returned but did not show the contrition. The land had rest for 70 years, but the Lord was not honoured, Zech 7:5. In the fourth year of Darius dates this period at around 518BC. The temple had been built for 2 years, Zech 7:1, but true heart worship and obedience was far from the people. Men came to Zechariah to ask the Lord's favour, but Zechariah is weeping. Spiritual leaders should weep for the state of their people when there is a clear rejection of the Lord's obedience on display in their lives.
2.Zech 7:9, 10 are the central verses of this chapter, "Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another,do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.". But they refused. Zechariah says they made their hearts "diamond har", vs 12. As such the Lord would not bless their prayers. God called but they didn't come. The Lord says not that when they call, He will not answer, vs 13. This is the sad reality for Christians who for years have hardened themselves to obedience in Christ. Finances, debt, relationships and ministry effectiveness are all restricted because the Lord withholds His blessing.
3.The people are then scattered into the world. Israel was called to be the homeland of God's people. But the Lord scattered them throughout the earth, Zech 7:14. While there is a reversal being seen today and Jews are returning to Israel, the Jewish people are still by and large secular. We know this will one day change. When Christians act like the world the Lord has little reason to bless them in their endeavours, Zech 7:14..
CBC's Vision :- To be a growing biblical church community, significantly influencing our city and beyond, through intentional outreach, fulfilling our mission.
Sunday's sermon "Money's too tight to mention" came from Malachi 3.
1.Do you have enough money to pay for all your bills?
2.How have you responded to Malachi's challenge to test the Lord in His faithfulness when you consistently tithe and bring it into the storehouse OT – temple, NT – church? Has the imperative to tithe ever been an issue for you?
3.Jay mentioned that often those who struggle with tithing are fairly covetous people because they don't see money as the Lord's but theirs. As such they tend to the ones who, gossip, complain and be difficult within the church. Part of the blessing of tithing is the miracle of a changed heart. Discuss.
4.God gave us His Son Jesus, John 3:16. We are called to be like God and conform to the image of Christ. Pray about your giving and obedience to Christ.
1.Our Community events – once a month on a Sunday in place of the Axiom evening service at church. First one at Chapters on the 23rd Feb – around 4:30pm.
2.Please continue to pray CBC's Mallacoota bushfire appeal. More exciting news this Sunday about what the Lord has done with our money thus far. Praise God for "Cowboy" and how we have helped his situation.
3.Christine Denning's mum recovering from a broken femur. Pray as she rehabilitates.
4.Our outreach initiatives as well as the Axiom podcast.
5.Sunday's message on Zech 6 "A Vision of the New Temple" - Ps Jay. Axiom:- Chapters Café – 4:30pm
6.Finish "Bean Redeemed" coffee shop and podcast area.
7.Church finances to meet our expenses.
8.Our City and Country – Pray for revival over our city and the leadership of our country.
1.Testimonies of Suzie and Zac on Sunday – Praise God for grace.
2.More new people on Sunday.
3.Tad's brother Andrew likely to come home this week. A miracle and mercy that this is even possible.
4.Praise God for the rain going to farmers breaking the drought in many areas..
5.New Website completed – Praise God for Melody and Suzie making this happen.
6.Recharge blessed again – thankyou leaders. New youth (who have never been to church)this week.
7.CBC's Mallacoota appeal David Jeffrey of Mallacoota, over $2000 has been raised – thankyou CBC.
8.Unity, peace and Christ's love over our church.
1.Denning - Hosting, morning tea next Sunday morning.
2.1st Community gathering – At Chapters café Karalee 4:30pm Sun 23rd Feb.
3.Member's meeting – A celebration of God's grace over CBC – Sun 23rd February after morning service. Open invitation – all welcome.
4.Men's shooting event – Sat 29th February – 7am (not next Sat like the pastor said on Sun morning - lol). See Tim/flyer for more details.
5.Steve Hawkins 60th birthday bash – 4:30pm Sat 29th at Church. Bring yourself, something to eat/cook and something the sit on as we celebrate 60 years of Steve!
6.Mallacoota Bushfire Appeal. You can donate directly through our "Give" tab on the website http://www.chuwarbaptist.com/give . Label your offering "Bushfire appeal"
7.Kids@Church and Recharge parents.– Leaders for next Sunday Older group Leader:- Luke Scheepers. Lesson :- Journey to Mars 4 Psalm 119:105. Younger Group Leader:- Danae Scheepers, Assistant:- Yuki Fujita. Lesson:-Paw Print bookmark, P22.
8.Recharge youth 7pm at Church, Fri 7th Feb for all High Schoolers. Fly me to the Moon – Make a plane to get there. Recharge parent on roster for this week: - Dan Anderson.
February's catechism question...
Question. 9. Question:- What do we pray for in the second petition?
Answer. "That the gospel may be preached in all of the world, and believed and obeyed by us and all men"
Bible Reference – Matt. 28:19-20; John 17:20-21; Acts 8:12; Acts 28:30-31; 2 Thess. 3:1.
"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known" Jer 33:3