Spiritual Rants: “Harp-Oh” December 24 Daily Bible Readings in a year: Zechariah 6:1-7:14 Revelation 15:1-8 Psalm 143:1-12 Proverbs 30:24-28

Old Testament:   Zechariah 6:1-7:14

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Zechariah 6:1-7:14    Fast Enough

In Chapter 6, Zechariah sees chariots led by red, black, white and spotted horses coming from a bronze mountain (v. 1).  They represented four spirits that went out to patrol the earth and exercise judgment.  The bronze of the mountains usually symbolizes judgment.

Zechariah was told that exiles would be coming with gifts for the building of the Temple (v. 9).  Joshua was to be crowned and be the representation or “type” of Christ, the Branch, during the Millennium (v. 12).  Christ would be both a king and priest like Melchizedek (v. 13, in that he would have “two offices,” cf. Gen. 14:18-20).  “Those who are afar off,” the Gentiles, will come and help build the Temple in the Millennium (v. 14, cf. Hag. 2:7).

In Chapter 7,Zechariah receives a word from the Lord on December 7, 518 B.C. about two years after his night visions (cf. 1:1; 1:8-6:8).  The people wanted to know if they still needed to fast to commemorate the burning of the first Temple and the assassination of the governor of Judah (Gedaliah, cf. 2 Kings 25:23-25).  The answer was that they were fasting on their own initiative, God had not commanded it (vv. 5-7).  They had acted apart from God and, in fact, had not listened to their prophets or practiced righteousness.  That is why they had gone into exile for seventy years in the first place (vv. 9-12).  The result was unanswered prayer, desolation of the land, and they were scattered around world (vv. 13-14).

New Testament:  Revelation 15:1-8

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Revelation 15:1-8   Harp-Oh . . .

Chapter 15 is the shortest chapter in the book of Revelation.

John sees another sign in Heaven.  He sees the seven angels who had the seven plagues, the last plagues because they contained the last of the wrath of God (v. 1).

After that he saw a “sea of glass mixed with fire” along with the ones who had defeated the Antichrist, his image in the Temple and whatever 666 stands for (v. 2b).  The sea often stands for multitudes of people (v. 2a, cf. Rev. 4:6, 13:1; 17:15).  “Glass” would represent purity and “fire,” judgment (v. 2a).  They were holding harps and singing the song of Moses and the song of the Lamb (vv. 2-3).  The song of Moses (cf. Exod. 15 and Deut. 32) extols God’s faithfulness and praises Him for His deliverance of the people from Egypt.  The song of the Lamb praises God for the deliverance of His people from sin and Satan (vv. 3-4).

Then John saw the Temple opened in Heaven and seven angels who had seven plagues were unleashed.  They wore clean and bright clothing symbolic of their purity.  They also had golden sashes around their chests symbolizing the reflecting of the glory of God (v. 6).  One of the four living creatures (remember them?  Rev. 4:6, 8) gave the seven angels seven golden bowls brimming with God’s wrath to dump out on the world (v. 7).  The Temple was so filled with God’s glory that no one was able to get into the Temple until the seven angels were done with their jobs (v. 8).

Psalm 143:1-12  Goals  A Lament By David

Proverbs 30:24-28   Survivor

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Agur said there are two things in verse 7.  Then he said there were two daughters in verse 15.  Four things in verse 18.  Four things in verse 21.  Now four things again in verse 24.  He said he wasn’t very smart (v. 2).  So maybe he’s an accountant.  Just kidding.  Obviously, he was just humble and, of course, humility is the beginning point for wisdom (cf. Prov. 11:12; 1:7; 9:10).

Here Agur makes observations about ants, badgers, locusts, and lizards.  Notice the NASB talks about shephanim.  NIV speaks of conies, though not dogs, hot or otherwise.  The NIV clarifies by rendering hyraxes.  That really helps. (Not!)  NET uses “rock badgers” which a notation clarifies that a coney is not really a hyrax which is related to the Hebrew word shephanim.  Not any of this keeps the passage hopping, does it?  Shephanim are a people, it turns out.  But probably verse 28 is more about something like a poor, defenseless rabbit, like the other terms conies, badgers, hyraxes, and .

The point is that ants are surprising when you watch them.  They are amazingly able to carry 100 times their weight!  I’m guessing whatever is represented as conies, shephanim, hyraxes, or rock badgers, or just plain old badgers are able to jump like rabbits.  Locusts are amazingly organized.  Lizards don’t seem to be very extraordinary yet, nonetheless, are hard to capture, even they though they might slip into the White House or a ballpark.

What’s the point?  As Shakespeare has said, “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”  (Horatio, as it turns out, had studied philosophy at Wittenberg with Hamlet.)  As my dentist friend once told me recently after loaning me his book on Pan American clippers, floating airplanes, there are a lot of things we don’t realize in the big, wide world.

Agur wants us to think.  I know that hurts.  We have to contemplate ants (cf. Prov. 6:6-8), locusts (cf. Joel 1:4-7), cronies, and lizards.  God created all these creatures to survive through different means.  Ants are given great strength to survive, locusts are given inherent instincts to travel in numbers, the badgers know to hide in rocks, and lizards know how to slither away from attackers.

But do Christians know how to survive?

They are given the armor of the Lord and guidance by the Spirit (see Armor-all, Three Lights Of Guidance, Get The “Led” Out).

Do you act like a Christian?

If you do, you will be one of God’s most amazing creations (cf. 2 Cor. 5:17)!

Choose Life: Scripture:  Revelation 15:4  NASB    “Holy Pizza?”

“Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name?  For You alone are holy . . .”  Revelation 15:4

A friend of mine had a call-in radio program years ago.  One day when he wasn’t getting many callers, he asked me to call him and get things started.  So I called in and said that the problem with the world was that too many people were ordering pizzas with “everything” on it except anchovies.  I said that was just not right.  If anyone orders a pizza with “everything” on it, it would have to, by definition, include anchovies.  I starting complaining about that and said it was what was wrong with the world.  I hung up and his switchboard lit up.   He had so many calls the next couple hours that he couldn’t take them all.

Isn’t it evident that part of the problem with the world is that people are so air-headed that they enjoy phoning call-in shows to discuss pizzas and anchovies?  But here is the real problem with the world:  people don’t realize that the most important thing they have to deal with in life is that God is all-holy.  He is 100 per cent, perfectly pure.   That is the problem.  Instead of worrying about pizza and flat-screens (you thought I was going to say “flat-breads,” didn’t you?  Is everything really about food???), people should be concerned about the Holy God with whom they have to do (cf. Heb. 4:13, KJV or “Him to whom we must give account,” NIV).

He does not care about the pizza we eat (though He would probably prefer that we eat a little more healthy fare).  He does care about our sin.  Oops.  Did I just mention the “S” word?  Guess I wasn’t being very PC.  Sorry, my bad.  I mean, too bad.

In Heaven, we will be ascribing holiness to God all the time.  In fact, we will be holy if we are there.  And it won’t be the way Satan has spun it.  It will not be boring.  It will be unbelievably exciting!   I can’t wait.  And I don’t have to.  I can start ascribing holiness to God right now.  That is called worship.  Try it sometime.

If you do, you will find that you are choosing life (Deut. 30:19)!

Fun Application: 

Peter said, “You shall be holy because I am holy” (cf. 1 Pet. 1:16).    Peter was speaking of God.  OK, actually God said it first (cf. Lev. 19:2).

Churches don’t seem to talk about God’s holiness much anymore.  There also seems to be a really unhealthy over-emphasis on grace in some circles.  They mistake liberty for license.  God still expects us to keep His commands.  He just doesn’t care if keep legalisms, rules that are outside Scripture.

The Holy Spirit can help you stay pure (cf. John 16:5-11).  Ask Him to show you anything that needs to be cleaned up.

If you dare.

You will be blessed if you!

The purpose of Choose Life is to pick a positive help out of the One Year Bible (OYB) reading plan for the day. There is always something positive in the Word of God to cheer us and give us strength. For more on today’s reading, check out my One Year Bible blog:   Harp-Oh . . .

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