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Psalms 2:7-9

Thou Art My Son

7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. 8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. 9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

We have heard the voices of the heathen nations, raging against the Lord, and we have heard God's answer to them. He would laugh them into derision for their vain efforts to thwart His divine purpose and He had already established His King upon the holy hill of Zion. Now, in the next stanza, we hear the declaration from His Anointed One that He has received and accepted the appointment to be the King of kings and Lord of lords over all the earth.

This is appropriate, because we know that, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;" (Hebrews 1:1-2)

The phrase, "this day have I begotten thee," does not mean that Jesus was a created being, but refers to the day of His resurrection when He became the firstborn of many brethren (Rom 8:29; Col 1:15,18). Paul clarified this when he wrote, "Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:" (Romans 1:3-4) Furthermore, Hebrews 1:1-2 (above) and many other verses indicate that Jesus pre-existed all things and is the eternal God.

It was this declaration that caused the heathen to rage. "Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God." (John 5:18)

And, as God's Son and as His equal, He was heir to all things and could ask for any part of His inheritance at any time and it would be given to Him. He could inherit all of the nations and the uttermost parts of the earth, the realms of kings and the source of their wealth. Who would stand for it? There would be resistance, for there is not a righteous person left upon the face of the earth. So the heathen raged and plotted vain things.

But the declaration says, "Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel." This does not mean that our Savior is without compassion, because He loves the poor, the meek, and the humble, and He will defend their cause. "But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked." (Isaiah 11:4 See also: Psalms 110:6; Revelation 19:15)

These things are promised to our Lord, if He will just ask for them and, of course, He will. One day He will say, "But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me." (Luke 19:27) This promise brings hope to all of us who follow Him and love Him, because his enemies are our persecutors. We have the assurance that one day He will rule the earth with divine justice and there will be an end to all inequities.

Before The Throne:

Thank God for His eternal wisdom and plan to give His Son to be our Savior. Submit every part of your life to Him right now. You do not have to wait until He returns for Him to rule your life with perfect divine wisdom. Ask him to bring order and purpose into your life. Ask Him to make you a part of the work that continues to build His kingdom. Pray for His will to be done on earth as in heaven and keep a continuing watch for His imminent return.

For Further Study:

** the decree. Psa 148:6; Job 23:13; Isa 46:10; ** Thou. Mat 3:17; 8:29; 16:16; 17:5; Act 8:37; 13:33; Rom 1:4; Heb 1:5; 3:6; 5:5,8; ** this. Psa 89:27; John 1:14,18; 3:16; Heb 1:6;

(v.8 ) ** Ask. John 17:4,5; ** and I. Psa 22:27; 72:8; Dan 7:13;

(v.9) Psa 21:8,9; 89:23; 110:5,6; Isa 30:14; 60:12; Jer 19:11; Dan 2:44; Mat 21:44; Rev 2:26,27; 12:5;

Psalms 2:4-6

God's King

4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. 5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. 6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

While the heathen are like a raging mob making useless and futile plans to stop the Messiah, while the kings of the earth brace themselves to resist God's anointed, and while the rulers gather together to formulate their plots, there is One who is above it all. He sits secure in the heavens, unaffected by the ruthless cries of a depraved humanity. All the forces and resources of the earth may rise up against Him, "But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased." (Psalms 115:3)

God sits on His throne and is in sovereign control over all things. He moves forward with His plans and is not interrupted by the vanity of men. He will use everything that His enemies do to help accomplish His unstoppable plans. He is the omnipotent God and cannot be moved.

He laughs at them, but is not amused by their rebellion. They are mocked and derided by Him, not in a literal sense, for God is as petty as that; but they look pitiful, so obviously futile, and almost comical, as their attempts to stop Him actually help His cause.

Let every person, therefore, pay attention to this. God shall speak to His enemies in His wrath. His voice will be like the roar of thunder and no one will be laughing. God was not angry when He spoke to Israel at Sinai, and yet we read, "And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off. And they said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear: but let not God speak with us, lest we die." (Exodus 20:18-19)

If God's voice struck so much fear into the hearts of His people at Sinai, imagine the terror that will seize His enemies when he speaks to them in His wrath. He will "vex" them, "trouble" them, "terrify" them with the sound of His voice. So powerful is He that the book of Revelation describes His wrath, saying, "And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh." (Revelation 19:15,21)

Yet, with all of the enemy's plotting and scheming, God says that He has already established His King upon the holy hill of Zion. The word "set" is translated from the Hebrew "nasak" which means "to pour out, to offer, or to cast." Thus it was used to describe the pouring out of the anointing oil and came to mean "to inaugurate or establish," which fits this verse very accurately. Jesus was chosen to be God's King in the eternal past, before the earth was created. Since it was God's will, it was already done.

However, this King was not just another man. He was God incarnate, the Lord Jesus Christ. "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:6-11)

"To make Himself of no reputation" means "to empty Himself" of His Godly form and to be poured or cast into the form of a lowly servant. And, when God speaks in His wrath, every person who joined the riotous mob of sinners and rejected the gift of His mercy and grace will bow before Him. Presidents and kings, prime ministers and emperors, senators and congressmen, sheriffs and officers, religious leaders and cultists will all bow down before Him and confess that He is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

However, God invites us to confess Him before all men right now, so that He does not have to speak to us in His wrath. He invites us to join Him on the holy hill of Zion, which is His church. He calls us to participate in His plan to have all men worship Him. It is the reason that He created us; it is the single most important function that we can have; and it should be counted as pure joy to be able to glorify His name.

Before The Throne:

The greatest worship is service. In fact, in the OT the two are the same word. Worship God now, and all day, and every day. Serve Him by joining in His work, which cannot fail. Pray for the faith to stand against the enemy and for the assurance that God will win. Ask Him to help you live the victorious life, free from the burdens of this world and free to serve Him. Confess Him as Lord and Savior first in prayer and then to men everywhere. Get to know His voice and you will not be terrorized when He speaks in His wrath.

For Further Study:

** He that. Psa 11:4; 68:33; 115:3; Isa 40:22; 57:15; 66:1; ** shall laugh. Psa 37:13; 53:5; 59:8; 2Ki 19:21; Prov 1:26;

(v.5) ** Then. Psa 50:16-22; Isa 11:4; 66:6; Mat 22:7; 23:33-36; Luk 19:27,43,44; Rev 1:16; 19:15; ** sore. Psa 110:5,6; Zec 1:15;

(v.6) ** Yet. Psa 45:6; 89:27,36,37; 110:1,2; Isa 9:6,7; Dan 7:13,14; Mat 28:18; Act 2:34-36; 5:30,31; Eph 1:22; Php 2:9-11; ** set. Psa 48:1,2; 50:2; 78:68; 132:13,14; Heb 12:22; Rev 14:1;

Psalms 2:2-3

Who Shall Rule?

2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, 3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us."

The common peoples of the various nations of the earth do not necessarily act as a tumultuous mob without leadership. The scripture tells us that the kings of the earth have "set themselves," or "have taken a stand," against God and His anointed. The word "anointed" (Hebrew: mashiyach) can refer to any king, priest or the Messiah, but we learn from verse 7 that David is using it to refer to the Messiah.

The nations rage, because their kings lead them in their efforts. It says that the rulers of the world's nations take counsel together to oppose God and His Messiah. We need to look no farther than our Bibles to see the truth of that prophecy. King Herod slaughtered thousands of children to get rid of Jesus when He was still a harmless infant. Herod Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee, who is called a king (MarK 6:14), also opposed Jesus by leading his soldiers to mock Him and to "set Him at naught." (Luke 23:11) Then, there was Pontius Pilate who condemned Him to death. The religious rulers Caiaphas and Annas, the counsel of the Sanhedrin, and the Pharisees also conspired together against the Lord, Yahweh, and His Anointed.

The rebellion of the world's kings and rulers has continued against Yahweh and His Messiah. Down through the ages, they have persecuted His people, which is the body of Christ and His beloved church. There has never been a generation gone by without persecution. .

Today, the kings and rulers of nearly every country take counsel against the church. Even in America, land of the free, the government is persecuting God's anointed people. As I write this, a judge is being attacked for displaying a statue of the ten commandments in his courthouse, and a movie star is underfire for accurately depicting the way the Jewish rulers took counsel together to kill Jesus.

"Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us." Kings and rulers do not want to be restricted by God's law; they want to make their own laws. Kings and rulers do not want to bow down and worship a Savior; they want others to bow before them and to worship them. Kings and rulers do not want to be dependent on the power and grace of God; they want to wield and boast about their own powers.

In short, kings and rulers want to be their own gods. They want to cast off the yoke of Jesus, which is light and easy to bear, and to work only for themselves, unknowingly taking on a much heavier yoke. That is why, at the last day, there will be a terrible battle between the kings of the earth and the returning Messiah. Let it be known, however, that it will be no contest and the Messiah will emerge as the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

We must ask ourselves, "Who rules in my heart? Have I taken up the Savior's yoke which is light and easy to bear, or am I still stumbling under the weight of my own sins?" We can break His bands and cast them asunder, but that will not set us free. It will only give sin complete power over us. Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin." (John 8:34) The kings and rulers of this earth have deceived themselves into thinking that they are free, but they are the slaves of sin.

Where do you stand?

Before The Throne:

Surrender your life over to the Lord Jesus Christ today. Exchange the burdens of sin for the freedom of knowing and living God's gospel truth. Pray for His forgiveness of every time that you tried to be your own king, your own god. Ask Him to restore you to full fellowship with Him. Pray for Jesus to reveal His will for your life and to help you to fulfill His every desire for you. Thank Him for His wonderful and marvellous grace.

For Further Study:

** kings. Psa 48:4; 110:5; Mat 2:16; Luk 13:31; 23:11,12; Act 12:1-6; Rev 17:12-14; ** rulers. Mat 26:3,59; 27:1; Act 4:5-8; ** Lord. Ex 16:7; Pr 21:30; Joh 15:23; Ac 9:4; ** anointed. Psa 45:7; 89:20; Isa 61:1; John 1:41; 3:34; Act 10:38; Heb 1:9;

(v.3) Jer 5:5; Luk 19:14,27; 1Pet 2:7,8;

Psalms 2:1

Spiritual Resistance

1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

This beautiful Psalm was undoubtedly written by David. It is unanimously ascribed to him in the book of Acts. When Peter and John were released, after being arrested for teaching the gospel, they returned and told the others. "And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ." (Acts 4:24-26)

The apostles' remarks also tell us that the Psalm is about the Messiah and there can be little doubt of that. Consider the sixth verse, "Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion;" And the seventh, which says, "I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee."

The Psalm begins with the question, "Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?" In this case "heathen" should be translated as "nations," because it was not only the Gentiles who raged against the Messiah, but His own people, the Jews, also turned against Him.

The word "rage" means to make a tumultuous noise and is closely related to another Hebrew word, which means "to assemble." "Why do the nations assemble like a tumultuous mob?" Surely this applies to the people in Jerusalem, who riotously chanted, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" and to the Gentiles on the day when He shall return. "And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army." (Revelation 19:19)

"...and the people imagine a vain thing." The Hebrew word "hagah" is the same word translated as "meditate" in Psalm 1:2. It means to deliberately think about, to plot or to form a purpose. In this case, the psalmist asks why the people are forming a plot to prevent or to destroy the Messiah. It is a plan that cannot succeed; it is vain and useless.

This prophetic question has always been relevant. The nations will not willingly submit their sovereignty to the Lord Jesus Christ when He returns. They were never willing to do that, beginning with Jesus' own people. The Pharisees and priests were extremely jealous of His popularity, their religious authority was threatened by Him, their sins were exposed by Him, and they plotted to destroy Him.

But we must look deeper than just nations and mobs who rage against our Lord. It is a personal thing. It is the individual who refuses to give the Lord Jesus sovereign rule over his life. It takes individuals to plot the insane resistance to the Lordship of Christ. Angry mobs are made up of angry and cowardly individuals. The insanity of a mob reflects the tumultuous battle that takes place within a person's heart when he rejects Jesus' offer to take over.

Thus we must ask the question of ourselves, "Why does my heart rage, and my mind plot such empty schemes? Why have I not completely surrendered sovereignty over my life to Jesus?" If we do not find the answer and correct the situation, we become just one more face in the angry mob.

Before The Throne:

Ask God the question, "Lord, am I completely surrendered to You, or are there pieces of my life that still rage against You? Father show me how to correct this fault. Cleanse me of all rebellious attitudes. Claim sovereign control over me and direct my paths. Keep me from meditating on vain plans and give me a meaningful life, serving only You."

For Further Study:

** Why. Psalm 18:42; 46:6; 83:4-8; Isa 8:9; Luk 18:32; Act 4:25; ** rage. Luk 22:1,2,5,22,23; Act 16:22; 17:5,6; 19:28-32; ** people. Mt 21:38; John 11:49,50; Act 5:33; Rev 17:14;

Psalms 1:4-6

Like Chaff in the Wind

4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. 5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.

The second half of the first Psalm draws a sharp contrast between the godly and the ungodly. "The ungodly are not so." The ungodly were used in verse one to represent the least offensive of the sinners. Even these least objectionable persons will not be like the godly person. They will not experience the spiritual growth and blessings that bring joy to the godly. No degree of sin is acceptable to God, no matter how small it may be.

The ungodly are like the chaff. The chaff is the husk and fine particles of straw that fall from the grain when it is threshed. Until the harvest, these useless parts of the grain remain attached to the good parts and enjoy the same material blessings given to the rest of the plant. Similarly, the ungodly live among God's people and benefit from the same material blessings. The godly are even instructed to love them. "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust." (Matthew 5:44-45)

The day of harvest will inevitably come, however, and the chaff will fall away from the grain. The chaff has little substance and is light enough to be blown away by even a gentle breeze, but some translate the verse to say that they shall be driven away by a whirlwind. In other words the chaff has no chance.

The ungodly will be separated from the godly in God's day of harvest. The ungodly are spiritually dead, unable to produce anything good, and of no value to God. They have as much chance of staying with the harvest as the chaff in a whirlwind.

Then comes the judgment. The ungodly will not stand. Their sins will neither be excused nor forgiven. There will be no acceptable defense for them in God's court and they will have no legal standing there. The great congregation that is assembled before the throne of God will have all of the blessings that come with being in His presence and being one with Him. What a victorious day that will be for His people, but there will not be one sinner in the crowd.

The congregation is made up of the righteous, but there is none righteous, no not one. Only they, whose righteousness is given to them as the gift of grace through Jesus Christ, will be there. They will wear His righteousness to stand before the throne of the Father. This is the righteousness with which God is familiar. He knows its ways, understands its intentions, and loves its purity, because it comes from Him.

The self-righteous ways of the sinner are foreign to God. His ways are not their ways. They stand opposed to one another and cannot coexist. The way of the sinner is the weaker of the two and it shall be destroyed.

Before The Throne:

Pray that God would cover you in the righteousness of Jesus. Confess that there is no good in you except what Jesus can place there. Praise Him for allowing you to stand in the congregation of the righteous. Thank Him for all of the many blessings that He has given you. Pray that He would grant you the wisdom and strength to keep all sin at a distance until the day that Jesus comes to claim you.

For Further Study:

** like. Psa 35:5; Job 21:18; Isa 17:13; 29:5; Hos 13:3; Mt 3:12;

(v.5) ** shall. Psa 5:5; 24:3; Luk 21:36; Jude 1:15; ** sinners. Psa 26:9; Mal 3:18; Mat 13:49; 25:32,41,46;

(v.6) ** knoweth. Psa 37:18-24; 139:1,2; 142:3; Job 23:10; Nahum 1:7; John 10:14,27; 2Tim 2:19; ** way. Psa 112:10; 146:9; Prov 14:12; 15:9; Mat 7:13; 2Pet 2:12;

Psalms 1:3

The Planted Tree

3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."

Our prayers are usually a good indication of the kind of blessings we expect from God. Each of us has his/her laundry list of prayer requests, and God is always faithful to honor those requests. However, our thoughts are not His thoughts, and our requests fall far short of what He wants to give us.

We want physical blessings like money, homes, cars, health, friends and loved ones. Of course God wants us to have those things, but they are insignificant when compared to the blessings that He showers on the godly person__ on the one who meditates day and night on His word.

Therefore, when the psalmist tells us about the blessings of the godly person, he does not speak of the things that he/she will receive. Instead, he focuses on what that person will become, and that presents a problem for many people. They do not want to become anything other than what they are. They do not want to change; they do not see any need to change; and most of them will never change. But these are not the ones who are regularly nourished by scripture.

Meditating day and night on God's word changes a person in ways that are blessings beyond his imagination. God's word has the power to change you without any effort from you. Look at what the constant feeding on the strong meat of God's word will do for you, the repentant sinner.

You shall be like a tree. A tree is strong and deeply rooted, and so shall you be strong and deeply rooted in your faith in Jesus Christ. The constant feeding from the word of God gives you strength and enables you to grow very tall. You will stand up and stand out for your Lord Jesus Christ. The winds of social, political, and philosophical change will not move you.

"Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up." (Matthew 15:13) But you will not be an ordinary tree growing up as an accident of nature. You will be a tree that has been planted, a tree that was placed in its soil for a purpose by the Almighty God. Your branches will spread out, providing shade and comfort to the less fortunate and bearing fruit for the kingdom. You will be God's instrument for kingdom growth, a leader in your community and church
Rivers of waters will supply your roots. The living waters of the Holy Spirit will keep your leaves green and keep you full of life. Those leaves will not wither, because you have been granted the gift of eternity. You have submitted your life to the living Word of God, and He has granted you the authority to become a child of God.

You will be a productive person, and God will provide you with an increase. Everything that you do in His name will be abundantly profitable. Your life will be filled with the joy of seeing God work through you, with the excitement of leading others to Jesus Christ, and with the satisfaction of knowing that your work has eternal consequences.

These are the blessings we should desire. They are the products of the kingdom of God and His righteousness. When we are blessed with them, all the other physical needs that we have prayed for shall also be generously given to us.

Before The Throne:

Pray for the spiritual blessings that God wants to give to you. Ask Him to change you, to make you tall and strong in your faith. Pray that the Holy Spirit would flow from you like living waters, influencing others, and making you a fruitful person. Ask Him to keep you focused on His word so that your life might be guided only by His wonderful counsel.

For Further Study:

** tree. Job 14:9; Isa 44:4; Jer 17:8; Eze 17:8; 19:10; 47:12; Rev 22:2| ** bringeth. Psa 92:14; Mt 21:34,41; ** shall not. Isa 27:11; Mt 13:6; 21:19; John 15:6; Jude 1:12; ** whatsoever. Psa 128:2; 129:8; Gen 39:3,23; Josh 1:7,8; 1Chron 22:11; 2Chron 31:21; 32:23; Isa 3:10;

Psalms 1:2

Sweet Delight

2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

The man, who is blessed by God, does not listen to advise or suggestions from the world, is not pulled into a life of sin by the counsel he receives, and does not scoff at the things of God. He avoids those things like the plague.

The second verse of Psalms 1 shows the godly man's alternative to those things. "But" tells us that he does receive advice, but from an alternative source. God has not left him with a desperate need for good counsel. He has given him His torah, His infallible law for living in eternal and blessed happiness.

The godly man understands the value of God's law and delights in it. The Hebrew word chephets, translated as delights, conveys a powerful sense of emotion. The word of God is pure pleasure to the godly man. He can never get enough of it.

"The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times." They are valuable, proven instructions that can be trusted absolutely. The godly man never doubts the certainty and faithfulness of God. He is at peace with Him and trusts in His word.

With such a treasure in his hands, the godly man is excited about God's word. Thus he loves to hear God's word preached. He will take every opportunity to hear its exposition, because he wants to plant it in his heart. He studies God's word, because he needs to understand it. His thoughts, his heart, his desires are all wrapped up in the word of God. He knows it from memory, and it becomes part of him, so that it begins to govern the way he lives. "But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed." (James 1:25)

The man, who walks continually in the way of the godly, is an obedient man. Filled with the word of God, he knows no other way to live. Is it easy? No_ the flesh is still trying to lure him into the way of the sinner. Even Paul struggled, saying, "For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin." (Romans 7:22-25) Jesus is our ultimate deliverer. He will rescue us when we fail to be perfect.

Jesus is the Word. The godly man knows that He is the only way to the Father and he meditates on Him day and night. He was the demonstration of God's love, the revelation of everything that was written in His word, and the proof that there will be a resurrection of the dead. He is our hope. The godly man meditates on Him and trusts in His counsel.

He not only meditates on the word; he feeds on it. It is all the hope of eternity, and he needs it. "As a newborn babe, he desires the sincere milk of the word, that he may grow thereby." It is the energizing power that helps the godly person grow. He finds his strength therein and cannot live without it.

Hagah is Hebrew for meditate and means to think on or to speak. The godly man's enthusiasm for the word and the Word overflows. He must tell others; so he teaches. Perhaps he writes psalms or praise songs containing the word of God or explaining it. He will speak to you one on one or proclaim the word of God to crowds of thousands. It makes no difference to him as long as he can tell someone, anyone, about the one thing that fills his life and gives him pleasure day and night.

Before The Throne:

Thank God that He has provided godly counsel for you. Praise Him for the work of the Holy Spirit who gives you understanding of His word. Thank Him for sending His Word, in whom was the life, which was the light of men. Promise Him that you will study to show yourself approved and that you will begin to share His word with others.

For Further Study:

** But his. Psa 40:8; 112:1; 119:11,35,47,48,72,92; Job 23:12; Jer 15:16; Rom 7:22; 1John 5:3; ** meditate. Psa 104:34; 119:11,15,97-99; Jos 1:8; 1Tim 4:15; ** day. Psa 88:1; Luk 2:37; 18:7; 1Thess 2:9; 2Tim 1:3;

Psalms 1:1

The Key to Happiness

1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

As we begin our study of the Psalms, we will discover that the first chapter of the book is very appropriately placed. It describes the whole message of the Bible in just six verses. The first three verses describe the blessed joy of being a godly person, while the last three tell us the fate of the wicked. John Frye wrote, "I have been induced to embrace the opinion of some among the ancient interpreters (Augustine, Jerome, etc.), who conceive that the first Psalm is intended to be descriptive of the character and reward of the JUST ONE, i.e. the Lord Jesus." (John Fry, B.A., 1842)

The psalmist proclaims the blessedness or the happiness of the godly person, but by using three progressive negatives excludes those who only appear to be godly. What a great praise song this would make, singing, "O, how blessed is the man..." Only the godly could sing it with meaning, because only the godly would understand it. To the rest of the world, our blessings might appear to be foolish and without substance. But the godly man knows in his heart that he has been blessed and filled with joy beyond comprehension.

How does he get such heavenly bliss? It can be obtained only by avoiding the counsel of the ungodly. Notice that it does not say that the blessed man walks in the counsel of the godly. You can do that and still be walking in the counsel of the ungodly. You can be going to Sunday school and church every week and applying what you learn to certain areas of your life, but in other areas you can still be walking in the counsel of the ungodly.

Most of us do just that. We sing praises to our Lord and then go home and listen to the Budweiser commercials. We learn about sexual purity, but watch hot, explicit bedroom scenes on our favorite TV shows. We do not investigate to make sure that our doctors, our lawyers, or our bankers are godly people. We only want them to be good at what they do and we listen very closely to their advice without considering God's will.

Oh, how unhappy is the man that tries to walk in the counsel of both the godly and the ungodly. Eventually his conscience will tear him apart until he favors one or the other, until he begins to conform his thoughts and his behavior to either God's will or the ways of the world.

How blessed is he that resists the ways of the world, who refuses to stand in the way of the sinner. He has put aside the counsel of the ungodly and has been transformed by the renewing of his mind into an obedient, happy Christian. He knows his purpose in life, understands how to go through tribulation and benefit from it, and always has the blessed hope that his Lord might come for him very soon.

The blessed man's actions reflect those of the godly man. He leaves church and puts the Christian radio station on in his car, he turns off the TV when the ungodly is portrayed, and, more importantly, he demonstrates God's love to everyone around him.

Standing in the way of the sinner is the next step down from listening to ungodly counsel. If we hear enough of it, we will begin to sin. Sin is like a snowball rolling down a slope. It picks up momentum and grows larger as it goes, but when it hits bottom it explodes into powder. There is no future hope for those standing in the way of the sinner. Life will be fast paced and exciting for a while, but in the end they will have nothing.

The man, who has no real joy, no future hope, and no control of the fast pace his life has taken, also has no good words for those who are blessed by God. It is all foolishness to him, and he will jealously mock the people of God. He is sitting in the seat of the scornful and is unable to understand the things of God. Hatred fills his heart, jealousy upsets his soul, and covetousness and lust are his motivators. He is like the shattered snowball. "Damn those Christians and their phony ways!"

Blessed is the man who is not filled with such anger. He has avoided the counsel of the ungodly, has allowed God to direct his paths, has walked down the path of righteousness, and has filled his heart and mind with the love of God.

Which one are you? Do you still listen to the counsel of the ungodly? Be careful! The next step is the path of the sinner.

Before The Throne:

It is time to confess all that ungodly counsel that you have been getting over the airwaves and from others. Some of it has already led you into sin. Ask God to put a stop to it. Pray that He will keep you on the path of righteousness. Pray that He will give you the gift of discernment, so that you can quickly distinguish good counsel from the bad. However, you must desire the things of God in order to be blessed by them.

For Further Study:

** Blessed. Psa 2:12; 32:1,2; 34:8; 84:12; 106:3; 112:1; 115:12-15; 119:1,2; 144:15; 146:5; Deut 28:2-68; 33:29; Jer 17:7; Mat 16:17; Luk 11:28; John 13:17; 20:29; Re 22:14; ** walketh. Psa 81:12; Gen 5:24; Lev 26:27,28; 1Kgs 16:31; Job 31:5; Prov 1:15; 4:14,15; 13:20; Eze 20:18; 1Pet 4:3; ** counsel. Psa 64:2; Gen 49:6; 2Chron 22:3; Job 10:3; 21:16; Luk 23:51; ** standeth. Psa 26:12; Rom 5:2; Eph 6:13; ** way. Psa 36:4; 146:9; Prov 2:12; 4:19; 13:15; Mat 7:13,14; ** sitteth. Psa 26:4,5; 119:115; Jer 15:17; ** scornful. Prov 1:22; 3:34; 9:12; 19:29;

Zechariah 14:20-21


20 In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD'S house shall be like the bowls before the altar. 21 Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.

In that day, after God's enemies have been completely destroyed or subdued, everything in Judah will be HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD. This is the inscription that was placed on the golden plate on the front of Aaron's mitre in Exodus 28:36. It declared that the high priest had been set apart for God's service. Now this inscription will be written on even the lowliest, most secular things. Even the bells on the horses will bear those precious words.

The pots in the Yahweh's house will also be holy. The bowls in which the blood of the sacrifice was collected and carried to be sprinkled on the altar, the people and the High priest were holy to Yahweh. The pots, however were used to cook the portion of the sacrifice that could be eaten by the priests and the family of the one making the offering. In that day, these will be just as holy as the bowls were during the age of animal sacrifices. And, not only the pots in the temple are to be considered holy, but every pot in the country will be holy to the LORD.

As the scripture says, "...and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein," we must resist the temptation to think of this as a blood sacrifice for the remission of sins. There will be no sinners in the holy city. "And there shall in no wise enter into it anything unclean, or he that maketh an abomination and a lie: but only they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." (Revelation 21:27) All sins will have been already atoned for by the blood of Christ. Instead, we should understand it as a declaration that those who worship in spirit and in truth, who offer the sacrifice of prayer, and who themselves are holiness unto the LORD, may cook in any pot in Judah, because everything will be clean and holy there.

"...and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts." By the time that Zechariah had written this passage, there were no more Canaanites. They had all been killed off as Israel moved in and took over the land.

Albert Barnes explained it best in his Notes on the Bible, "The actual Canaanite had long since ceased to be; the Gibeonites, the last remnant of them, had been absorbed among the people of God. But 'all Israel' were not 'of Israel.' Isaiah had called its princes and people, 'rulers of Sodom, people of Gomorrah' (Isaiah 1:10). Ezekiel had said, 'Thus saith the Lord God unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother a Hittite' (Ezekiel 16:3)." In other words, by Zechariah's time, "Canaanite" had become a slang term for a sinner or heathen. There certainly will be no more of those in the house of the LORD of hosts.

What a marvelous journey we have had in the book of Zechariah. Our study has taken us from the Jewish return from Babylonian captivity through to the end of the millennial reign of our Lord Jesus Christ. I hope that this study has given you a peek into the future and a renewed hope in the promises of our most holy God. As a Christian, you, my friend, have on your forehead the mark of God that says, "HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD." You must some day be placed in a land where you will be removed from all unclean and unholy people, places and things. Jesus has gone to prepare a place for you so that you can forever be where He is. I look forward to meeting you there.

Before The Throne:

Ask God to search the depths of your soul and to reveal any sins to you that He finds lurking there. Confess them openly to Him and ask Him to keep you from all temptations. Confess your inability to remain holy in an imperfect world and beg Him to do that for you. Ask Him to complete the work that He has begun in you. "But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:" (2 Thessalonians 2:13)

For Further Study:

** shall there. Prov 21:3-4; Isa 23:18; Obad 1:17; Zeph 2:11; Mal 1:11; Luke 11:41; Acts 10:15, 28; 11:9; 15:9; Rom 14:17-18; Col 3:17, 22-24; Titus 1:15-16; 1Pet 4:11; ** bells. Ex 28:33-35; ** HOLINESS. Exod 28:36; 39:30; Lev 8:9; Psa 110:3; 1Cor 3:16-17; 1Pet 2:5, 9; Rev 1:6; 5:10; 20:6; ** and the. Lev 6:28; 1Sam 2:14; Ezek 46:20-24; ** the bowls. Zech 9:15; Exod 25:29; 37:16; Num 4:7, 14; 7:13, 19, 84-85; 2Chron 4:8;

(v.21) ** every. Zech 7:6; Deut 12:7, 12; Neh 8:10; Rom 14:6-7; 1Cor 10:31; 1Tim 4:3-5; ** no more. Isa 4:3; 35:8; Ezek 44:9; Hos 12:7; Joel 3:17; Matt 21:12-13; Mark 11:15-17; John 2:15-16; 1Cor 6:9-11; Rev 18:11-15; 21:27; 22:15; ** in the. Eph 2:19-22; 1Tim 3:15; Heb 3:6; 1Pet 4:17;

Zechariah 14:16-19

Keeping the Feast

16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. 17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. 18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.

Although the armies of the nations that come against Jerusalem will be utterly destroyed by Christ, there will apparently be surviving remnants of the populations of those nations. These will be a defeated people, and every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. As the Hebrews during the Old Testament age, they will be required to go up to Jerusalem every year and worship the true King during the Feast of Tabernacles.

I do not believe that the people who will go up to worship the King, Yahweh of Hosts, are converted born again Christians. The idea is not that of worshiping one whom they look upon as their God, but as their King. Several translations simply say that they will go to Jerusalem to bow down to the King, like they would before any other conquering sovereign. Neither do we find that they are in any way a part of the church or have any spiritual relationship with God.

Neither should this passage be understood to support the dispensational view that Jesus will once again implement the Law of Moses during the millennial period. That view is almost blasphemous. "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect." (Hebrews 9:28-10:1) The ordinances of sacrifice were not only inadequate to take away the guilt of sin but, "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure." (Hebrews 10:4-6) God has no pleasure in those OT sacrifices, so why would he reinstate them during the millennium?

The Feast of Tabernacles is a celebration of what God has done for His people. It represents the time when the people of Israel were delivered from slavery in Egypt and escaped into the wilderness where they lived in booths or tents as free people. It is also symbolic of the time in the future when God will gather the nations around Himself. It is alternately named the Feast of In-gathering. The time of Christ's millennial reign is the fulfillment of this time and the people of every nation will be obligated to commemorate God's great works. The feast lasts eight days, the number eight generally signifying a new beginning. It represented the day when Israel would experience a new beginning in the promised land. It can also signify this new beginning at the return and millennial reign of Yahweh of hosts.

God will, however, continue His practice of punishing those who defy Him. The nations who refuse to come and bow down to their King will have no rain. This new King, whom they previously had not known, has the power to give or to withhold the rain from any nation. Egypt is mentioned here, perhaps because it was Israel's greatest enemy, because the plagues mentioned reminded the prophet of the exodus, or simply because the nation has symbolically represented sin throughout the scriptures. The nations who would defy God's will, even though He punished them with severe draught would also suffer the plagues similar to those inflicted on Egypt.

Thus, the book of Zechariah, begins to wind up its prophecy with the millennial reign of our Lord Jesus Christ. The book has many things in common with the book of Revelation. However, the most outstanding message of the book is that God will work His pleasure upon the people of the earth, and those who love Him and serve Him will always have hope in Jesus Christ, no matter how dire their present circumstances might appear to be. It is an awe inspiring plan that encompasses all of history, every nation, every individual person, every living creature, the heavenly bodies and even accounts for every hair on your head.

Those of us who know the LORD do not need to wait for the Feast of Tabernacles to bow down before Him. It is our honor and passion to have the opportunity to bow at His feet.

Before The Throne:

Give thanks today and everyday for the opportunities that God has given you to serve and to worship Him. Ask Him to help you keep your life focused on these end time promises that He has made to you. Pray that your life will be based on them. Ask Him for the faith and courage to do the things necessary to live in a way that will glorify Him in everything that you do.

For Further Study:

** that every. Zech 8:20-23; 9:7; Isa 60:6-9; 66:18-21, 23; Joel 2:32; Acts 15:17; Rom 9:23-24; 11:5, 16, 26; Rev 11:13, 15-17; ** the King. Psa 24:7-10; Isa 6:5; Jer 46:18; 48:15; 51:57; Mal 1:14; Luke 19:38; John 1:49; Phil 2:9-11; Rev 19:16; ** and to. Lev 23:33-36, 43; Num 29:12-38; Deut 16:13-16; 31:10-13; 2Chr 7:8-10; 2Chr 8:13; Ezra 3:4; Neh 8:14-18; Hos 12:9; John 7:2, 37-39;

(v.17) ** that. Psa 2:8-12; 110:5-6; Isa 45:23; 60:12; Jer 10:25; Rom 14:10-11; ** all. Gen 10:32; 12:3; 28:14; Amos 3:2; Acts 17:26-27; ** even. Deut 11:17; 28:23-24; 1Kgs 8:35; 17:1; 2Chr 6:26; 7:13; Isa 5:6; Jer 14:4, 22; Amos 4:7-8; Jas 5:17; Rev 11:6;

(v.18) ** that have no. Deut 11:10-11;

(v.19) ** punishment. John 3:19;

Zechariah 14:12-15

Terror from an Angry God

12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. 13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour. 14 And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance. 15 And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague.

This passage picks up God's declaration of war from the third verse and gives more detail about how He will fight against His enemies. It will not be the conventional type of warfare that one might expect. His army of angels and saints will not be engaged in a hand to hand combat with the heathen nations. God will fight as He did "in the day of battle."

"This shall be the plague..." This is the slaughter which God will bring upon every nation that gathered against Jerusalem. Their flesh will rot or melt on their bodies while they are standing on their feet. Albert Barnes called them "living corpses." What a gruesome sight it will be! In the Ancient Hebrew Lexicon of the Bible, the Hebrew root that is rendered as "consumed" is explained, "The pictograph /\/\/\ is a picture of water, the q is a picture of the sun at the horizon representing the gathering or condensing of light. Combined these mean "water condensed". During the summer months water holes begin to dry out and the organic matter that remains begins to rot and stink." The smell of rotting carcases will permeate the air. Men's eyes, those with which they looked despitefully and covetously upon God's chosen, will melt in their sockets and their tongues, full of blasphemy, will rot in their mouths.

Those who oppose our God ought to think twice. The power of One who could create the universe and all that is in it with just a few spoken words is not someone you want to go to war against. Barnes wrote, "Yet what, compared to the horrible inward decay of sin, whereby men 'have a name that they live and are dead?' (Rev 3:1)" What will happen to their bodies is nothing compared to what has already happened to their souls. The rotten stench of death lies within everyone who has not been redeemed by Christ. The scene before us is but the visible manifestation of that which is invisible. God, however, sees it all.

Not all will be consumed in that manner. Others will experience a great tumult from the LORD. The Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament calls it "panic terror" or what we commonly call a "panic attack." This, however, is not the fear held by one person but a terror that runs through the whole army. Imagine thousands of paranoid men turning one against the other with their swords raised. The flow of blood will be indescribable, as battle tested friendships are converted into panic stricken, violent contests, ending in the deaths of previously loyal comrades. Those who would survive would forever have to live with what they had done.

This is the way that the LORD fought in the day of battle. Remember the story of Gideon and his small army of only three hundred men going into battle against the Midianites. "And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the LORD set every man's sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath, and to the border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath." (Judges 7:22 also see 1 Samuel 14:20; 2Chronicles 20:23) No angel nor saint will lift a hand in this battle.

Next, the people of Judah, not just those of the territory but all who are descended from Judah, will turn and fight on the side of Jerusalem. They will gather all the wealth of the heathen nations, that which was taken earlier from Jerusalem and that which belonged to the heathen. There would be no profits for the enemies of the church, but only a total loss.

Finally, all the animals owned by the heathen nations will suffer the same fate as their owners. Their flesh will melt or rot away. They too will be like the living dead. Compare that with God's instructions to Israel in the wilderness, "If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which the LORD thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying, Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known; Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you; Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword." (Deuteronomy 13:12-15) Sin pollutes everything it touches, and polluted things must be destroyed.

If you are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, the scenes in this passage should be a great comfort to you. They demonstrate God's willingness to defend His own. But, this should also convince each of us of the urgency to spread the gospel to others. We cannot stand before God and say that we loved our neighbors as ourselves, if we have allowed them to face His wrath without so much as a word of warning from us. We must do more and we must do it quickly, because we do not know when the LORD will come.

Before The Throne:

Thank God for the love that He has shown you by sacrificing His Son so that you can live. Praise Him for His promises to defend His church and to avenge her from her enemies. Think of the horrors that the lost will face. The suffering in the passage we have studied cannot be nearly as horrible as an eternity in hell. Pray for God's guidance to help you get about the urgent work of sharing the gospel with everyone possible. About 79 people die every minute and at least 60 of them do not know Christ. How many of the 113,760 will you try to save today before it is too late? Pray about it.

For Further Study:

** the plague wherewith. Zech 14:3; 12:9; Psa 110:5-6; Isa 34:1-17; 66:15-16; Ezek 38:18-22; 39:4-6, 17-20; Joel 3:1-2; Mic 4:11-13; 5:8-9; 7:16-17; Rev 16:1-21; 19:17-21; ** Their flesh. Lev 26:18, 21, 24, 28; Deut 28:59; 2Chr 21:15, 18-19; Psa 90:11; Acts 12:23; Rev 9:5-6; 16:10-11, 21; 17:16; 18:6-8;

(v.13) ** a great. Zech 12:4; Judg 7:22; 1Sam 14:15-23; 2Chr 20:22-24; Ezek 38:21; Rev 17:12-17;

(v.14) Judah also shall. Zech 10:4-5; 12:5-7; ** and the. 2Kgs 7:6-18; 2Chr 14:13-15; 20:25-27; Isa 23:18; Ezek 39:9-10, 17-20;

Zechariah 14:10-11

Peace in Jerusalem

10 All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin's gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king's winepresses. 11 And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.

This passage, like other ones preceding it, can also be interpreted literally or symbolically, depending on the commentator. To understand it literally one must understand the geography of the area, so I will begin with a brief description.

Smith's Bible Dictionary describes Geba as, "a hill, a city of Benjamin, with "suburbs," allotted to the priests. (Joshua 21:17; 1 Chronicles 6:60) It is named amongst the first group of the Benjamite towns --apparently those lying near to and along the north boundary. (Joshua 18:24)" Benjamin was located adjacent to Judah's northern border and Benjamin's gate would be the gate of Jerusalem that opens on the north toward Benjamin. Smith's describes Rimmon as, "A town in the southern portion of Judah, (Joshua 15:3) allotted to Simeon, (Joshua 19:7; 1 Chronicles 4:32) probably 13 miles southwest of Hebron." The tower of Hananeel was located on the north wall of Jerusalem, but the exact location of the king's winepresses is not known. They were probably located on the south side of the city near the king's gardens.

This area is a long mountain range the center of which overlooks the city of Jerusalem. In the millennial reign of Christ, however, this mountain range will be leveled and Jerusalem will be lifted up, so that the city where the throne of Christ will be shall be above all of the surrounding country side. Men will look up to the house of God and not down upon it. "The hills melted like wax at the presence of the LORD, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth." (Psalms 97:5)

The power and holiness of our Lord is so awesome. "The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burned at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him. The LORD is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him." (Nahum 1:5-7)

The symbolic understanding of the passage is very similar. If Jerusalem represents the New Testament church, it is obvious that it must be exalted above all the surrounding powers. Mountains in prophecy often represent the governments or nations of the earth. So as Nahum said in the paragraph above, "Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger?" The worlds political powers must all melt in the presence of Christ, and He and His kingdom, the church, must be lifted up. The whole earth must be humbled before Him.

"He knoweth them that trust in Him." God's people will live in the city of Jerusalem and there will be no more war and destruction. Since the fall of Adam in the Garden of Eden, mankind has not known anything but the fear of death and destruction. Adam,s son, Cain, killed his own brother, and the slaughter of the innocent has never ended. But, when Jesus returns with His saints, there will be no more destruction.

Peace will reign throughout the earth, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will be safe for eternity. This is such an unbelievably beautiful promise that it is hard for us to imagine. No one has ever lived in an environment without fear of hatred, greed and violence. Can you picture it? Truly our God is a loving God who will care for all those who trust in Him.

Before The Throne:

Thank the Lord for His precious promises of safety and peace. Ask Him to help His church carry the gospel message to everyone who has never heard the name of Jesus. Ask Him to warn our national leaders of the time when all nations opposed to Christ will melt before Him. Praise Him for making you a part of His church and of His wonderful works. Always ask for His daily guidance so that you will not be a servant who is caught sleeping at Jesus' return.

For Further Study:

** the land. Zech 4:6-7; Isa 40:3-4; Luke 3:4-6; ** turned. Josh 21:17; 1Kgs 15:22; Isa 10:29; ** Rimmon. Josh 15:32; Judg 20:45, 47; 21:13; 1Chr 4:32; 6:77; ** inhabited. Zech 2:4; 12:6; Jer 30:18; ** from Benjamin's. 2Chr 25:23; Neh 3:1; 12:39; Jer 31:38-40; 37:13; 38:7;

(v.11) ** there. Num 21:3; Isa 60:18; Jer 31:40; Ezek 37:26; Joel 3:17, 20; Amos 9:15; Rev 21:4; 22:3; ** shall be safely inhabited. Zech 2:4; 8:4, 8; Isa 26:1; 66:22; Jer 23:5, 6; 33:15-16; Ezek 34:22-29;

Zechariah 14:8-9

The Living Waters

8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. 9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.

In a land where the rains were very seasonal and the summers were very dry, where the rivers and streams dried up for long periods each year and where fresh drinking water was at a premium, the thought of a river that would flow year round and stretch from the "former sea," the Eastern or Persian Sea, to the "hinder sea," the Western or Mediterranean Sea, must have been very inviting. These living waters would flow from the holy city, Jerusalem. This was the city which is now overseen and protected by the living and present Christ. It is the place from which all blessings flow.

Of course, we are reminded here of our Savior's words to the Samaritan woman, "If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water... But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." (John 14:10. 14) Later, at the feast in Jerusalem, He shouted, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water." (John 7:37-38) These are the waters that are typified in this verse from Zechariah.

Everyone who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ enjoys the gift of eternal life and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. So powerful is this life force within us that it must flow, it cannot be contained within any single person. It flows in the form of the gospel of God's love and with the force of the Holy Spirit. The rivers of living waters that flow from each Christian cannot be blocked or diverted by any mountains or other obstacle. They will flow summer, fall, winter or spring, up hill or down and from sea to sea. They carry the good news of redemption and forgiveness and are picked up and passed along to others by all who drink from them.

Jerusalem typifies the church of Jesus Christ, the hundreds of millions or perhaps billions of saints who have trusted in Christ over the many centuries. From them flow the rivers of living waters. They come with their Savior to flood the earth with the word of God. Like the force of a great tsunami the word will cover the earth, and no one will be able to resist its power.

Thus the millennial reign of our Lord begins. He rules over all the earth. He is the King of kings and the Lord of lords, the great I AM, the Alpha and Omega, and the beginning and the end. When His name is mentioned, every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. The names of every false god and idol ever invented by man will be totally forgotten. Now there will be but One Name above all names.

Can you feel the power working within you? Are the rivers of living water constantly yearning to flow from you? Let them go! Spill them out so that others can drink. Picture yourself standing in beautiful New Jerusalem with all the saints, sharing the kingdom with your Lord. Will He say, "Well done?" What greater motivation to spread the word could you want or need?

Before The Throne:

Pray, "Lord, let your Spirit pour forth from me, your humble servant. Make me your faithful disciple, a fisher of men. Give me the courage and boldness to be a radical fanatic for your Son whom I love. Give me the radical love for my neighbor that will cause me to sacrifice my comfort and safety to lead him to you. God, I thank you for your grace and for the opportunity to be one of your messengers."

For Further Study:

(v.8 )
** living. Ezek 47:1-12; Joel 3:18; Luke 24:47; John 4:10, 14; 7:38; Rev 22:1-2; 22:17; ** former. Joel 2:20; ** in summer. Isa 35:7; 41:17-18; 49:10; 58:11; Rev 7:16-17;

(v.9) ** the Lord. Zech 8:20-23; Gen 49:10; 1Sam 2:10; Psa 2:6-8; 22:27-31; 47:2-9; 67:4; 72:8-11, 17; 86:9; Isa 2:2-4; 45:22-25; 49:6-7; 54:5; 60:12-14; Dan 2:44-45; 7:27; Amos 9:12; Mic 4:1-3; 5:4; Zeph 3:9; Rev 11:15; ** one Lord. Eph 4:5-6; ** and. Jer 23:6; Matt 1:23; 28:19; Eph 3:14-15;

Zechariah 14:6-7

Light of the World

6 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: 7 But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.

In that day, when the Sun of Righteousness, coming with His saints, plants His feet on the Mount of Olives, "there shall not be light; the glorious ones will shrink." (Jay P. Green Sr., Literal Translation of the Bible, 1985) Compare this verse with Joel 3:15 "The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining," and with Isaiah 13:10 "For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine." The "glorious ones" are the heavenly bodies that shine so brilliantly as to light the earth, but their light will go out.

There can be no doubt that this is the day of which Jesus spoke, "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:" ( Matthew 24:29 also see Revelation 6:12)

The entire order of the universe will be changed by His coming. The earth will become dark for a short time, as the Sun of Righteousness approaches to take up the throne of David and to assume His sovereign place of authority over the earth. His enemies will tremble with fear. Day and night, as they had known it, will no longer exist. This is one day that is known only to Yahweh, a day which he has planned since eternity past, and a time which Jesus said was only known by the Father.

"But it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light." Where will the light come from? Well, in the New Jerusalem the same situation is said to exist. "And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof... And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there... And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 21:23, 25; 22:5)

Yes, Jesus Christ who is "the glory of God," is the light of the world. When He comes again there will be no need for outside sources of light. His magnificence will shine in every part of the universe. It will be a dazzling sight of which Moses only caught a glimpse, which in turn caused his face to shine so brightly that he had to wear a veil when he went before his people.

But, we do not have to wait for that day to experience the light of Jesus Christ. John 1:4 tells us that, "In him was life; and the life was the light of men." We can have eternal life by believing in Him and at the same time receive the light of the world. This is the light that shines on the word of God and brings meaning to it. It is the light that reveals the mysteries of the universe, the light that the natural man does not have. It is the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit who reveals all things godly to the people of Christ.

"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (John 8:12) As amazing as the light will be when Jesus returns and lights the world with His magnificent splendor, the light that you can have shining within you is much more precious. If you have never believed in Him and surrendered to Him, begin to study His word and seek His presence in your life. He promises to reward you with eternal life when you surrender this life to Him.

Before The Throne:

Pray for the light. Even if you know Him as your Savior, you can always pray for His light to shine in your life. Ask Him to make you the light of the world, so that others might find His eternal gift. Praise Him for allowing you to see God's love and power through the darkness of this world.

For Further Study:

** not. Psa 97:10-11; 112:4; Prov 4:18-19; Isa 50:10; 60:1-3; Hos 6:3; Luke 1:78-79; John 1:5; 12:46; Eph 5:8-14; Col 1:12;2Pet 1:19; Rev 11:3;

(v.7) ** it shall be one day. Rev 21:23; 22:5; ** which. Ps 37:18; Matt 24:36; Mark 13:32; Acts 1:7; 15:a18; 17:26, 31; 1Thess 5:2; ** at. Isa 9:7; 11:9; 30:26; 60:19-20; Dan 12:4; Hos 3:5; Rev 11:15; 14:6; 20:2-4; 21:3;