GOD’S PEOPLE CLEANSED
Mighty God, renew my sense of thankfulness in worship, and show me what you want of me. I bless your name.
Read Zechariah 13
Cleansing From Sin
13 “On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.
2 “On that day, I will banish the names of the idols from the land, and they will be remembered no more,” declares the Lord Almighty. “I will remove both the prophets and the spirit of impurity from the land. 3 And if anyone still prophesies, their father and mother, to whom they were born, will say to them, ‘You must die, because you have told lies in the Lord’s name.’ Then their own parents will stab the one who prophesies.
4 “On that day every prophet will be ashamed of their prophetic vision. They will not put on a prophet’s garment of hair in order to deceive. 5 Each will say, ‘I am not a prophet. I am a farmer; the land has been my livelihood since my youth.[a]’ 6 If someone asks, ‘What are these wounds on your body[b]?’ they will answer, ‘The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.’
The Shepherd Struck, the Sheep Scattered
7 “Awake, sword, against my shepherd,
against the man who is close to me!”
declares the Lord Almighty.
“Strike the shepherd,
and the sheep will be scattered,
and I will turn my hand against the little ones.
8 In the whole land,” declares the Lord,
“two-thirds will be struck down and perish;
yet one-third will be left in it.
9 This third I will put into the fire;
I will refine them like silver
and test them like gold.
They will call on my name
and I will answer them;
I will say, ‘They are my people,’
and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhen rebellious people become spiritually responsive, there is cleansing work to be done. This was true for Israel, but also is for us today. How might God want to clean up your life?
In this chapter, Zechariah looks forward to the day of the Lord, that time when God steps in to bring about the righting of wrongs (v 1). In verses 2–6 we read about the removal of false prophets from God’s people. These prophets have spoken lies, but in that day Israel will desire to obey the Law and will remove them. False prophets will claim that their self-inflicted idol worship wounds were just scars from brawling friends (v 6)!
In contrast to the false prophets, shockingly, God calls on death to strike the good shepherd (v 7). Jesus, the man close to God, suffers death, and the people of God are scattered (Matthew 26:31). Fascinatingly, one-third of the nation is refined by its experience until it calls on the name of the Lord (vs 8,9). Then God’s plan of the ages comes to pass: they will be his people and he will be their God (v 9; Exodus 6:7; Jeremiah 32:38).
We are reading a passage about God’s work in Israel, and yet God’s heart toward the church today remains the same. He wants to refine us, so that we can enjoy our relationship with him to the fullest.
Ask God to continue his cleansing work in your heart and life. The joy that awaits us in deeper relationship with him is worth it!
Lord Jesus, You were made sin for me and a curse for me. Your bore the condemnation for my sins on the Cross and set me free, Hallelujah, what a Savior!
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