YOU’VE GOT A FRIEND IN ME
I thank You, my God, that You are always with me.
Read Zechariah 10:1–12
The Lord Will Care for Judah
10 Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime;
it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms.
He gives showers of rain to all people,
and plants of the field to everyone.
2 The idols speak deceitfully,
diviners see visions that lie;
they tell dreams that are false,
they give comfort in vain.
Therefore the people wander like sheep
oppressed for lack of a shepherd.
3 “My anger burns against the shepherds,
and I will punish the leaders;
for the Lord Almighty will care
for his flock, the people of Judah,
and make them like a proud horse in battle.
4 From Judah will come the cornerstone,
from him the tent peg,
from him the battle bow,
from him every ruler.
5 Together they[a] will be like warriors in battle
trampling their enemy into the mud of the streets.
They will fight because the Lord is with them,
and they will put the enemy horsemen to shame.
6 “I will strengthen Judah
and save the tribes of Joseph.
I will restore them
because I have compassion on them.
They will be as though
I had not rejected them,
for I am the Lord their God
and I will answer them.
7 The Ephraimites will become like warriors,
and their hearts will be glad as with wine.
Their children will see it and be joyful;
their hearts will rejoice in the Lord.
8 I will signal for them
and gather them in.
Surely I will redeem them;
they will be as numerous as before.
9 Though I scatter them among the peoples,
yet in distant lands they will remember me.
They and their children will survive,
and they will return.
10 I will bring them back from Egypt
and gather them from Assyria.
I will bring them to Gilead and Lebanon,
and there will not be room enough for them.
11 They will pass through the sea of trouble;
the surging sea will be subdued
and all the depths of the Nile will dry up.
Assyria’s pride will be brought down
and Egypt’s scepter will pass away.
12 I will strengthen them in the Lord
and in his name they will live securely,”
declares the Lord.
a Zechariah 10:5 Or ruler, all of them together. / 5 They
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.
ReflectRecall times when the Lord has strengthened you during trial, temptation, loss or illness. How did you feel about these times?
The Lord loves his people and desires the very best for us. That’s why he’s grieved when we trust in things that will only lead us into confusion. Like when we look to sources other than him for advice, guidance and truth (2). It also explains his anger when “the shepherds” (3) fail to encourage prayerful dependence and thankfulness, acknowledging the Lord as the provider of all our needs (1).
The Lord is determined that his people triumph in the battles they face (5) and overcome their enemies. Ultimately, this finds fulfillment in Jesus’ followers whose major characteristic, according to Revelation, is that they overcome and are victorious (Revelation 2:7, 11, 17, 26). The Lord strengthens his people (6, 12) so that, despite the onslaught of a “hopelessly confused” world and facing “mighty powers” (Ephesians 4:17; 6:12, NLT), we can stand firm. The Lord’s people may be scattered and living in lands where his name is of little significance (10, 11) – these could equally be London, Beijing, Moscow, or Riyadh – but he will bring them safely home. We trust the Lord. Like Mr. Valiant in Pilgrim’s Progress, “there’s no discouragement shall make him [us] once relent” (John Bunyan, 1684).
Do you see yourself as engaged in a spiritual battle? What is your biggest struggle? Share that with someone today who might pray with you.
God, I need You. Be my strength – fight for me.
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