While in exile, the people fasted and “acted religious,” but were their hearts really in tune with the Lord’s will? Watch that your religious activities flow from a repentant heart.

BibleGateway: Zechariah 7:1-14

ESV Text: Zechariah 7:1-14

Zechariah 7 (Listen)

A Call for Justice and Mercy

7:1 In 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. Now the people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-melech and their men to entreat the favor of the LORD, saying 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?”

Then the word of the LORD of hosts came to me: “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? And when you eat and when you drink, do you not eat for yourselves and drink for yourselves? Were 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?’”

And the word of the LORD came to Zechariah, saying, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, 10 do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.” 11 But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear.1 12 They 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 I2 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.”

Footnotes

[1] 7:11 Hebrew and made their ears too heavy to hear

[2] 7:13 Hebrew he

(ESV)


KJV Text: Zechariah 7:1-14

The section starts at about 0:0 and ends at about 2:22

     1 And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Darius, that the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah in the fourth day of the ninth month, even in Chisleu; 2 When they had sent unto the house of God Sherezer and Regemmelech, and their men, to pray before the LORD, 3 And to speak unto the priests which were in the house of the LORD of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years? 4 Then came the word of the LORD of hosts unto me, saying, 5 Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, even to me? 6 And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did not ye eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves? 7 Should ye not hear the words which the LORD hath cried by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and the cities thereof round about her, when men inhabited the south and the plain?

     8 And the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah, saying, 9 Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother: 10 And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart. 11 But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. 12 Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts. 13 Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the LORD of hosts: 14 But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus the land was desolate after them, that no man passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land desolate.(KJV)


Hymn: TLH 417 :
How Can I Thank Thee, Lord

Hymnary.org — Organ Audio

1. How can I thank Thee, Lord,
For all Thy loving-kindness,
That Thou hast patiently
Borne with me in my blindness?
When dead in many sins
And trespasses I lay,
I kindled, holy God,
Thine anger every day.

2. It is Thy work alone
That I am now converted;
O’er Satan’s work in me
Thou hast Thy power asserted.
Thy mercy and Thy grace
That rise afresh each morn
Have turned my stony heart
Into a heart new-born.

3. I could but grieve Thee, Lord,
And with my sins displease Thee;
Yet to atone for sin
My works could not appease Thee.
Though I could fall from grace
And choose the way of sin,
I had no strength to rise,
A new life to begin.

4. But Thou hast raised me up
To joy and exultation
And clearly shown the way
That leads me to salvation.
My sins are washed away,
For this I thank thee, Lord;
And with my heart and soul
All dead works are abhorred.

5. Grant that Thy Spirit’s help
To me be always given
Lest I should fall again
And lose the way to heaven;
That He may give me strength
In mine infirmity
And e’er renew my heart
To serve Thee willingly.

6. Oh, guide and lead me, Lord,
While here below I wander
That I may follow Thee
Till I shall see Thee yonder.
For if I led myself,
I soon would go astray;
But if Thou leadest me,
I keep the narrow way.

7. O Father, God of Love,
Hear Thou my supplication;
O Savior, Son of God,
Grant me Thy full salvation;
And Thou, O Holy Ghost,
Be Thou my faithful Guide
That I may serve Thee here
And there with Thee abide.


Hymn: LSB 703 :
How Can I Thank You, Lord

Hymnary.org

1. How can I thank You, Lord,
For all Your loving-kindness,
That You have patiently
Borne with me in my blindness!
When dead in many sins
And trespasses I lay,
I kindled, holy God,
Your anger ev’ry day.

2. It is Your work alone
That I am now converted;
O’er Satan’s work in me
You have Your pow’r asserted.
Your mercy and Your grace
That rise afresh each morn
Have turned my stony heart
Into a heart newborn.

3. Lord, You have raised me up
To joy and exultation
And clearly shown the way
That leads me to salvation.
My sins are washed away;
For this I thank You, Lord.
Now with my heart and soul
All evil I abhor.

4. Grant that Your Spirit’s help
To me be always given
Lest I should fall again
And lose the way to heaven.
Grant that He give me strength
In my infirmity;
May He renew my heart
To serve You willingly.

5. O Father, God of love,
Now hear my supplication;
O Savior, Son of God,
Accept my adoration;
O Holy Spirit, be
My ever faithful guide
That I may serve You here
And there with You abide.


By His death and resurrection Jesus has conquered for us all the evil and trouble that the world can throw at us. Hallelujah!

BibleGateway: John 16:25-33

ESV Text: John 16:25-33

John 16:25–33 (Listen)

I Have Overcome the World

25 “I have said these things to you in figures of speech. The hour is coming when I will no longer speak to you in figures of speech but will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.1 28 I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.”

29 His disciples said, “Ah, now you are speaking plainly and not using figurative speech! 30 Now we know that you know all things and do not need anyone to question you; this is why we believe that you came from God.” 31 Jesus answered them, “Do you now believe? 32 Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

Footnotes

[1] 16:27 Some manuscripts from the Father

(ESV)


KJV Text: John 16:25-33

The section starts at about 3:16 and ends at about 4:34

25 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. 26 At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: 27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.

     28 I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father. 29 His disciples said unto him, Lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. 30 Now are we sure that thou knowest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee: by this we believe that thou camest forth from God. 31 Jesus answered them, Do ye now believe? 32 Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. 33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.(KJV)


Hymn: WS 736 :
At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing

Hymnary.org

1. At the Lamb’s high feast we sing
Praise to our victorious king,
Who has washed us in the tide
Flowing from his pierced side.
Alleluia!

2. Mighty Victim from the sky,
Hell’s fierce powers beneath you lie;
You have conquered in the fight
You have brought us life and light.
Alleluia!

3. Now no more can death appall,
Now no more the grave enthrall;
You have opened paradise,
And your saints in you shall rise.
Alleluia!

4. Easter triumph, Easter joy!
This alone can sin destroy;
From sin’s power, Lord, set us free,
Newborn souls in you to be.
Alleluia!

5. Father, who the crown shall give,
Savior, by whose death we live,
Spirit, guide through all our days;
Three in One, Your name we praise.
Alleluia!


Hymn: LSB 633 :
At the Lamb’s High Feast We Sing

Hymnary.org

1. At the Lamb’s high feast we sing
Praise to our victorious King,
Who has washed us in the tide
Flowing from His piercèd side.
Alleluia!

2. Praise we Him, whose love divine
Gives His sacred blood for wine,
Gives His Body for the feast–
Christ the victim, Christ the priest.
Alleluia!

3. Where the paschal blood is poured,
Death’s dread angel sheathes the sword;
Israel’s hosts triumphant go
Through the wave that drowns the foe.
Alleluia!

4. Praise we Christ, whose blood was shed,
Paschal victim, paschal bread;
With sincerity and love
Eat we manna from above.
Alleluia!

5. Mighty Victim from the sky,
Hell’s fierce pow’rs beneath You lie;
You have conquered in the fight,
You have brought us life and light.
Alleluia!

6. Now no more can death appall,
Now no more the grave enthrall;
You have opened paradise,
And Your saints in You shall rise.
Alleluia!

7. Easter triumph, Easter joy!
This alone can sin destroy;
From sin’s pow’r, Lord, set us free,
Newborn souls in You to be.
Alleluia!

8. Father, who the crown shall give,
Savior, by whose death we live,
Spirit, guide through all our days;
Three in One, Your name we praise.
Alleluia!