Return to Me and I Will Return to You

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ZECHARIAH 1:1-21 | REVELATION 12:1-17 | PSALM 140:1-13 | PROVERBS 30:17

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Zechariah is the last of the minor prophets charged with the responsibility of telling the people of Israel what they’ve known all along:  that they are in danger of risking the wrath of the Lord unless they turn from their ways.

It is God’s method to teach by repetition. Which is what is happening here.

Zechariah plays the Lord’s mouthpiece when he says to the people:  ‘Return to me,’ declares the LORD Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the LORD Almighty.

Turning next to our reading in the book of Revelation, we find that Chapter 12 is a terrifying passage so vivid with imagery that I cannot trust myself to interpret it.  I therefore turned to a scholarly commentary, and will cite it right here as a remarkable account of the meaning of this passage.  I have heard this passage quoted in bits and pieces in many an apocalyptic sermon, and this is a reasonably accurate account of it.  Click here!

In essence, the woman is Israel and the child is Jesus Christ, the Messiah.  The rest of the description of the end-times is quite simply terrifying, but perhaps not so much when you know that your future is secure and nothing on earth, or in heaven, or in hell can tear you apart from the one who has bought you with a blood-price, or as John says, “those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus”.

Next, this psalm of David causes me to think of an interesting trait that this king of Israel had:  he certainly did not hesitate to speak his mind to God about what exactly he wished upon his enemies, and what he’d like from God.  What confidence!  What utter faith! 

David says:

9 Those who surround me proudly rear their heads;
   may the mischief of their lips engulf them.
10 May burning coals fall on them;
   may they be thrown into the fire,
   into miry pits, never to rise.
11 May slanderers not be established in the land;
   may disaster hunt down the violent.

I suppose I could question David’s sense of justice or his concept of forgiveness, but I don’t wish to.  This was a man full of flaws and yet one who had a heart for God in so passionate a way that it would certainly put to shame everyone in the most devout of us all.

And finally, the verse of the day from Proverbs is as follows.  Solomon, wise king of Israel, says:

17 “The eye that mocks a father,
   that scorns an aged mother,
will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley,
   will be eaten by the vultures.

It hearkens to one of the fundamental laws, of course: honor your father and mother.

May God bless the reading and reflection of His Word.  Amen.

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