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Tuesday, July 16th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Daily Devotionals
Day by Day Devotional - Year 5 of 5
Devotional: July 16th

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Zechariah 7:1-14

Following the book of visions (ch. 1-6), the book of oracles commences. A visit by the inhabitants of Bethel (v. 2 JND trans.) to inquire if they are to continue to fast and lament is the occasion for the first utterance of the prophet. Before replying, he appeals to their conscience (cf. Luke 13:23-24; Luke 20:2-3; Luke 20:22-25). This fasting was in self pity for their disasters, rather than a mark of true repentance. Later it even became for the Jewish hypocrites a means of honouring themselves, which the Lord Jesus vehemently denounced (Matthew 6:16). But the serious question raised in v. 5 seems, dear friends, to be like God’s finger pointing to our heart, challenging us as to the true motive of our actions: "Did ye at all fast unto me, even to me?" The outward forms of piety do not deceive Him. On the other hand nothing escapes His notice which is done in love for Him. He was not mistaken about Mary’s gesture: "She hath wrought a good work on me," said the Lord Jesus (Mark 8:35; Mark 14:6).

God, who is Light and Love, recalls His never-changing requirements: truth and mercy (v. 9 . . .). What He found, alas, the shrug of the shoulders, dull ears, "hearts as an adamant stone", explain and justify His severe punishment.

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