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December 27

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‘And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—this magnificent sum at which they valued me! So I took the thirty coins and threw them to the potter in the Temple of the Lord.’ (Zechariah 11:13 NLT).

From: December 27, 2019

THE THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER

Zechariah’s prophecy concerning the thirty pieces of silver was written around 500 years before Christ. In the prophecy, the Lord called Zechariah to shepherd the suffering flock of Judah and Israel, and he obeyed. He cared for the flock and removed the evil and worthless shepherds who had formerly been over the flock. Yet the people hated him. So, he revoked the covenant he had with them and asked for whatever wages they felt was owed him. They counted out thirty pieces of silver for his wages.
 
Zechariah would’ve recognized this amount as a slap in the face. For it was the amount prescribed in the Mosaic Law as the worth of a slave (See Ex. 21:32). So the Lord told Zechariah to “Throw it to the potter.” Zechariah sarcastically called the wages a “magnificent sum,” seeing that they had valued him as a slave. He obeyed the Lord and threw the thirty coins to the potter in the Temple.
 
One can’t help but notice the Messianic foreshadowing in this prophecy. Whatever meaning it had to those in Zechariah’s day, it had even greater fulfillment in Christ. For the religious rulers in the first century rejected the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ. They paid Judas Iscariot thirty pieces of silver to betray him. Yet afterwards, Judas regretted his betrayal and threw the silver into the Temple and went and hanged himself (See Matt. 27:5). The religious rulers knew that it was against the law to put the “blood money” into the Temple treasury, so they bought the Potter’s field with it as a burial place for strangers. Thus fulfilling the prophecy.
 
PRAYER: Dear Father, thank You for Your Word. It is wonderful to us. We are built up and encouraged in our faith by the fulfillment of the Messianic prophecies concerning Jesus. We do not reject Him, but we bow to Him as our Lord and Savior, the Good Shepherd who laid down His life for the sheep. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“The Lord protects the foreigners among us. He cares for the orphans and widows, but he frustrates the plans of the wicked.” (Psalm 146:9 NLT).

From: December 27, 2018

WHO THE LORD PROTECTS AND CARES FOR
The psalmist observed that the Lord protected the foreigner and cared for the orphan and the widow. These are the least of the inhabitants, not only in Israel, but in any nation. They have little in the way of possessions, power or prestige. So, they are often overlooked, or worse, they are used and abused. Yet, the Lord is their unseen protector.
 
However, the wicked in Israel, who apparently had all that the former lacked, did not have the Lord’s protection. In fact, they had attracted His enmity. The Lord worked against them to frustrate their plans.
 
I was raised in the house of a widow, the firstborn of four children. My father died of cancer when I was eight. We had little in the way of worldly things, yet we knew the Lord’s protection. I and my siblings are a testimony to this psalm. My mother often prayed the psalms to the Lord, especially that God would be a “Father to the fatherless and a defender of widows” (Psa. 68:5) as He promised.
 
I wonder what stand the Body of Christ should take concerning foreigners, orphans and widows? Aren’t we called to join our Lord in protecting and caring for the least of these? As the apostle James wrote, “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress” (James 1:27).
 
If we find our plans being frustrated, perhaps we should reconsider our stance. Let us stand with the Lord in this.

“Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul! While I live I will praise the Lord; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being” (Psalm 146:1-2 NKJV).

From: December 28, 2017

What was the psalmist’s resolution? To “praise the Lord!” The psalmist directed both his own “soul” and that of his audience to “praise the Lord!” This was a matter of firm resolve. He recognized the tendency of his soul to droop into discouragement and to focus on worldly things. Yet, he was determined that as long as he lived, he would live a life of worship.
 
In this season of making new year’s resolutions, perhaps we can join the psalmist. Let us resolve that while we “live” and have “being,” we will praise the Lord!

‘Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues” (Revelation 18:4 ESV)

From: December 27, 2016

“Another” voice called out, perhaps the voice of Christ to His people. He warned them, like the angel who told Lot to get out of Sodom, to come out of Babylon. Many have offered opinions as to the identity of Babylon, but the most convincing view is that it represents a future worldwide government, economy and religion. The warning from heaven to come out of Babylon included a two-part reason:
(1) “Lest you take part in her sins” – Those who continue to live in Babylon will be tempted to indulge in her sins.
(2) “Lest you share in her plagues” – Those who stay in Babylon after the Lord’s warning, will experience the plagues that follow.
Although this speaks of the end times, this two-part warning can still help guide believers today. If you are in a situation that continually tempts you to sin, come out. Leave Babylon before you take part in her sins and share in her plagues.

“And I heard another voice from heaven saying, ‘Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues'” (Revelation 18:4 NKJV)

From: December 27, 2015

John saw a vision of Babylon’s fall. Surely this was symbolic of a future event, since it had fallen to the Persians 500 years before John wrote. The vision described the fall of Babylon as affecting the world’s economic system. The fall was to take place in less than an hour. Cities don’t usually fall in one hour, but the modern economy can crash in minutes. We might take this as a warning to “come out” of dependence on the world’s economy and instead put our dependence on God. Be careful about being caught up in the idolatry of materialism and greed. Instead, “lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven” (Matt. 6:20). How do we “come out” of Babylon and “lay up” wealth in heaven? Decide to live on less, so you can give more. It is through giving that we invest in heaven.

“‘The fancy things you loved so much are gone,’ they cry. ‘All your luxuries and splendor are gone forever, never to be yours again’” (Revelation 18:14 NLT)

From: December 27, 2014

God revealed the fall of Babylon to John. Since the actual city of Babylon had fallen to the Persians over 500 years before John’s Revelation, this must be taken as a symbolic reference to a future event. Some see Babylon as symbolizing Rome (historic view), others see the city of New York, but a more convincing view is that Babylon symbolizes the world economic system. In this view, a sign of the end times is that the world will have a unified world economy that makes nations and merchants wealthy, while others are enslaved by it. Ultimately, Babylon will fall. Those who depend on the world’s economy will be disappointed. Those who depend on God’s provision will be satisfied.

“Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation. When his breath departs, he returns to the earth; on that very day his plans perish” (Psalm 146:3-4)

From: December 27, 2013

Those who put their trust in governments should recognize that they are only made up of men. These “princes” cannot save. Only God can save. Put your trust in God alone. Less politics. More prayer.

“And the Lord said to me, ‘Throw it to the potter’—this magnificent sum at which they valued me! So I took the thirty coins and threw them to the potter in the Temple of the Lord” (Zechariah 10:13)

From: December 27, 2012

This is just one of the over 300 Messianic prophecies fulfilled in Christ. This one was fulfilled in Judas’ betrayal of Jesus (Matt.27). Yet, not every biblical prophecy has been fulfilled. There are more. And God has a perfect promise-keeping, prophecy-fulfilling record, so stay alert. Perhaps we will be the generation who sees His return.

“…care for the lost, or seek the young, or heal the injured, or feed the healthy” (Zechariah 11:16)

From: December 27, 2011

What a worthless shepherd won’t do, the Good Shepherd will. The prophet foresaw a day when God would send a true and wise shepherd unlike the ones Israel had. Today, the church is the body of this Good Shepherd. How are we doing with the lost, young, injured and healthy?