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The Scriptorium

A Future and a Hope

Here, but yet to come. Zechariah 11-14

Return from Exile: Zechariah 11-14 (7)

Pray Psalm 67.1-3.

God be merciful to us and bless us,
And cause His face to shine upon us,
That Your way may be known on earth,
Your salvation among all nations.
Let the peoples praise You, O God;
Let all the peoples praise You.

Sing Psalm 67.1, 2.
(Solid Rock: My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less)
O bless us, Savior, by Your grace, and shine upon us with Your face,
that we Your way may loud proclaim and tell to all the earth Your fame!
Refrain v. 3 (5)
Let all the peoples praise You, Lord, rejoicing in Your holy Word!
Rejoicing in Your holy Word!

Review Zechariah 11-14; meditate on Zechariah 12.10.

1. What did God promise to pour out?

2. What would be the effect of this?


The people of Israel, captive in Babylon for seventy years, had been released by Cyrus to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple of the Lord. Upon arriving, they gave thanks and began gathering materials for the temple project.

But no sooner had they laid the footprint of the new temple than they became discouraged, distracted, and disobedient. Though they were no longer in Babylon, they had fallen captive to self-interest, false dreams, and the way of ease. God sent Haggai to confront them in their sin and get them back to work. Under Joshua and Zerubbabel, the work on the temple resumed.

But it seemed to the people like such a “small thing.” And the surrounding nations were mocking and making threats. So the work slowed, because the people could not see beyond the present moment, and what they saw in that moment made them uneasy and uncomfortable, because they were still captive to self.

Zechariah came to lead the people to remember that God had greater, longer term plans for them, to give them a future and a hope (Jer. 29.11). A Branch was coming for their salvation. He would build up Jerusalem in peace and open the way for all the nations to flow into the people of God. From there, the people of God would branch out over all the earth. And the key to this future and hope was the outpouring of the Spirit. He would take their eyes off themselves and set them on the Pierced One. They would mourn for their sins, and He would cause them to prosper and bear much fruit. That was yet to come. For now, the people must not despise the day of small things, but must take up the task at hand, bringing holiness to completion in all their work.

Churches today need to hear this message, so that we will stop fixating on ourselves but look to Jesus, consider Him in His glory, receive from Him our individual callings, and take up all the small stuff of our lives unto the holiness of God, looking ahead to the coming Day of the Lord.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2.10).

Dr. Andrew Bobb, our beloved son-in law, now retired from his faithful service in the Navy,
is the recently elected Mayor, in a very small city. He is working his new Personal Mission Field.
We have known Andy for a very long time, since before he was our son-in-law, and he has always served God. Wherever he has been, he has been God’s man.
Kristy and Andy now attend a small church, in their respective small city.
Their church recently had a small sing-along to bring praise and glory to God.
With their beautiful voices, they sang a few duets.
Then Andy, in his resonant bass voice, sang this small song, in his small church, in the small city in which they now live and serve:

Ah, holy Jesus, how has Thou offended,
That man to judge Thee hath in hate pretended?
By foes derided, by Thine own rejected,
O most afflicted!

Who was the guilty? Who brought this upon Thee?
Alas, my treason, Jesus, hath undone Thee!
‘Twas I, Lord Jesus, I it was denied Thee;
I crucified Thee.

For me, kind Jesus, was Thy incarnation,
Thy mortal sorrow, and Thy life’s oblation;
Thy death of anguish and Thy bitter passion,
For My salvation.

Therefore, kind Jesus, since I cannot pay Thee,
I do adore Thee, and will ever pray Thee,
Think on Thy pity and Thy love unswerving,
Not my deserving.
(Johann Heermann, 1630)

Jesus, sung about in a small church, in a small city, by a man who loves Him.
That, my friends, is huge in the eyes of Him Who was praised and glorified.
God never despises the “day of small things” (Zech. 4.10).

“For now, the people must not despise the day of small things, but must take up the task at hand, bringing holiness to completion in all their work.” Thank you, Andy, for doing just that!

For reflection

1. What does it mean to bring holiness to completion in your life?

2. What “small things” has God given you for today? How will you do them to His glory?

3. Whom will you encourage today to be faithful in the “small things”?

Zechariah promises here more than before; for he speaks not here of God's external aid, by which they were to be defended, but of inward grace, by which God would pour hidden joy into their hearts, that they might know and find by a sure experience that he was propitious to them. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on Zechariah 12.10

Pray Psalm 67.4-6.
Give praise to God that He has poured out His Spirit into your life. Look to Jesus, exalted in glory, and declare renewed love for Him. Thank the Lord for His many blessings, and commit yourself to blessing your world today for His sake.

Sing Psalm 67.4-6.
(Solid Rock: My Hope Is Build on Nothing Less)
Let all the nations gladly sing and joyous praise before You bring.
You judge them by Your holy worth and guide the nations of the earth.
Refrain v. 3 (5)
Let all the peoples praise You, Lord, rejoicing in Your holy Word!
Rejoicing in Your holy Word!

The earth in full its bounty yields—the blessed harvest of the fields.
We gather blessings from Your Word that all the earth may fear You, Lord.
Refrain v. 3 (5)

T. M. and Susie Moore 

Two books can help us understand our own captivity and lead us to seek revival and renewal in the Lord. The Church Captive asks us to consider the ways the Church today has become captive to the world. And Revived! can help us find the way to renewal. Learn more and order your free copies by clicking here and here.

Support for Scriptorium comes from our faithful and generous God, who moves our readers to share financially in our work. If this article was helpful, please give Him thanks and praise.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available free by clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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