Inside Story: Nothing to Lose
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Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

What’s happened to me?

Image © Krieg Barrie from GoodSalt.com

Solomoni [sohl-oh-MOH-nee] asked himself. He was still a teenager, but he knew that he had messed up his life. He had disobeyed his parents and joined a gang of teenagers who stole and used drugs. God has condemned me for what I’ve done, he thought. I’m lost. There’s no hope for me; I have nothing to lose. With this attitude, he continued living a life of crime. In time he was arrested for and sent [...]

Thursday: Beyond Fasting
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

During Zechariah’s third year of ministry, a delegation from Bethel came to Jerusalem to ask the priests and the prophets a question (see Zech. 7:1-3).

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

When they were in exile in Babylon, the people fasted during the fifth month to mourn the destruction of the temple (2 Kings 25:8-9). This was in addition to the fasts held in the fourth, seventh, and the tenth months (Zech. 8:19). In the fourth month, the breaching of the wall [...]

Wednesday: Not by Human Power
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Read Zechariah 4. What hope is being presented to the people?

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In this vision, Zechariah sees a lampstand fed by two olive trees, which refers back to the candlestick located in the Holy Place of the wilderness tabernacle (Exod. 25:31-40). The seven lamps are arranged around a large bowl that serves as a reservoir of oil.

The bowl, with its bountiful supply of oil, symbolizes the fullness of God’s power through His Spirit. The seven lamps shine [...]

Tuesday: God’s Readiness to Forgive
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Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

Read Zechariah 3. How is the gospel portrayed here?

Image © Steve Creitz from GoodSalt.com

With, perhaps, the exception of Isaiah 53, no portion of the Old Testament better reveals the wonderful truth of salvation by faith alone than does Zechariah 3. In this vision, the high priest Joshua is being tried on accusations brought forth by the official accuser, Satan. The accusations against the high priest also apply to the nation which he represented. The name Joshua (also spelled as Jeshua) means “the Lord saves” (see Matt. [...]

Monday: The Lord Is Coming
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Read Zechariah 2.

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It records a vision in which the prophet is shown a renewed Jerusalem, so full of people that it overspreads its walls. It will attract countless Gentiles as well, a thought that must have sounded very strange to the people. Verse 10 begins with a call to joy, followed by the reason for such jubilation: the personal coming of the Lord to live among His people.

The Lord’s dramatic return to dwell in His rebuilt house [...]

Sunday: Comforting Words of Life
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Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com

Read Zechariah 1.

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What is the essential message here? Focus especially on Zechariah 1:3. What is the Lord saying to the people?

The return from the exile to Babylon sparked joy in the hearts of the remnant people. But the return also caused anxiety. Would they be safe and secure in their land, or would enemies come again to harass them? Had God forgiven their past unfaithfulness, or would He continue their punishment? What did the future hold [...]

Sabbath: Visions of Hope
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Read for This Week’s Study: Zechariah 1, 2, Rom. 15:9-18, Eph. 3:1-8, Zechariah 3, 4, Exod. 25:31-40, Zechariah 7.

Memory Text: “‘In that day each of you will invite his neighbor to sit under his vine and fig tree,” declares the Lord Almighty’” (Zechariah 3:10, NIV).

Key Thought: Though Israel had been punished for its sins, it was time to live again in relationship with God according to His promises.

On the wall of an old castle in central Europe a short Latin inscription reads: “Dum spiro, spero!” It means, “As long as I [...]

Further Study: First Things First!
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“But even this dark hour was not without hope for those whose trust was in God. The prophets Haggai and Zechariah were raised up to meet the crisis. In stirring testimonies these appointed messengers revealed to the people the cause of their troubles. The lack of temporal prosperity was the result of a neglect to put God’s interests first, the prophets declared. Had the Israelites honored God, had they shown Him due respect and courtesy, by making the building of [...]

Inside Story: Standing Up for Jesus, part 2
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Image © John Clement from GoodSalt.com

Bien’s family refused to allow her to attend the Adventist church.

Image © John Clement from GoodSalt.com

When she insisted, they tried to force her to live with her grandmother on a small island. Bien tried to hide her fear. She wanted to continue her schooling, but the island had no school.

She refused to be separated from the people at the church, people who were praying for her, who encouraged her, and who had shown her what true love was. When [...]

Thursday: The Lord’s Signet Ring
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

“‘“On that day,” declares the Lord Almighty,

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“I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,” declares the Lord, “and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,” declares the Lord Almighty.’” (Hag. 2:23, NIV).

The final message from the Lord to Haggai was given on the same day as the previous one in order to complement it (see Hag. 2:22-23). The Lord warned of a coming destruction of kingdoms and [...]