24 December 2010

Dec 24

Reference links:
Old Testament

Zechariah's vision from yesterday finishes with four chariots going to the north, south, east, and west. These chariots carry the spirits of heaven who stand before the Lord. They have been sent to patrol the earth.

Zechariah's next message is about a future priest-king of Israel. The exiled Jews will send gold and silver, and Zechariah is instructed to make a crown from this. He is to put the crown upon the head of the high priest and tell him that he (or perhaps someone else) will be called the Branch and build a new temple. He will then rule as both priest and king. I am guessing this is generally taken as a prophecy about some future unknown priest-king since Jeshua never actually fulfilled that role.

Zechariah receives another message in answer to a question from the people of Bethel. The messengers asked whether or not they should continue to mourn and fast and the day the temple was destroyed. Zechariah responds that this fasting and mourning was always more for themselves than for the Lord. Like the people of Jerusalem in the past, they ignored the Lord's desire for kindness and social justice and focused on empty ritual. For this they were punished. The returned exiles should take this as a lesson.

New Testament

More repetition of actions! At least this time we do not have to read about each one individually. The author sees seven angels holding the seven last plagues. Before they commence their destruction, the victors of the battle with the beast sing a song of praise. Once that is complete, the seven angels pour out the plagues.

And that's all that happens in today's rather short reading.

Psalms and Proverbs

Another set of four things! These things are small but unusually wise: ants, hyraxes, locusts, and lizards.