Beauty and bands

The Holy Spirit is my Teacher and Guide, He is never remote.

The prophet Zechariah shows us clearly and responsibly how vital it is for us to know and live Truth and to have the Truth of God’s Word (Colossians 3:16) dwelling in us with all the treasures of its richness.  Zechariah (Zechariah 11) had become weary of the priests and prophets who were false teachers, even though they were appointed to be the shepherds of the people and feed those sheep with God’s Truth.  These false shepherds had no sense of guilt and did nothing to protect the sheep from wolves.  In their arrogance they actually said that their ill-gotten wealth was a blessing from the Lord!  If you don’t know how essential it is to spend time every day to read and meditate on God’s Word, then learn from Zechariah.  The false prophet shepherds, in their pride, sought for their own glory.  In the midst of the grief and anguish, the Lord told Zechariah to shepherd the flock destined for slaughter.  The Lord said that He would raise up a false shepherd in the land and bring judgment upon them.  The false shepherd will give them no protection and will fatten himself by exploiting the flock.  So Zechariah tended the flock, these most miserable of sheep.  He took two shepherd staffs and called one staff Beauty, representing the Grace of God.  He called the other staff Bands, representing our union with God.  He cut off three of the false shepherd prophets.  Then Zechariah said he would no longer be their shepherd and he broke his staff Beauty as a sign that there was no place or time for repentance, Grace had come to an end for prophet, priest and people.  They had neglected, rejected, despised God’s truth until nothing was left for them but judgment.  When Zechariah was finally paid his wages, they weighed out for him the 30 pieces of silver.  A pitiful and paltry sum for a faithful prophet who continually taught the Truth of God’s Word.

God told Zechariah to cast his silver to the potter, (as if He had said – to the dogs), it was so revolting to the Lord.  Their value of Truth and of God’s shepherd Zechariah, was insulting and repugnant to the Lord.  So Zechariah cast the silver to the potter in the house of the Lord.  Then he broke the staff Bands in pieces to signify the ending of the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.  Then the Lord said to take up once more the rod of a shepherd but this time to wretched and worthless shepherds.  Judgment is often God giving them up to more and more of the same sin that seduced them and captivated them in the first place.

The Lord declared that He would raise up a false shepherd who would neglect and abuse the sheep in every way for his own profit.  If you neglect, refuse and reject the Word of God, what will the Word of God declare to you and about you on the Day of Judgment?  Do you enjoy heart-peace with God in the Beauty of His Grace?  Is your relationship with the Lord deepening in the Bands of your Union with Him?  These words written by Zechariah are not merely recorded incidents of ancient history.  They are for us now because they are the ever-living Words of the eternal Sovereign God!  They are intended to warn, teach, equip us to be filled with and loyal to the Truth of God and the God of Truth,

God said (2 Kings 5:10-14) dip seven times in the Jordan.  Naaman dipped six times and he was still a leper.  When he dipped the seventh time, he came out of the water totally cleansed and completely healed.  Jonah learned the hard way.  God told him (Jonah 1:1, Jonah 1:17) to go to Nineveh but he disobeyed and tried to escape to Joppa rather than follow God’s instruction.  So God prepared a great fish to swallow him whole. 

God told the prophet (1 Kings 13:17-24) not to eat or drink in that place but he disregarded God’s orders and chose to believe the lies of a foolish prophet and went to his home for lunch.  So God prepared a lion to put an end to his eating and drinking.  If you are a deliberately disobedient Christian, let me warn you, God has not run short of sea monsters and lions.  They come in many different forms.  How dreadful it would be to come to (2 Corinthians 5:10) the Judgment Seat of Christ if my last act on earth had been one of disobedience to the Living God!!!  If we are so identified with Jesus, have oneness of spirit with Him, then. obedience will be our only option, our only choice, our only desire.  (Oswald Chambers) “obedient believers are blessed because behind every obedience is the Reality of Almighty God.”  The Holy Spirit is my Teacher and Guide but He does not guide me from a distance, He is never remote.  He guides me in loving, gentle, patient companionship with me.

I enter into (Hebrews 4:10) God’s rest when I rest from my own self-effort works, surrender fully to Jesus so that He can work His works in and through me.  Then my life is filled with the beauty of His works instead of the ashes of mine.  My safety and security is equal with God’s sovereignty because - - my heavenly Father knows my needs (Matthew 6:32) before they exist.  He takes thought (Psalms 40:17) and plans for me.  His thoughts develop His plans (Romans 8:28-29) which He uses to make me more like Jesus.  His plans for me (Jeremiah 29:11) are my eternal assurance of a glorious outcome and a shining future where I will be (1 Thessalonians 4:17) forever with my Lord.  While I am still on earth, God engineers every detail of my life.  Therefore, everything He sends, allows, permits, ordains in my life is God’s will for me.  Nothing happens by chance and my circumstances are sacred.  God’s purpose in my circumstances of situation and individually is that I will pray for them, wherever He places me in the circumstances He has arranged.  Since all my circumstances are God’s will for me, I need have no concern about how things will turn out.

This liberating Truth has completely freed me from the dread of a particular and often encounter.  Because this is part of God’s will for me.  I can (1 Thessalonians 5:18) joyfully give thanks for everything and every condition in my life.  This Reality signs the death warrant for impatience. All of our spiritual riches are made possible for us because of something that happened.  One day long ago in Bethlehem, the greatest Event since the beginning of Creation took place, actually happened.


That Man is the Son of God and He sent Him into the World because He is the only One who can (1 John 4:10, 1 John 4:14) save us from our sins.  He is JESUS, the Saviour of the world.

Precious Lord Jesus, beloved Master, make me so one with You and in loyalty to You, that your thoughts, your wisdom, becomes my attitude.

Not ashes, not I - - but Beauty, Christ in me.

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