Wendy Whipple ~ Zechariah, Berechiah, Iddo

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Wendy Whipple ~ Zechariah, Berechiah, Iddo

Post by Tryphena on Thu Feb 27 2014, 19:55

Zechariah, Berechiah, Iddo
Witnessing Tools
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
Wendy Wippel

You're probably familiar with Job 23:9-11: ''He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.'' Gleaming, polished, 24 carat, gold! A great promise! What tends to escapes 21st century Americans, though, is that polished, 24k gold comes through refining. And refining comes by fire.

The furnace of affliction, as Isaiah termed it:

"Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction."

God tests us in the furnace of affliction. In other words, it's a trial. The good thing is that God promises to be with us in the furnace of affliction.

"Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6 NKJV)

The LORD also promises to be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble:

"He will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock." (Psalm 27:5 ESV)

And God promises to help us:

"Thus says the Lord who made you, who formed you from the womb and will help you: Fear not, God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid." (Hebrew 13:5-6 NIV)

The flip side is that God's sense of timing in a trial rarely seems to match up with our human perspective. When we are in the "furnace" of a trial, that we tend to be real sure what the right time for God to start being a helper would be.

Emphatically now. (And only because we weren't rescued yesterday from whatever trial we're experiencing.) But that's not usually God's timetable. And we can't understand that.

The good news on that is that we're not alone. Lots of the heroes of faith in the Bible had the same problem.

Daniel, held captive in Babylon, got hold of a copy of Jeremiah (you can read about his in Daniel 9), from which he learned that the captivity God allowed was almost over. God had told Jeremiah that it would last only 70 years. Daniel also knew that God required repentance as part of the deal.

And it is obvious from what follows Daniel's reading of Jeremiah that he was trying to repent for the whole nation:

"Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes. And I prayed to the Lord my God, and made confession, … we have sinned and committed iniquity, we have done wickedly and rebelled, even by departing from Your precepts and Your judgments. Neither have we heeded Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings and our princes, to our fathers and all the people of the land. O Lord, righteousness belongs to You, but to us shame of face, as it is this day—to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and all Israel, those near and those far off in all the countries to which You have driven them, because of the unfaithfulness which they have committed against You. “O Lord, to us belongs shame of face, to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, because we have sinned against You. (Daniel 9:3-8 NKJV)

He goes on repenting for half dozen verses or so.

God's response is really kind of funny:

"Now while I was speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God, … the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering. And he informed me…, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you skill to understand. (Daniel 9:19-22)

Daniel was really confused, and Gabriel was sent to straighten him out. What was Daniel so completely misunderstanding? The clue is in verse 2: Daniel was praying for "the "Holy Hill" of His God".

Which is an obvious allusion to Psalm 2:

Why do the nations rage, And the people plot a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us.” He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision. Then He shall speak to them in His wrath, And distress them in His deep displeasure: “Yet I have set My King On My holy hill of Zion.” (Psalm 2:1-6 NKJV)

Psalm 2 describes the moment in Armageddon when the nations come against Israel to destroy it, and God laughs because; 1) no one can thwart His plans, and 2) His plan is to set His King on the Holy Hill in Jerusalem. He plans to enthrone His Messiah on that hill.

Daniel knew the promises, and he obviously thinks that the 70 years captivity will end with the promised Messiah restoring Israel. So Gabriel is sent to tell him that he's confused.

Gabriel goes on to inform Daniel that a long succession of Gentile kingdoms will rule over Israel before the Messiah comes.

The captivity did come to an end, however, when Persia, under Cyrus, conquered Babylon, and Cyrus, a more benevolent conqueror, permitted the Jews to return to Israel. The prophet Zechariah ministered to Israel during this time, and you get the impression that being in the land --but still under Gentile rule-- was a heavier sorrow than being captive in Babylon. Where was God? Where was the restoration promised? Where was the Messiah-- the one promised to restore the throne of Israel?

It's interesting that Zechariah ministered to Israel during this time, as Zechariah means "God remembers." And the whole book of Zechariah, actually is God's reinforcement of His promises to Israel through Zechariah's ministry. That God has not forgotten His promises. That He will restore Israel. That someday;

"they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn." (Zechriah 12:10 NKJV)

That someday;

"a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness." (Zechariah 13:1 KJV)

That someday;

they will call on My name, And I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; and each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’ (Zechariah 13:9 NIV)

It wasn't coincidence, actually that Zechariah (God remembers) ministered to Israel during this time. We know that because of Zechariah's heritage. The book introduce Zechariah like this: Zechariah the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet…

Zechariah means "Jehovah remembers". Berechiah means "Jehovah blesses". And Iddo means "at the proper time".

Zechariah, Berechiah, Iddo. God remebers, God blesses, at the proper time.

The rest of that verse in Job?

"He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold",

We don't usually remember, but anyone who's ever had a trial knows exactly what Job means:

"When He works on the left hand, I cannot behold Him; When He turns to the right hand, I cannot see Him." (Job 2:28 NKJV)

In the midst of the furnace, we can't discern God's purposes. But we can remember Zechariah, Berechiah, Iddo.

And when we do this? There are promises:

Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; So a book of remembrance was written before Him For those who fear the Lord And who meditate on His name. “They shall be Mine,” says the Lord of hosts, On the day that I make them My jewels. (Malachi 3:16-17 NKJV)

The furnace of affliction yields the gold. God remembers, God blesses, at the appointed time.

http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=7769


Last edited by Tryphena on Fri Feb 28 2014, 09:34; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added WW to title)
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Re: Wendy Whipple ~ Zechariah, Berechiah, Iddo

Post by Tryphena on Thu Feb 27 2014, 19:58

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Comments: Thank you Wendy, very encouraging. You wrote...
God tests us in the furnace of affliction. In other words, it's a trial. The good thing is that God promises to be with us in the furnace of affliction...

As He is with us in our trials/furnace and was with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.

“Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” Daniel 3:25


And WW replied...

Thanks so much, all of you! You all encourage me to keept going, I mean it. And great point, June.

In this day and age I think there is something else to learn from the fiery furnace-- Shadrach, meschach and abednego were in the furnace because nebuchadnezzar demanded that all the leaders in the empire come to the plain and bow to his statue, and they refused.

Jeremiah tells us that Zedekiah (Israel's king) went to Babylon. So apparently Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego's leader was bowing when they weren't.

Paul encouraged his followers to hold everything he and other leaders said up to the light of the Bible. And if they had to double-check Paul...
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