READ: Zechariah 9-11
THINK: Have you ever been in a situation where you felt truly hopeless-like you would never make it through- or if you did, your life would be ruined from that point on? Sometimes, God may allow you to go through times like that to strengthen your faith and bring you closer to Him. But rest assured, God will not allow His people to be totally destroyed. Regardless of what resistance you face or how hopeless a situation may seem, keep trusting God and you'll triumph in the end. As a follower of Christ, you're not a victim who must constantly be on the defensive. That's because the forces of evil in the world ultimately will not be able to stop the advance of God's kingdom and purposes (Matthew 16:18).
RESPOND: How will God respond to those who have been oppressed, yet depended on Him (9:1ff)? (See 9:1 note.) When and how will the promise of 9:8 be fulfilled, and what assurance does this give Jesus' followers today? (See 9:8 note.) Why did God tell people to rejoice (9:9), who is the coming King, and when was this passage fulfilled? (See 9:9 note.) What event does the prophesy jump ahead to in 9:10, and how will world peace be established at that time? (See 9:10 note.) At what point will the salvation that God brings to the world reach a climax (9:16-17), and how will this display God's mercy? (See 9:16-17 note.) What does it mean, "From Judah will come the cornerstone" (10:4), and what do the tent peg and battle bow symbolize? (See 10:4 note.) What did the two staffs (11:17) represent in regard to God's plans for Israel and Judah (11:7)? (See 11:7 note.) What's the prophetic symbolism of the thirty pieces of silver that the leaders paid Zechariah (11:12)? (See 11:12 note.) What future world leader does the foolish and cruel shepherd symbolize (11:15-17)? (See 11:15-16 note.)
PRAY: Give God thanks that regardless of the difficulties or resistance you face, His purposes will prevail as you trust Him. Praise Him because the forces of evil in the world won't be able to stop the advance of His kingdom.
ACT: When others confront you or give you a hard time, don't get defensive. Instead, demonstrate God's grace and peace in your attitudes, actions and responses-if you respond at all. Trust God to work things out.
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