Happy Mother's Day!
Please join us in singing a hymn!
We usually take some time to share our joys and concerns. If you have any you want to share, you can post a comment below. Take a minute pray for any worries or concerns you might be experiencing. Then, take a minute to think about, and be thankful for, all of the joys and blessings you have experienced this week. Pray about those as well!
Our lesson for this week is Zechariah 8:1-8 and 8:11-17
There's a little-known psychiatric condition called athazagoraphobia. It refers to an irrational fear of being forgotten. The associated anxiety can be debilitating. Sufferers may feel the need to check in with family constantly while traveling. Or they might excessively remind a coworker about an upcoming meeting. Changes in plans can bring on panic attacks. Sufferers' lives are filled with anxiety and fear.
A few passages of the Bible speak of a fear of being forgotten by God (example: Lamentations 5:20); many more speak of the reality of people forgetting him (example: Jeremiah 3:21). That fact speaks directly to an important role of prophets: pointing out the reality of God's memory and its implications for us (example: Zechariah 10:9).
By one count, there are at least 30 men in the Bible by the name of Zechariah. The one who wrote the book of today's study was a prophet from a priestly family; his recorded ministry occurred after the Babylonian exile (Ezra 5:1-2; Ezra 6:14; Nehemiah 12:12,16). The datings in Zechariah 1:1, 7; 7:1 compute to a time between late 520 BC and late 518 BC.
The setting in post-exilic Jerusalem is essential to understanding Zechariah's prophecies. Twenty years after returning from exile, signs of God's continued favor seemed to have disappeared (Ezra 4:24; Haggai 1:1-11). Many of those who returned undoubtedly wondered if God had forgotten them.
In class, we discuss the lesson. Take a few minutes to reflect on each question. If you are reading the lesson with someone else, discuss your thoughts together. Feel free to share your thoughts, answers, or questions in the comments below.
When a relationship needs to go from bad to good, someone has to make the first move. The text for today tells of a time when God did just that. The bad relationship between God and his covenant people was wholly the fault of the people. Logically, therefore, they should have made the first move. But God in his compassion took the initiative, promising great things to his people. And so it still is: God promises great things for us when we actually deserve quite the opposite. He is determined to redeem all who are willing to acknowledge him as sovereign Lord. Do you?
Father, may our allegiance be to you alone! Strengthen us to reflect that value and your character daily. We pray this in Jesus' name. Amen.