Explore the Bible Lesson for April 19: A Refined People
April 7 2015 by Lindsey Pope, Christ Baptist Church, Raleigh

Focal Passage: Zechariah 13:1-9
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that God is a person.
We can read page after page in the Old Testament of how God interacted with His people – how He walked with Adam and Eve, how He called to Moses, how He caught Sarah laughing, how He inspired David or how He instructed His prophets.
Even still, because God doesn’t manifest Himself to us today in the kind of physical presence we read about, we can be tempted to imagine Him as an abstract, distant being who once interacted with His people in a direct way, but doesn’t anymore.
We might even begin to believe that our sins at hand are more real than the seemingly far-off promises of God. We may acknowledge the truth that God is present and sovereign and good, but do we always believe it?
Zechariah’s prophecy called to a small Jewish remnant of the Babylonian exile that was re-establishing the Hebrew kingdom.
The immediate circumstances were dismal.
How could this struggling nation be the people of Almighty God?
Zechariah spoke to them to focus their attention not only on the present, but the future: God would restore and refine His people from sin for Himself, and He would fulfill His promises.
A pierced Messiah would come to triumph over the sins and idolatry of God’s people, and this Messiah would be a cleansing fountain to remove their sin, making them a pure people dedicated to the Lord. In the fire of suffering, the hand of their loving, attentive God would refine them, and through the work of the Messiah, they would be freed from their sin and idolatry.
Jesus Christ, the Messiah foretold by Zechariah, came as God promised. By embracing Him through faith, we are cleansed from the guilt of sin and freed from the power of sin by the indwelling Spirit of God as our promise. In difficult circumstances, we can trust that God is working in our trials to purify us, making us more like Christ.

4/7/2015 3:15:08 PM by Lindsey Pope, Christ Baptist Church, Raleigh | with 0 comments
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