Monday Morning Coffee with Mark

The Strong Heart

November 27, 2023 Mark Roberts Season 3 Episode 54
Monday Morning Coffee with Mark
The Strong Heart
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Welcome to the Westside church’s special Monday Morning Coffee podcast with Mark Roberts. Mark is a disciple, a husband, father and grand dad, as well as a certified coffee geek, fan of CS Lewis’ writings and he loves his big red Jeep. He’s also the preacher for Westside church.

Speaker 1:

Hello, and welcome to the Westside churches special Monday Morning Coffee podcast on this podcast, our preacher Mark Roberts will help you get your week started right. With look back at yesterday's sermon so that we can think through it further and better work the applications into our daily lives . Mark will then look forward into this week's Bible reading so that we can know what to expect and watch for. And, he may have some extra bonus thoughts from time to time. So grab a cup of coffee as we start the week together on Monday Morning Coffee with Mark.

Speaker 2:

Good morning. Good morning. Welcome to the Monday Morning Coffee podcast from Monday, November the 27th. Can you believe we are at the end of November and about to start December? Thanksgiving is over. It is full on Santa time . It's all about Christmas and all that goes with that. But here it's all about yesterday's sermon and what we're about to read in daily Bible reading. Let's talk about strong hearts. Let's talk about Zechariah . Let's get started. Yesterday was the 11th in our preaching theme series this year on the Heart, and I will be candid with you about that. It has been a difficult series. I did not want to just preach the standard generic heart stuff. Love the Lord your God , all your heart, soul, and mind, and maybe say some things about what you fill your heart with and everybody roll their eyes because we've all heard those sermons. I really wanted to be practical about that and to push that in some very biblical directions. 'cause I think the Bible has a lot to say about heart that sometimes we're not saying like what I talked about yesterday, the strong heart, the importance of having that strong conviction about God and what God is doing. And I hope that yesterday you felt your heart lift and be strengthened. And let me give you one more thought that will carry that momentum into this week. More and more. I am convinced of the power of hope, and especially the hope that comes from believing God is at work. Too many seem to think that God works in the baptistry, and after that you're just on your own. Nobody , nope, nope. With a big side of absolutely not. That's just not right at all. And particularly we'll see this week in our Bible reading how strengthening your hands and rising up to do is tied to the idea by the prophet Zechariah that God is doing something here. God is working in you and through you. So if you're looking to pull up some of that spiritual momentum from yesterday, you just go ahead and you start thinking about your responsibilities, what and who you aren't responsible for, and think about where you've been and that you didn't get yourself this far today. God did that. And then especially think about Jesus and that he came here and died. And yes, rose again, that's a recap of the points yesterday wrapped up in the idea that God is using that sermon in your life right now to strengthen your heart, fill your heart with the truth of God's word. You will be stronger, your heart will be strengthened. And that's gonna happen in the Book of Zechariah . Let's talk about daily Bible reading. So open your Bible then to Zechariah chapter five. This is a big week in Zechariah . Zechariah 5, 6, 7, 8, and nine will be our reading a chapter a day. And this is a place for me to say, I've said it before. We're gonna say it again. If you don't read off a Bible reading schedule, what's gonna happen this week is never gonna happen. I just don't think anybody flips open their Bible and says, you know what? I'll just, Hey, I'll just do some reading in Zechariah . It's not the easiest book to read, but you're gonna see this week some incredibly helpful ideas that are very, very practical. Yes, there's gonna be some times that we're scratching our head a little bit and we're not entirely sure what we're looking at or entirely sure of all the details of what Zaria is talking about. But we will draw close to the Lord this week. There's gonna be plenty here that's gonna cause you to say, wow, I did not know that was in Zechariah . That is very cool. That is very helpful. I'm glad that I'm reading in the book of Zechariah . So today in chapter five, we're reading two visions. Remember all of this starts out of Zechariah chapter one. There's gonna be eight visions that he sees. And so here we are in Zechariah five. I lifted my eyes and behold I saw a flying scroll. How weird is that? Just seems like a giant book. What would be a book now? A book with the pages cut and all bound together on one edge like you and I use the term book. That's not what zacharia is looking at. It's a scroll and it rolls and all the things that go with a scroll. And the main idea here is spiritual renewal. There's some laws written on the scroll front and back about stealing and about swearing falsely. Um , both of these dishonor God. And both of these may say something about the sins of of the people and their need to be spiritually cleansed. They've come back to Jerusalem now, but are they everything that God wants them to be? God's word works. Verse four, to bring a blessing or if you're not gonna do what's right, God's word is gonna bring a cursing upon you. That's what will happen with this scroll. The word of God is at work. Then we see this vision of a woman in a basket. The angel, talk to me verse five, lift your eyes. See what's in this basket. It's this basket that's going out. It's got a lead cover on it. 'cause whatever's in there apparently, hey, we don't want that getting out of there. So Zachariah takes a look and there is a woman in the basket. Wow. This is something to see and I would probably like to say something hilarious about this woman's probably wearing Philadelphia eagle garments or something like that, but I'm not even saying that. I'm just sticking in Zechariah chapter five, this wicked woman, verse eight. She is wickedness and she's being carried out. Wickedness is being taken out of the land. That's what's happening here. The words for stork, the two that carry two women come forward and carry her out. Verse nine, they had wings like the wings of stork , the Hebrew for stork sounds like the word for loyal . There may be a word play there, not entirely sure of that. And I , I'm not sure that we can name exactly who this wicked woman is, but there are several places in scripture where a woman personifies evil, sometimes sexual immorality in the book of Proverbs. We've seen some of that in Isaiah and we'll see some of that even in the book of Revelation. She's carried to shiner , which in Genesis chapter 11 is where the Tower of Babel was built. So she's carried out of the land back to the place where evil originated. Genesis chapter 11 in the Tower of Babel, she goes there. So there's a cleansing with the scroll. There's a cleansing of wickedness being taken out of the land. Tomorrow we'll get those chariots again, those horsemen that we saw in the very first vision. See you on Tuesday. It is Tuesday and today we're reading Z arrive , sixth chapter, the vision of the horseman or the Chariots and then the crown and the temple. Let me get a little coffee. I'm working this Tanzania. I had this going I think in the podcast last week. That is very, very good coffee, really like that a lot. Did a little pour over with that good flavor, really good flavor. So there's an obvious correspondence in this vision to what we saw in chapter one. And I, I would encourage you first of all not to make something out of the colors here because the mile isn't making anything outta the colors. And I would also caution you about taking Revelation six where some horsemen appear in reading that end of Zacharia six. That is a very common mistake made with this kind of material, apocalyptic material, visions, dreams, that kind of stuff. Hey look, this guy over here several hundred years later had a similar sounding kind of thing. So it must be the same idea. And we plug that in. Sometimes you'll hear people say the Bible is its own best commentary. And to an extent, yeah , sometimes maybe that'll work. But you cannot do that. You can't read Revelation into Zechariah . What that does is deprives the Uriah of the opportunity to say something to his audience and it deprived John of saying something to his audience. In apocalyptic literature, the audience matters. The audience is in crisis, the audience is in trouble, the audience needs encouragement and the message is specific for the audience. And we want to do that here with Zechariah . So these chariots, these horses, they go and they're sent out to the four winds of the heavens. And there's some textual questions in verse six. In verse six. You can make a slight inundation of the text which would make that white horse go to the west. But once again, it's about the north, the emphasis is on the north and God is patrolling the earth through these horsemen. They go and see what's going on in verse seven. And that leads then to the idea that God has been vindicated, verse eight through the judgment that he has delivered. And so he is at rest. Now my spirit is at rest. Or another possible interpretation here of rest is that God has more to do. He's just not doing that right now. You'll have to make some decisions about some of that. But I do think verse eight is saying that God is aware of what's going on and that God protects and vindicates his people. Then there is the crowning of the high priest. Silver and gold are taken verse 10 and 11 and they make a crown and they set it on the head of Joshua, the son of Jeh act , the high priest. And then he's called verse 12, the branch. And maybe the positioning of this uh , particular vision is important because right after God judges the world or is aware of what's going on in the world, he crowns this high priest and it does seem like this is priest and king, priest and king and the use of the branch that seems to really tilt that over in the direction of Messiah kind of language because Isaiah uses that in Isaiah 11 in verse one. So the branch used to grow up out of his place from the lineage of David. He is to build the temple. I think ultimately that's looking at the spiritual temple, the church, he bears glory. I think about Jesus, John one, verse 14, the glory of God. He is a priest on the throne. Jesus is the priest king after the order of Mel Kedi . And he is to bring peace. Well, we'll see more about bringing peace. Not sure I understand everything about all of Zechariah , the sixth chapter here, but there is an emphasis on God rebuilding on God, vindicating on God's people being back in place and being able to serve and worship God. And I think that helps us here , you who are far off verse 15. You shall come, you'll know the Lord of host has sent me. If you'll diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, there's a lot of comfort and reassurance here. But there's also a strong note of you need to do what's right. Failing to do that got you sent to Babylon. We're home now. We've got to do better tomorrow. Zechariah chapter seven, I'll see you on Wednesday. It is Wednesday. Let's get to it. If you are a little tired of these visions and strange things flying through the air and women in baskets and all that goes with that. Chapter seven in chapter eight, gonna be right up your alley. This is straight up q and a. The people come to him and say, we need to know, should we still be doing this fast thing? Let's get a little context. It's seven one that tells us this is in the fourth year of King Darius. So it's been two years since Zechariah prophesied in Saul of a visions of chapters one to six. That's the kinda thing you wanna write in your Bible. I have a note between chapter six 15 and chapter seven verse one that says, two years have passed and this is five 18. It's December 7th of five 18. Kind of timely here as we're reading in Zechariah , have that written in the margin there. And so the people come and they ask, should we weep and abstain in the fifth month as we've done for so many years? Zechariah seven verse three. Now Zechariah won't actually answer, God will not actually answer that question through Zechariah until the nearly the end of chapter eight when the reply here is about. And the question here is about some fasting that had been instituted because of the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in the temple in the 10th month. They fasted because the siege began. Then in the fourth month they fasted because that's when the walls were breached. In the fifth month they fasted because the temple was burned. And then the seventh month there was the fast because of the assassination of the governor that Nebuchadnezzar established galia , he was murdered by some wicked people who then drug a bunch of folks off into Egypt in Jeremiah chapter 41 and following, you can read about that. So the question is, hey, we're home. We're rebuilding the temple. Do we still do all of that fasting? And there's a little, there's a little note here of self-pity that I think, and Zara of the prophet really calls them out. Did God ask you to do this? Verse seven, God tell you to do this. What you need to be doing is obeying what God has told you to do, rather than drumming up new things and new ideas that are supposed to make you more spiritual. Why don't you pay attention to what the Lord tells you to do? And look at what we get in verses nine and 10. We get the big items on God's agenda. You wanna draw near to God. Here it is. Render true judgment. Show kindness and mercy. Don't oppress widows and fatherless and sojourners and the poor don't do none of you devise evil against another in your heart. Verse 10, this is highly reminiscent of Micah chapter two, Micah chapter six, Amos chapter two, Jeremiah seven, all these places where the prophets have hammered this year, the idea of personal integrity, personal righteousness seeking God, doing right, that's what these people need to be about. God's word hasn't changed what God requires before he still requires obedience to his word and his law. I think you could say that even though we're New Testament people, this has not changed, has it? And sometimes we can get very bent out of shape and get very exercised about matters of liberty and matters of judgment. Should the church have Sunday night services, for example, should we meet for midweek Bible study on Wednesday or on Tuesday? We can get very bent outta shape and all about all of that. And we're not paying attention to these main ideas that Zacharia is highlighting for us right here. You want to draw near to God, verses nine and 10 are exactly where you can do that. The message is don't be like your covenant breaking forefathers who were unfaithful, unloyal, disobedient. Don't be like them or you will suffer a similar fate. I scattered them. Verse 14, among all the nations that they had not known that can happen to you if you're not doing what's right. Zechariah is put the emphasis where God puts the emphasis and we wanna do exactly the same thing coming out of that tomorrow in chapter eight. There's a wonderful, wonderful note of comfort. See you tomorrow. We'll talk about Zechariah eight. It is Thursday and I hope you have a big cup of coffee because this is 23 verses today. Zechariah chapter eight. And this is really a note of consolation today. This is an announcement about what God is gonna do in the future. There's a lot of emphasis here on says the Lord of hoes . This is God's word and God's word is going to come to pass. And this really stands as the counterpart to what we read in Ezekiel. Do you remember we read in Ezekiel chapters nine, chapter 10 about the glory of God vacating the temple, leaving the temple. So much wickedness, so much corruption, so much filthy sin going on there. God says, I can't live in this house anymore. I'm out now. God says I am returning. Verse three, I have returned his Zion. I will dwell on them Mr . Jerusalem. Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city. So God returns to his city. This assurance comes in a time of despair. There are old men in old women, verse four who are in despair and they think this is too much. This will never happen again. It's too marvelous. Verse six. It's just too hard for it to possibly happen. God says, just 'cause you think it's too hard, doesn't mean it's too hard for God. And so then there's these wonderful promises. God's gonna dwell again in the midst of Jerusalem. He's saving them. They're in relationship with him. That's what God is doing in the future. So what about right now, verses nine to 13, deal with the right now. And the right now is let's get busy and be building. Let's be doing what God wants us to do. Let your hands be strong. We talked about strong hearts on Sunday, be strong. Things have been bad because you didn't build a temple. Let's get on with this. Let's build in verse 13 talks about being a by word . And I talked about that Sunday in q and a. Why is it that the Jews are hated all over the world? There's a lot of reasons for that, but it's not something that those who've read the Bible are surprised by. It is something that the Bible tells us is going to happen to God's people, to the Israelite nation if they're not in obedience to him. And so the text moves on then and talks again about what you need to do to please God. Verses 16 and 17, which sounds an awful lot like what we read yesterday in verses nine and 10. Get a swig of coffee here once again. Here we get a blueprint for drawing near to God. Speak truth, do justice. Stop evil schemes, stop lying. These are the basis. These are really the basics and the basis for ethics, for our ethics, our Christian ethics in serving the Lord. We need to love what God loves and we need to hate what God hates and we need to be doing that from the inside out. So the answer then beginning in verse 18, to the question that was posed at the start of chapter seven, what about the fasting? And the answer is verse 19. What about the fast of the fourth month, the fifth month, the seventh month, the 10th month? No , the fast doesn't matter. The fast don't matter to God. What's important is listening to God. That's what matters. Because if we will listen to God and do what God tells us to do, that will draw other people, verse 23 from other nations to come and learn about God. Do you see the purpose of Israel right there? Israel, this is what you are all about. This is what I need you to be doing because this is my plan for you. Live right? Draw others to me. What a great look. Chapter eight verse 23 to the purposes for the people of God, for the Israelite nation. That's what God wanted them to be. And that's what God wanted them to do. I told you at the beginning of the week, we're gonna read in Zechariah and there's gonna be a bunch of places where you're thinking, Hey, that was very, very cool. I am super glad that we read that. Oh hey, that's helping me draw closer to the Lord. Look at what we got here in eight 16 to 23 with a side order of getting obsessed about all kinds of matters that are incidental matters of judgment, getting all bent outta shape with each other about that and trying to debate all, hey, do what God tells you to do. That's the answer Zechariah gives us in Zechariah eight. That helps us draw closer to the Lord. Tomorrow we begin a new section of Zechariah . Zechariah chapter nine on Friday. Here we go. It's Friday. We made it through another week and we're reading Zechariah chapter nine. Zechariah nine to 14 is a very difficult section of scripture. When we started the book of Zechariah , I told you I had dreaded this all year long and yep , here we are. This is the section that's just fraught with difficulties. Very difficult to explain, very difficult in places to lock down. This is where the prophet's going with this. This is what the prophet's talking about. It is easily some of the most difficult material in all of the Binney bowl . There's two sections here, chapters nine, 10, and 11. Talk about judgment on heathen nations and the coming king. And then chapters 12, 13 and 14, rejection of the shepherd and final victory of the kingdom of God. Most of this stuff by most scholars is gonna be placed after the temple, is dedicated temple, dedicated, rebuilt, and dedicated. In five 15 Psalm have said this is as late as four 80. There's a lot of Messianic stuff here and the New Testament will just jump this up. And we go over and read the New Testament and we come back and we read Zaria . We're like, whoa. I did not even see that. We have to be confident in the spirit's use of this material. But that doesn't always make it easy to see exactly how the New Testament writer got that out of the book of Zechariah . We're gonna try our best to work with all of that. Like I said, this is uh , difficult stuff. Maybe this is big cup of coffee stuff, not always the easiest to read. So the key as the chapter, chapter nine begins is that God is watching everything that's going on. And instead of this idea that God is reacting to the world's events, God is in charge of world events. God is making things happen through all these different cities, tire and Seiden and Lon and Gaza. Verse five, this may be a reference to Alexander the Great. During the time between the testaments, he worked down through Palestine and just swamped a bunch of those cities. Alexander took seven months when he got to tire to build a causeway tire was out on an island and they were defying him. Hey, we're out here on this island and the ocean protects us and there's not anything you can do about it. And Alexander the Great said, oh really? And he built a causeway out to the island and then he burnt down their city. So there you go. Just like Zacharias talking about here. So this may be references here to Alexander the Great in some of those conquests, but then we come to verses nine and 10 and this is the coming king. And what is this? Rejoice greatly o Daughters of Zion. Behold your king is coming to you. Righteous, humble, mounted on a donkey, on a colt , on the full of a donkey. What? Yep , there it is. That's the triumphal entry. That's Jesus. In fact, it's cited specifically John chapter 12 and verse 12, Matthew chapter 21 verses four and five and applied to Jesus. And I think what this is mainly going for here is the idea that Jesus is the king of peace and not of war . Verse 10, I will cut off the chariot from e for him the warhorse battle. Bos should be cut off. He shall speak peace to the nations. Jesus is the king of peace, the prince of peace. And he brings peace. Not all kinds of carnal warfare, but I would have, I I I would wanna say this even as we , we try to fit this together, where Zechariah's going and how this relates to the material in front of it. And you know, how do we get from Alexander the great to the coming of the Messiah that not entirely sure about that, but I I would want you to notice that when Jesus does that triumphal entry thing where he sends the disciples to get him a , a fo , a cult , the full of a donkey and he rides on it and the people put down the Palm Frans on Palm Sunday and they're shouting Hosanna and all. Jesus does that very deliberately, Jesus manufactures that he is doing Zechariah nine, nine, and 10. So that people will look at him and say, oh look, it's Zechariah nine, nine and 10. This is not something beyond Jesus's control like being born in Bethlehem. Really hard to choose where you're being born. That's outta Jesus's control. That's why that's such a great fulfillment of the mic of prophecy. This is absolutely in Jesus's control. Anybody could do this. You get on a plane, fly over there, grab you a fo the col col , the fall of a donkey and ride into Jerusalem, say, Hey, I'm the Messiah. Jesus does exactly that. And that's notable because most of the time when somebody says Jesus, hey, you're the Messiah. Jesus says, what? Shh . Don't , don't, don't tell anybody. 'cause there's so many wrong ideas about what being the Messiah is all about. Jesus kind of keeps that under wraps, but boy not here. Zechariah nine, nine and 10, he is all about it as he comes into Jerusalem so that people will recognize him as the king of peace. And that leads then to a section about the triumph of God's people. The king establishes his kingdom by putting down all foes and delivering his people. I'm not sure exactly who the reference is here. Ultimately it is Jesus. But as I noted in the first eight verses, that seems to be the time between the testaments and the things that are going on in physical Palestine with physical rulers and physical battles. But the Lord then comes and using a human ruler. Verse 13, I have bent Judas, my bow, I stir up your sons against your sons of Greece. Maybe those are the Maccabean victories against Greek rulers. Once Alexander the Greek dies, this kingdom is divided into four parts. You remember from Daniel and some of those Greek generals and Greek kings then oppress the Jews and the Lord does the fighting. 14, 15, 16, 17, God saves them. Verse 16. Not entirely certain how to glue all of that together, but there is an emphasis here on God knowing what's going on, God, working through human agents, and especially Jesus claiming that intersection . He is the king of peace. There you go. That's Zechariah nine. I hope that will help you. We'll just have to continue to think through that and pray about that as we work in the text. Thanks so much for listening to the podcast. If you like what you're hearing, make sure that you have subscribed or followed on your app so it will download automatically. Tell folks about the show. Leave us a review, get more people listening to the podcast. This is a time of year . People kind of distracted with holiday stuff, but it's coming up on January one. And what are people gonna be making some resolutions about reading their Bible? You will want to be saying to people, Hey, this will help you stay with your Bible reading. So until next week, I hope your coffee is delightful. I hope your Friday is wonderful and that the Lord is being with you today all day. I'm Mark Roberts and I want to go to heaven, and I want you to come to I'll see you on Monday with a cup of coffee.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to the Westside church of Christ podcast. Monday morning coffee with mark . For more information about west side , you can connect with us through our website, just and our Facebook page. Our music is from that's upbeat with two P'S UPP , B E A T , where creators can get free music. Please share our podcast with others. And we look forward to seeing you again with a company coffee, of course, on next Monday.

Sermon Notes
Monday Zechariah 5
Tuesday Zechariah 6
Wednesday Zechariah 7
Thursday Zechariah 8
Friday Zechariah 9