Saturday, May 23, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 99 Tuesday

Zechariah 2:1-3:10

In these chapters we read of Zechariah's next visions. In the first one Zechariah sees a man with a measuring stick preparing to measure Jerusalem. The next vision was of the high priest, Joshua, who had gone back with Zerubbabel to rebuild the temple.

Does God issue any commands?

  • God calls His people home. (2:6-7)
  • God calls the daughter of Zion to sing and rejoice as a testimony among the nations.
  • God told all flesh to be silent before Him.
  • In the vision, God commanded that the filthy garments be removed from Joshua, the high priest.
  • God told Joshua, the high priest, to follow His commands faithfully. (This would include helping with the rebuilding of the temple.)

Does God make any promises?

  • God promised that Jerusalem would be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein. God Himself promised to be a protection wall of fire around the city and the glory in the midst of her.
  • God promised that any that touches Zion touches the apple of God's eye and He will spoil Israel's enemies.
  • God promises to dwell in the midst of Zion.
  • God promises that many nations shall be joined to the LORD in the day that He dwells in Zion's midst. The people of those nations will also be called His people just as those of Israel are.
  • God promised to possess Judah in the holy land and to choose Jerusalem again.
  • God promised in Zechariah's vision to take away the filthy garments of Joshua, the high priest, and to clothe him with a change of garments. Since it is Jesus, the angel of the LORD, speaking we know that this is exactly what He does for each sinner that turns to Him in repentance and faith! He takes away our filthy garments and clothes us in robes of righteousness.
  • God promised Joshua that if he would walk in His ways Joshua would judge His house, and keep His courts, and He would give Joshua places to walk among those that stood by.
  • God promised that through "the stone" (Jesus) He would remove the iniquity of the land in one day. Then everyone would live peacefully ("call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree" which speaks of living safely on one's own land).

Does this passage teach anything about Jesus?

  • Jesus was still present with Zechariah in the 3rd vision. He is "the man that talked with me" of verse 2:3. He is the man (or angel) with the measuring line.
  • Jesus will dwell in the midst of Zion. He it is that provides the glory of the LORD there.
  • The angel of the LORD is Jesus (3:1)
  • Jesus is the BRANCH. (3:8)
  • Jesus is the stone. (3:9)

Does this passage teach anything about yet-future events?

  • The time when Jerusalem will be a town without walls because God will be the wall of fire of protection will take place in the Millennial Kingdom of Christ. Then Jesus in all of His glory will be in the midst of her.
  • Just as the man had a measuring stick to measure Jerusalem an angel had a measuring rod in Revelation chapters 11 and 21 to measure the temple and New Jerusalem. This city has gates but they are never closed which means it has no reason to defend itself. Also, the glory of the LORD shall always dwell there.

Journal Through the Bible: Week 99 Monday

Zechariah chapter 1

Two months after God spoke for the first time to Haggai He spoke to Zechariah concerning the temple rebuilding. In this chapter we read of Zechariah's of two visions. The first vision is of men on red and speckled horses who have been on a survey mission throughout the nations. The second is of 4 horns and the 4 carpenters sent to destroy them.

Does God issue any commands?
  • God sent Zechariah to tell the people to turn  to Him (meaning to repent) and He would return to them.
  • Zechariah had a vision of a man on a red horse leading speckled and white horses on an inspection of the nations. The man on the horse, also identified as the angel of the LORD, held a conversation with the LORD concerning the 70 years of punishment that had been accomplished. The LORD sent Zechariah to cry out to the people and tell them that His cities would prosper and His house would be rebuilt.

Does God make any promises?

  • God promised that  His house would be rebuilt, His mercies were returned to Jerusalem, a line would be stretched forth upon Jerusalem, His cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad, and He would comfort Zion and choose Jerusalem.
  • Through Zechariah's second vision God promised to remove the kingdoms of the Gentiles responsible for scattering and persecuting the Jews.

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?

  • Jesus is the man on the red horse who is also known as the angel of the LORD.
  • Jesus (called the angel of the LORD) prayed (or spoke) to the LORD asking for mercy for Jerusalem. Here we see the 2nd Person of the Trinity making intercession to the 1st Person of the Trinity on behalf of His chosen place and His chosen people.

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?

  • The walking to and fro of those on horseback is similar to John's vision in Revelation chapter 6 where riders on horses are sent out from God to complete acts of judgment.
  • Jesus intercedes in verse 12 for Jerusalem. An angel shows the Apostle John the Lamb's bride, New Jerusalem, in Revelation 21:9-27. This is evidently the final answer to the angel of the LORD'S prayer made in Zechariah 1:12. It also ties everything from the Old Testament together with the New Testament since throughout the Old Testament the LORD says He "married" the land, but that Jerusalem played the part of an adulterous wife which had brought about punishment such as the Babylonian captivity, then was promised forgiveness and restoration such as is revealed to Zechariah.
  • The Morris study Bible equates the 4 horns that scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem to the 4 kingdoms of Gentiles revealed to Daniel, namely the Babylonians, the Persians, the Greeks, and the Roman confederacy (shown as mixed nations of iron and clay). If this is correct, 3 of these have been destroyed by the carpenters sent to deal with them (the Babylonians were conquered by the Persians, the Persians by the Greeks, the Greeks by the Roman Empire and the nations into which it disintegrated). Only the Roman Empire disintegration, which was ultimately destroyed by the large rock in Daniel's prophecy, is yet to be fulfilled. The Rock is the coming Messiah who will conquer the kingdoms of the world.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Journal Through the Bible: Week 98 Saturday

"Haggai Promises the Temple's Grandeur"
Horne, Charles, and Julius Bewer.
The Bible and Its Story: Prophets–
Gospels, Ezekiel to Matthew Family Record. Vol. 8.
New York, NY: Francis R. Niglutsch, 1909. Print.
(Public domain, but seen here courtesy of
  Faithlife: Logos Bible software)
Haggai chapter 2

Does God issue any commands?
  • God commanded Haggai to question the people to see how many of them remembered the former temple.
  • God commanded Zerubbabel and Josedech, the high priest to be strong.
  • God commanded Haggai to ask the priests certain questions concerning what is pure and what make something impure. Then he was to use their answers as analogies concerning the spiritual impurities of the people and their nation.
  • God told Haggai to speak to Zerubbabel and tell him that God would do mighty works.

Does God  make any promises?
  • God promised to be with the people in the covenant relationship just as He had promised their forebears when they left Egypt. He said His Spirit remained among them.
  • When God told them to consider that they had not been blessed by Him but had instead suffered drought and loss since the time that they ceased their labors on the temple He also promised that from that day forward He would bless them because He was sending them back to work on the temple.
  • God promised Zerubbabel that He would shake the heavens and the earth and would overthrow kingdoms.
  • God promised Zerubbabel that He would make him a signet because He had chosen Zerubbabel.

Does this chapter teach anything about Jesus?
  • Jesus is the "desire of all nations" of verse 7.
  • Zerubbabel is the type of Christ in this passage because he is the one chosen by God to lead His people and to do His will.

Does this chapter teach anything about yet-future events?
  • Verses 7-9 are still to be fulfilled when "the desire of nations" shall come. Then the future temple (that remains to be built) will be filled with the glory of the LORD. And that temple shall be greater than the first one. This is the temple that Ezekiel described.
  • Verses 20-22 promise the future destruction of nations. This event follows the shaking of the heavens and the earth.
  • Verse 23 says that Zerubbabel would be a signet (a seal, or sign) that the things of verses 20-22 would come to pass. Zerubbabel was the ancestor of both Mary and Joseph, the humans chosen to parent the King who will ultimately overthrow all nations.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Handi-Treads for Stair Safety (and a Discount Code, too)

clickable link
Disclosure: Goods were received in exchange for my honest opinion.

Recently the HandiRamp Company of Libertyville, Illinois asked me to preview their Handi-Tread product on our deck stairway and share my honest opinion. They also said that I can offer you, my readers, a discount if I think it worthy of purchase. Well, I do like the product and would gladly share the love of safety with you! See below for the discount code.

Injuries and deaths from falls are a rising concern for everyone but this is especially true for aging populations (clickable link) or households with young children (clickable link). We routinely have representatives from both demographics - and everyone in between - traversing our stairs. Several years ago I slipped and fell down our inside steps and broke a bone in two places on one foot and the big toe on the other one. Although my injuries healed completely I still suffer from occasional swelling. Most falls are preventable.

Our inside staircase is not nearly as hazardous to descend as our outside steps so we installed Handi-Treads on the steps that connect our multi-level deck to the patio. Our deck steps are made from wood tread risers with grooves designed to provide some traction. The problem is that we often have precipitation that pools in those grooves making the steps slippery. Not only is this a problem because of our Midwestern winter snows but we can also experience quick freezes following rain in the early spring and late fall that turn the water in the grooves to ice! Grooves are not much help in that situation.


The solution is Handi-Tread!

Stair risers with grooves and Handi-Treads

Taking it to the next level

There are other products on the market designed to cut down on slips and falls but they are not as good or as permanent a solution as Handi-Treads.

Please note that Handi-Treads can be used inside or out, on wood or cement steps. They are durable yet gentle on feet. They are used in private homes and in public parks and buildings.

Here is my opinion of the Handi-Tread product sent to me. I love it! It is a noticeable improvement to the traction on our stairs. 

The only negative comment that we have is that the screws included were not as durable as the Handi-Treads themselves. We stripped the screw heads whether we turned them by hand power or used a power screwdriver when installing them. We pre-drilled the holes but the metal shavings piled up anyway. The installation itself was done quickly in spite of that and we are satisfied that the treads are securely installed.

Now for the savings. My readers can obtain a 10% discount simply by using the code BLOG2015 at checkout. Click here to enter the HandiTread website to see their various colors, sizes, and styles.

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There is also a STOP THE SLIP contest that you may enter if you are interested. See details here. This is a video contest so if you have a story you wish to dramatize detailing how you slipped in a public location your entry may win a set of Handi-Treads to make that very location safer. Four winners are chosen each year. What a great way to keep others from slipping as you did!