by Sean Mills

This week’s questions:

Read Zechariah 12 & 13

1. In chapter one we saw how God used ‘the nations’ to discipline His people (v. 15). In chapter twelve, it is the nations who are under divine rebuke and the people of God, Judah and Jerusalem, are His agents of justice (v. 6). What do you think about God’s method of discipline? Why do you think He used the various world powers of the day to bring about His justice? How does He use His people now? Are we agents of justice? Does He use unbelievers as a means of justice also? Are they a source of discipline to believers?

2. Chapter twelve also illustrates how God protects His people (vv. 7-9). Although Judah is the object of scorn for the surrounding nations, they will be no match against God’s protective hand. He promises to shield them from their enemies’ violence. Recently, there has been a lot of violence in our community. Does God still promise to protect His people? How do we begin to make sense of the violence in our neighborhoods in light of children being killed by other children? Does God still care?

3. Personal and communal reflection: At the end of chapter twelve (vv. 10-14) and the beginning of chapter thirteen (v. 1) we have the classic repentance and forgiveness formula (cf. 1 John 1: 9). The Scriptures say God gave the people a spirit of ‘grace and prayer’ (lit. grace and prayer for mercy) (12: 10). Has God been convicting you of any personal sin? On a more communal level, have we been neglecting any areas of ministry or our core values that we committed ourselves to?