Journal Zech 3-4 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)
Scripture: “And I said to the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?” Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” I said, “No, my lord.”
Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts. Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of “Grace, grace to it!” Zech 4:4-7
Observation: Do I think that the OT coughs up easy answers for every snip of Scripture that comes across my desk—especially in the minor prophets? Oh, no siree, Bob. So what do I see here?
Analysis: What caught my eye was a couple of phrases that I remember singing in songs: “Not by power, nor by might, but by grace you have been saved…”, and, “Grace, grace…”
Plucked out of context? Maybe, but pertinent to remember in doctrine application.
Songs have a powerful influence on my memory. It is easy for me to remember a Beach Boy tune; Elvis, Ray, Aretha. And the Beatles? Forget about it. All to say that music has a way to imprint my memory like nobody’s business.
I reach back in Christian History (something that should be a part of every disciple’s war chest of knowledge—why? Because everyone stands on the shoulders of godly men that have come before) and remember that the Wesley’s (around the Revolutionary War) ministry included writing songs that would emphasize Christian Doctrine and invoke, tickle those memories that would trigger faith.
Charles Wesley (1707-1788), for example, wrote over 6,000 hymns, one of which is “Hark, the herald Angels sing” and “Jesus, Lover of my Soul.”
Isaac Watts (1674-1748) wrote “Joy to the World” (and a bunch more) which was NOT written for Christmas but is a staple now.
There are a ton more of these old dead guys (and gals) that can enrich souls. I recommend “One Year through the Hymns” as a devotional study. There are a few surprises found in this book.
What songs do I remember? Top 40? Latest country? Old rock and roll or Motown? And what pushes thoughts of Jesus out of my heart so much that it is hard, hard, hard to focus?
I know what it does for me. Anybody else to confess?
Prayer: Lord, separating from the world, being “in it” but not “of it” is a difficult row to hoe. The world has such a siren’s call, and nobody likes being on the outside. Yet, that is what you call us to do.
Help me get my head around that continually and assist others to do so as well.
Cause revival and surrender, O God.