Today’s article is a guest post from Dr. Ray Van Neste, Dean and Professor of Biblical Studies, School of Theology and Missions at Union University in Jackson, Tennessee. Pastors, I know the last several months have been challenging. As I heard someone recently say, “If this ain’t difficult times, they’ll do until difficult times come!”[1] Some of you…

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In keeping with the Bible reading plan we are using, the last days of each month are designated as “free days.” December 26-31 then are intended to allow you to catch up on reading you may have missed or to study passages more in depth that intrigued you during the first 25 days of the month.…

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Malachi 1-4,  Job 42,  John 21:15-25,  Revelation 22   Malachi 1-4:   The new temple had been completed, through the ministry of Haggai and Zechariah, but the great promised messianic age had not yet dawned. Why not? Malachi prophesies to explain the sins that God’s people were committing, and continues to look forward to the dawning new day…

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Zechariah 10-14,  Job 41:12-34,  John 21:1-14,  Revelation 21   Zechariah 10-14:   I wade into these chapters with trepidation, for they are on the one hand filled with New Testament promises, resonant in our ears—“Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered (13:7)”; “thirty pieces of silver (11:12-13)”; and echoes of other words, truth such as…

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Zechariah 6-9,  Job 41:1-11,  John 20:24-31,  Revelation 20   Zechariah 6-9:   Chapter 6 begins with yet another vision—Zechariah is packed with such visions. This one is particularly hard to interpret. As one commentator said, we are very much in the dark as to its meaning in any particularities, though opinions multiply. In general, it is a vision…

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Zechariah 1-5;  Job 40;  John 20:19-23;  Revelation 19   Zechariah 1-5:   Zechariah prophesied, like Haggai, to the exiles who had come back to Jerusalem, now urging them to repent, and giving them assurances and hope of God’s future blessing. He reminds them in chapter 1 of what their forefathers had done, and why they had gone into…

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Haggai 1-2,  Job 39,  John 20:10-18,  Revelation 18     Haggai 1-2:   When God’s people returned from exile, they began to rebuild the temple, but after a little while they lost impetus and direction and gave up and stopped the rebuilding. Haggai, under God’s direction and by God’s inspiration, now comes and preaches to God’s people to…

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Zephaniah 3,  Job 38:22-41,  John 20:1-9,  Revelation 17   Zephaniah 3:   Chapter 3 continues Zephaniah’s denouncement of God’s people, and God’s judgment upon sin and wickedness. In particular, the leaders of God’s people have let her down:  Her prophets are fickle, treacherous men; her priests profane what is holy;they do violence to the law (3:4)  But God, nonetheless, has a…

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Zephaniah 1-2,  Job 38:22-41,  John 19:38-42, Revelation 16   Zephaniah 1-2:   Zephaniah is prophesying during the days of good King Josiah’s reforms. In his prophecy, he speaks of the “day of the LORD,” a fearsome day of judgment, and then also speaks of the blessing and bounty that will come to those who seek the Lord (more on…

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Habakkuk 1-3, Job 37, John 19:28-37, Revelation 15   Habakkuk 1-3:   Though Habakkuk is a brief book, it is filled with important truth and is profound in its own way. Covering all the ground of these three chapters in short expanse is therefore a challenge—and probably not really possible. Basically, Habakkuk is asking and receiving answers regarding God’s use of…

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