Live Now — View the live webcast at our Online Campus

One Year Bible

December 21, 2014

DevotionalDevotionalDV Zechariah 1:1-21Old TestamentOT Revelation 12:1-17New TestamentNT Psalm 140:1-13PsalmPS Proverbs 30:17ProverbsPR All

Daily Devotional

by Larry Stockstill

The dragon spoken of in Revelation 12 is ever on the prowl. Though there may be disagreement over the identities of the woman and the child, Satan's identity as the dragon is clear. Cast from the heavenly realms with his angels, He will inhabit only the earth and the sea, and in fury he will seek all God-fearing people for "he knows that he has little time" (Revelation 12:12).

The psalmist saw this dragon also. He pleaded, "O Lord, rescue me from evil people. Preserve me from those who are violent, those who plot evil in their hearts and stir up trouble all day long. Their tongues sting like a snake; the poison of a viper drips from their lips" (Psalm 140:1-3).

Revelation 12:10-11 reveals that we have three weapons in our arsenal with which to fight the dragon. First, "the Accuser has been thrown down to earth" (v. 10). We are no longer under guilt and condemnation, and we do not have to listen to the devil's accusations against us.

Second, they "defeated him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of their testimony" (v. 11). In the precious blood of Jesus and with the testimony of His saving grace, we have a mighty weapon to wield against the dragon.

Finally, "they were not afraid to die" (v. 11). You cannot truly kill someone who has already been crucified with Christ.

"Rejoice, O heavens! " (Revelation 12:12). Our enemy is destined for defeat!

Zechariah 1:1-21

A Call to Return to the Lord

In the eighth month of the second year of Darius,S Ezr 4:24; S 6:15 the word of the Lord came to the prophet ZechariahS Ezr 5:1 son of Berekiah,Mt 23:35; Lk 11:51 the son of Iddo:ver 7; S Ne 12:4

“The Lord was very angryS 2Ch 36:16 with your ancestors.Therefore tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘ReturnS Job 22:23 to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’Mal 3:7; Jas 4:8 says the Lord Almighty.Do not be like your ancestors,S 2Ch 36:15 to whom the earlier prophetsZec 7:7 proclaimed: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Turn from your evil waysS 2Ki 17:13; S 2Ch 7:14; Ps 106:6; S Jer 23:22 and your evil practices.’ But they would not listen or pay attention to me,S 2Ch 24:19; Ps 78:8; S Jer 6:17; 17:23 declares the Lord.S Eze 20:18; S 33:4Where are your ancestors now? And the prophets, do they live forever?But did not my wordsS Isa 44:26 and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, overtake your ancestors?S Dt 28:2; S Da 9:12; S Hos 5:9

“Then they repented and said, ‘The Lord Almighty has done to us what our ways and practices deserve,Jer 12:14-17; La 2:17 just as he determined to do.’”Jer 23:20; 39:16; S 44:17

The Man Among the Myrtle Trees

On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo.S ver 1

During the night I had a vision, and there before me was a man mounted on a redRev 6:4 horse. He was standing among the myrtle trees in a ravine. Behind him were red, brown and white horses.Zec 6:2-7

I asked, “What are these, my lord?”

The angelZec 4:1, 4-5; 5:5 who was talking with me answered, “I will show you what they are.”S Da 7:16

10 Then the man standing among the myrtle trees explained, “They are the ones the Lord has sent to go throughout the earth.”Zec 6:5-8

11 And they reported to the angel of the LordGe 16:7 who was standing among the myrtle trees, “We have gone throughout the earth and found the whole world at rest and in peace.”S Isa 14:7

12 Then the angel of the Lord said, “Lord Almighty, how longS Ps 6:3 will you withhold mercyPs 40:11 from Jerusalem and from the towns of Judah,S Jer 40:5 which you have been angry with these seventyS 2Ch 36:21; S Da 9:2 years?”13 So the Lord spokeS Isa 35:4 kind and comforting wordsS Job 15:11 to the angel who talked with me.Zec 4:1

14 Then the angel who was speaking to me said, “Proclaim this word: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I am very jealousS Isa 26:11; S Joel 2:18 for Jerusalem and Zion,15 and I am very angry with the nations that feel secure.Jer 48:11 I was only a little angry,S 2Ch 28:9 but they went too far with the punishment.’S Ps 69:26; 123:3-4; S Am 1:11

16 “Therefore this is what the Lord says: ‘I will returnZec 8:3 to Jerusalem with mercy, and there my house will be rebuilt. And the measuring lineS Job 38:5; Zec 2:1-2 will be stretched out over Jerusalem,’ declares the Lord Almighty.S Ezr 1:1

17 “Proclaim further: This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘My towns will again overflow with prosperity, and the Lord will again comfortS Isa 40:1 Zion and chooseS Isa 14:1 Jerusalem.’”S Ezr 9:9; S Ps 51:18; Isa 54:8-10; S 61:4

Four Horns and Four Craftsmen

18 Then I looked up, and there before me were four horns.19 I asked the angel who was speaking to me, “What are these?”

He answered me, “These are the hornsAm 6:13 that scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem.”

20 Then the Lord showed me four craftsmen.21 I asked, “What are these coming to do?”

He answered, “These are the horns that scattered Judah so that no one could raise their head, but the craftsmen have come to terrify them and throw down these horns of the nations who lifted up their hornsS 1Ki 22:11; Ps 75:4 against the land of Judah to scatter its people.”In Hebrew texts 1:18-21 is numbered 2:1-4.S Ps 75:10; S Isa 54:16-17; Zec 12:9

A Call to Return to the Lord

In NovemberHebrew In the eighth month. A number of dates in Zechariah can be cross-checked with dates in surviving Persian records and related accurately to our modern calendar. This month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar occurred within the months of October and November 520 B.c. of the second year of King Darius’s reign, the Lord gave this message to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah and grandson of Iddo:

“I, the Lord, was very angry with your ancestors.Therefore, say to the people, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Return to me, and I will return to you, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.’Don’t be like your ancestors who would not listen or pay attention when the earlier prophets said to them, ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Turn from your evil ways, and stop all your evil practices.’

“Where are your ancestors now? They and the prophets are long dead.But everything I said through my servants the prophets happened to your ancestors, just as I said. As a result, they repented and said, ‘We have received what we deserved from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. He has done what he said he would do.’”

A Man among the Myrtle Trees

Three months later, on February 15,Hebrew On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius. This event occurred on February 15, 519 B.c.; also see note on 1:1. the Lord sent another message to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah and grandson of Iddo.

In a vision during the night, I saw a man sitting on a red horse that was standing among some myrtle trees in a small valley. Behind him were riders on red, brown, and white horses.I asked the angel who was talking with me, “My lord, what do these horses mean?”

“I will show you,” the angel replied.

10 The rider standing among the myrtle trees then explained, “They are the ones the Lord has sent out to patrol the earth.”

11 Then the other riders reported to the angel of the Lord, who was standing among the myrtle trees, “We have been patrolling the earth, and the whole earth is at peace.”

12 Upon hearing this, the angel of the Lord prayed this prayer: “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, for seventy years now you have been angry with Jerusalem and the towns of Judah. How long until you again show mercy to them?”13 And the Lord spoke kind and comforting words to the angel who talked with me.

14 Then the angel said to me, “Shout this message for all to hear: ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: My love for Jerusalem and Mount Zion is passionate and strong.15 But I am very angry with the other nations that are now enjoying peace and security. I was only a little angry with my people, but the nations inflicted harm on them far beyond my intentions.

16 “‘Therefore, this is what the Lord says: I have returned to show mercy to Jerusalem. My Temple will be rebuilt, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, and measurements will be taken for the reconstruction of Jerusalem.Hebrew and the measuring line will be stretched out over Jerusalem.

17 “Say this also: ‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: The towns of Israel will again overflow with prosperity, and the Lord will again comfort Zion and choose Jerusalem as his own.’”

Four Horns and Four Blacksmiths

18 Verses 1:18-21 are numbered 2:1-4 in Hebrew text.Then I looked up and saw four animal horns.19 “What are these?” I asked the angel who was talking with me.

He replied, “These horns represent the nations that scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.”

20 Then the Lord showed me four blacksmiths.21 “What are these men coming to do?” I asked.

The angel replied, “These four horns—these nations—scattered and humbled Judah. Now these blacksmiths have come to terrify those nations and throw them down and destroy them.”

In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the Lord unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,

The Lord hath been sore displeased with your fathers.

Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the Lord of hosts.

Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the Lord.

Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever?

But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? and they returned and said, Like as the Lord of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us.

Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the Lord unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,

I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white.

Then said I, O my lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these be.

10 And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These are they whom the Lord hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth.

11 And they answered the angel of the Lord that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.

12 Then the angel of the Lord answered and said, O Lord of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years?

13 And the Lord answered the angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words.

14 So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.

15 And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.

16 Therefore thus saith the Lord; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the Lord of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem.

17 Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.

18 Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns.

19 And I said unto the angel that talked with me, What be these? And he answered me, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.

20 And the Lord shewed me four carpenters.

21 Then said I, What come these to do? And he spake, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it.

Revelation 12:1-17

The Woman and the Dragon

12 A great signver 3 appeared in heaven:Rev 11:19 a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve starsGe 37:9 on her head.She was pregnant and cried out in painIsa 26:17; Gal 4:19 as she was about to give birth.Then another sign appeared in heaven:ver 1; Rev 15:1 an enormous red dragonver 9, 13, 16, 17; Rev 13:1 with seven headsRev 13:1; 17:3, 7, 9 and ten hornsDa 7:7, 20; Rev 13:1; 17:3, 7, 12, 16 and seven crownsRev 19:12 on its heads.Its tail swept a thirdS Rev 8:7 of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth.Da 8:10 The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that it might devour her childMt 2:16 the moment he was born.She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.”Psalm 2:9Ps 2:9; Rev 2:27; 19:15 And her child was snatched upS Ac 8:39 to God and to his throne.The woman fled into the wilderness to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.S Rev 11:2

Then war broke out in heaven. MichaelS Jude 9 and his angels fought against the dragon,ver 3 and the dragon and his angelsMt 25:41 fought back.But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven.The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpentver 15; Ge 3:1-7 called the devil,Mt 25:41; Rev 20:2 or Satan,S Mt 4:10 who leads the whole world astray.Rev 20:3, 8, 10 He was hurled to the earth,Lk 10:18; Jn 12:31 and his angels with him.

10 Then I heard a loud voice in heavenRev 11:15 say:

“Now have come the salvationRev 7:10 and the power

and the kingdom of our God,

and the authority of his Messiah.

For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,Job 1:9-11; Zec 3:1; 1Pe 5:8

who accuses them before our God day and night,

has been hurled down.

11 They triumphed overS Jn 16:33; Rev 15:2 him

by the blood of the LambS Rev 7:14

and by the word of their testimony;Rev 6:9

they did not love their lives so much

as to shrink from death.Lk 14:26; Rev 2:10

12 Therefore rejoice, you heavensPs 96:11; Isa 44:23; 49:13; Rev 18:20

and you who dwell in them!

But woeS Rev 8:13 to the earth and the sea,Rev 10:6

because the devil has gone down to you!

He is filled with fury,

because he knows that his time is short.”

13 When the dragonver 3 saw that he had been hurled to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.ver 514 The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle,Ex 19:4 so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time,S Rev 11:2 out of the serpent’s reach.15 Then from his mouth the serpentver 9 spewed water like a river, to overtake the woman and sweep her away with the torrent.16 But the earth helped the woman by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that the dragon had spewed out of his mouth.17 Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage warRev 11:7; 13:7 against the rest of her offspringGe 3:15—those who keep God’s commandsS Jn 14:15 and hold fast their testimony about Jesus.S Rev 1:2

The Woman and the Dragon

12 Then I witnessed in heaven an event of great significance. I saw a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon beneath her feet, and a crown of twelve stars on her head.She was pregnant, and she cried out because of her labor pains and the agony of giving birth.

Then I witnessed in heaven another significant event. I saw a large red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, with seven crowns on his heads.His tail swept away one-third of the stars in the sky, and he threw them to the earth. He stood in front of the woman as she was about to give birth, ready to devour her baby as soon as it was born.

She gave birth to a son who was to rule all nations with an iron rod. And her child was snatched away from the dragon and was caught up to God and to his throne.And the woman fled into the wilderness, where God had prepared a place to care for her for 1,260 days.

Then there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon and his angels.And the dragon lost the battle, and he and his angels were forced out of heaven.This great dragon—the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, the one deceiving the whole world—was thrown down to the earth with all his angels.

10 Then I heard a loud voice shouting across the heavens,

“It has come at last—

salvation and power

and the Kingdom of our God,

and the authority of his Christ.Or his Messiah.

For the accuser of our brothers and sistersGreek brothers.

has been thrown down to earth—

the one who accuses them

before our God day and night.

11 And they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb

and by their testimony.

And they did not love their lives so much

that they were afraid to die.

12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens!

And you who live in the heavens, rejoice!

But terror will come on the earth and the sea,

for the devil has come down to you in great anger,

knowing that he has little time.”

13 When the dragon realized that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.14 But she was given two wings like those of a great eagle so she could fly to the place prepared for her in the wilderness. There she would be cared for and protected from the dragonGreek the serpent; also in 12:15. See 12:9. for a time, times, and half a time.

15 Then the dragon tried to drown the woman with a flood of water that flowed from his mouth.16 But the earth helped her by opening its mouth and swallowing the river that gushed out from the mouth of the dragon.17 And the dragon was angry at the woman and declared war against the rest of her children—all who keep God’s commandments and maintain their testimony for Jesus.

12 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:

And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.

And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.

And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.

And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.

And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.

15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.

16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.

17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Psalm 140:1-13

Psalm 140In Hebrew texts 140:1-13 is numbered 140:2-14.

For the director of music. A psalm of David.

Rescue me,Ps 17:13; S 25:20; 59:2; 71:4; 142:6; 143:9 Lord, from evildoers;

protect me from the violent,ver 11; Ps 86:14

who devise evil plansPs 36:4; 52:2; Pr 6:14; 16:27; Isa 59:4; Hos 7:15 in their hearts

and stir up warS Ps 68:30 every day.

They make their tongues as sharp asPs 57:4 a serpent’s;

the poison of vipersPs 58:4; Ro 3:13*; Jas 3:8 is on their lips.The Hebrew has Selah (a word of uncertain meaning) here and at the end of verses 5 and 8.

Keep me safe,Ps 141:9 Lord, from the hands of the wicked;S Ps 36:11

protect me from the violent,

who devise ways to trip my feet.

The arrogant have hidden a snareS Job 34:30; S Ps 119:110 for me;

they have spread out the cords of their netS Job 18:8

and have set trapsJob 18:9; Ps 31:4; S 38:12 for me along my path.

I say to the Lord, “You are my God.”S Ps 16:2

Hear, Lord, my cry for mercy.S Ps 28:2, 6

Sovereign Lord,Ps 68:20 my strong deliverer,

you shield my head in the day of battle.

Do not grant the wickedPs 10:2-3; S 66:7 their desires, Lord;

do not let their plans succeed.

Those who surround me proudly rear their heads;

may the mischief of their lips engulf them.Pr 18:7

10 May burning coals fall on them;

may they be thrown into the fire,Ps 11:6; 21:9; S Mt 3:10; Lk 12:49; Rev 20:15

into miry pits, never to rise.

11 May slanderers not be established in the land;

may disaster hunt down the violent.S Ps 34:21

12 I know that the Lord secures justice for the poorS Ps 82:3

and upholds the causeS 1Ki 8:45 of the needy.S Ps 35:10

13 Surely the righteous will praise your name,S Ps 138:2

and the upright will liveS Ps 11:7 in your presence.Ps 16:11

Psalm 140

For the choir director: A psalm of David.

O Lord, rescue me from evil people.

Protect me from those who are violent,

those who plot evil in their hearts

and stir up trouble all day long.

Their tongues sting like a snake;

the venom of a viper drips from their lips. Interlude

O Lord, keep me out of the hands of the wicked.

Protect me from those who are violent,

for they are plotting against me.

The proud have set a trap to catch me;

they have stretched out a net;

they have placed traps all along the way. Interlude

I said to the Lord, “You are my God!”

Listen, O Lord, to my cries for mercy!

O Sovereign Lord, the strong one who rescued me,

you protected me on the day of battle.

Lord, do not let evil people have their way.

Do not let their evil schemes succeed,

or they will become proud. Interlude

Let my enemies be destroyed

by the very evil they have planned for me.

10 Let burning coals fall down on their heads.

Let them be thrown into the fire

or into watery pits from which they can’t escape.

11 Don’t let liars prosper here in our land.

Cause great disasters to fall on the violent.

12 But I know the Lord will help those they persecute;

he will give justice to the poor.

13 Surely righteous people are praising your name;

the godly will live in your presence.

140 Deliver me, O Lord, from the evil man: preserve me from the violent man;

Which imagine mischiefs in their heart; continually are they gathered together for war.

They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders' poison is under their lips. Selah.

Keep me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from the violent man; who have purposed to overthrow my goings.

The proud have hid a snare for me, and cords; they have spread a net by the wayside; they have set gins for me. Selah.

I said unto the Lord, Thou art my God: hear the voice of my supplications, O Lord.

O God the Lord, the strength of my salvation, thou hast covered my head in the day of battle.

Grant not, O Lord, the desires of the wicked: further not his wicked device; lest they exalt themselves. Selah.

As for the head of those that compass me about, let the mischief of their own lips cover them.

10 Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire; into deep pits, that they rise not up again.

11 Let not an evil speaker be established in the earth: evil shall hunt the violent man to overthrow him.

12 I know that the Lord will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and the right of the poor.

13 Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto thy name: the upright shall dwell in thy presence.

Proverbs 30:17

17 “The eye that mocksDt 21:18-21 a father,

that scorns an aged mother,

will be pecked out by the ravens of the valley,

will be eaten by the vultures.S Job 15:23

17 The eye that mocks a father

and despises a mother’s instructions

will be plucked out by ravens of the valley

and eaten by vultures.

17 The eye that mocketh at his father, and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it.

Bible Gateway