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Monday, September 12, 2016

A Fountain of Cleansing (Zechariah 13:1)

 "On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity" (Zechariah 13:1).

The familiar hymn by William Cowper begins with the theme of this verse, "There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel's veins and sinners plunged beneath that flood loose all their guilty stains." Cowper's hymn expresses the hope of which Zechariah prophesies. In that day Israel's sin will be cleansed. In that day Judah's iniquities will be removed. The price to remove this sin and iniquity however, was higher than even the prophet imagined. None but God knows how much it cost for that fountain to be opened.

The Sin Bearer paid redemption's price so that the guilty could go free while the innocent bore the shame. God foreshadowed this in the Garden of Eden when He slew an innocent animal, that He Himself had proclaimed on the sixth day of Creation as good to cover Adam and Eve's shame, guilt, and nakedness.

Sin always costs God but God's love is so great that He willingly pays the price to open the fountain that cleanses guilty sinners. Ask God to fill you with gratitude for the fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel's vein. Thank Him for the Lamb's willingness to lay down His life for the sheep.

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
Zechariah 10-14
  • With what animal does the Lord compare Israel and what does this analogy teach you about His relationship with Israel?
  • (Chapter 12, 13) What does God promise to make Jerusalem?
  • List the nine things that will happen on "that day."
  • How will Israel respond when they finally understand what Jesus Christ has done for them?
  • What will happen to 2/3 of the sheep? What about the remaining 1/3?
  • (Chapter 14) Where will this final battle occur?
  • Who will reign over all the earth?
  • What is the purpose of the plague?
  • What will those who survive the plague do?
  • Which feast will the people celebrate?
The Feast of Tabernacles was the final and most important holiday on the Jewish calendar when all males were to make an annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem. It was like a rehearsal looking forward to that day when the King of Kings rules His people (and the nations) from Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:16). The importance of this festival is indicated by the statement, “This is to be a lasting ordinance” and concluded with the divine pronouncement, “I am the Lord your God.” The Feast of Tabernacles begins five days after Yom Kippur on the fifteenth of Tishri (September or October). It is a drastic change from one of the most solemn holidays in our year to one of the most joyous.

Turning truth into prayer
Praise God for the cleansing fountain of Jesus Christ. Voice the words of the above mentioned song to the Lord in praise and thanksgiving.