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Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
is the author of these Sabbath School lesson study outlines. He is the Reed Larson Professor of Labor Law at Regent University School of Law. Professor Cameron has devoted his life to promoting the Gospel and defending believers. In addition to teaching at an overtly Christian law school, he continues his 41 year practice of law which is limited to the litigation of constitutional rights and religious freedom cases for employees. He holds an undergraduate degree from Andrews University and a Doctor of Law from Emory University School of Law.
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Lesson 12: Heaven's Best Gift (Zechariah) *
Introduction: When I was growing up, some of my elders would tell me
that if I did not obey God, He would not listen to me when I needed
help. Others would say that God would listen to me regardless of
what I might do. Our study of Zechariah 7 helps unravel that issue.
Another issue when I was younger was whether Christianity was the
correct religion. There were so many religions. I grew up a
Christian, how could I be sure I was born into the right religion?
Zechariah 9 & 11 help with that issue. Let's dive into the lesson and
see what lessons God has for us!
- Stopped Ears
- Read Zechariah 7:2-3. It seems odd today to fast on the
"fifth month," but this tradition arose because the
Jerusalem temple was destroyed on the fifth month. What do
you think motivated the people to ask God about continuing
this practice? (They were rebuilding the temple! Perhaps
the time had come to stop fasting in memory of its
- Read Zechariah 7:4-6. Is this a "yes," or a "no?" (It
seems like a "yes, stop fasting on the fifth month.")
- Why does God say, "Yes?" Why is His "yes" so
ambiguous? (He says they were never serious about it
anyway! They were not mourning the loss of His
residence, they were merely thinking about
- Recall that when we studied Haggai, a dispute arose
over whether the 70 years had passed and the people
could begin work to rebuild the temple? When God
spoke to the people, He did not discuss the technical
issue of when the prophecy ended. Instead, He spoke
to them about being devoted to His work. Why? (God
seems more concerned about our relationship with Him
than about prophetic interpretation.)
- Read Zechariah 7:8-10. What has this to do with fasting?
(It is a "fast" from sin. God wants us to deny self and
reflect His kindness and fair treatment.)
- Read Zechariah 7:11-12. How are the people reacting to
- Read Zechariah 7:13-14. Is this "payback?" Is this "if
you don't listen to me I won't listen to you?" (Consider
the context. God says "You were never really concerned
about Me or listening to Me. Why should I listen and
respond when you won't listen?" I don't think this is
payback, I think God is saying that it would do no good to
listen to them.)
- What is the lesson for us if we think that God is not
listening to us? (The problem is all within our control.
If we are not going to listen to God, He is not going to
waste effort responding to us.)
- New Day
- Read Zechariah 8:3-5. What is the future for Jerusalem?
(Those who can least defend themselves will feel safe
being in the streets.)
- Read Zechariah 8:6. How would you answer God? (The people
have not had a right relationship with God. They are
amazed when God blesses them.)
- Read Zechariah 8:14-17. How can God say, "Do not be
afraid?" Isn't God saying that He has changed His mind and
He will now do good things instead of bad things to His
- Read Jeremiah 29:11-13. How do you square "God's
plans" with what we just read about how God changes
His attitude toward us? (God's goal is always the
same - to give us hope and a future. We may stop
listening to God and bad things may naturally result,
but God's plan is to turn this into something good.
God wants us to be His partners in doing good.)
- Read Zechariah 8:20-23. What is the message the "one Jew"
should have to those ten who want to learn about the Lord
Almighty? (Seek God. Pay attention to God. Be just to
others. God will bless you!)
- The King's Message
- Read Matthew 21:1-3. What does Jesus prophetically see in
the village? (A donkey with a colt.)
- Read Matthew 21:4-9 and Zechariah 9:9. What did Zechariah
prophesy about Jesus?
- Read Matthew 21:10-13. What theme is repeated here that we
saw earlier in Zechariah? (The people were focused on
their own needs and wealth, they were not focused on God's
needs and God's house.)
- Read Zechariah 9:10. If you believed this prophecy, would
you think that Jesus would come as a military hero? (This
says that God's people will be disarmed, but that they
will enjoy peace.)
- What does this teach us about Jesus? (He not only was
predicted by the prophets, but He reflected God's
- Is this "pay attention to God's needs" a message for
us today? (Yes. We keep seeing this theme: if we
focus on God's needs He will watch over us and give
- Let's have a reality check. Was Daniel a follower of
God? (Yes. See, e.g., Daniel 1:8-9.)
- Was Daniel also a captive? (Yes. The evil of
others can create problems in our life.
However, God's intent for us is to bless us if
we make Him a priority.)
- Read Zechariah 11:4-7 and John 10:14-15. We have two
different kinds of shepherds here. Who is the Good
- What makes the difference between the shepherds? (The
bad shepherds use the sheep for their own advantage.)
- Read Zechariah 11:8-11. When Jesus came, how did His
people react to Him? (The officials, in general, detested
- Is this now a prophecy about Jesus?
- What is the result of the flock detesting Jesus? (God
broke His staff of "Favor," He revoked his covenant.)
- Read Zechariah 11:12-13, Matthew 26:14-16, and Matthew
27:3-8. What does this tell us about Jesus? (This is a
very specific prophecy about Jesus that was fulfilled.
This was not something that Jesus and His disciples could
- Read Zechariah 11:15-16. We have discussed the Babylonian
captivity, we have discussed how afterwards God blessed
His people. What does this suggest about the long-term
welfare of God's people? (Having rejected the Shepherd who
cared for them, they are given a shepherd who "tears off
- Read Zechariah 13:7-8. What is the specific result of
striking the Shepherd? (Terrible ruin to God's people.)
- Read Zechariah 13:9. What is the future for God's people?
(A group who survive the terrible time will come out with
a stronger faith. God will claim them as His people, and
they will proclaim "The Lord is our God.")
- Read Zechariah 14:1-3. Recently, I read a book about the
history of Jerusalem. It has been the scene of many
battles. When does this battle take place? ("A day of the
Lord" points to the Second Coming of Jesus.)
- Read Zechariah 14:4. Has this happened? (No. Clearly, this
is a future event.)
- What is Jesus doing on behalf of Jerusalem and His
people? (He is coming in power to defend the city.)
- Read Zechariah 14:5. Who are with Jesus? ("All the
- How does this sequence of events unfold? Read 1
Thessalonians 4:16-17. This has Jesus at the Second
Coming meeting us in the air, not heading to
Jerusalem for mountain-splitting. How do you explain
- Read Revelation 20:4-9 and Revelation 21:1-3. How
does this clarify the time sequence? (At Jesus'
Second Coming we are taken directly to heaven to live
with Him for one thousand years. This is the "first
resurrection," the resurrection of the righteous.
After a thousand years have passed, Jesus, the New
Jerusalem and the saved return to earth. The wicked,
who are raised in the second resurrection, attack the
New Jerusalem and Jesus defeats them.)
- Read Zechariah 14:6-9 and Revelation 22:1-5. Are Zechariah
and John the Revelator describing the same scene? (I think
- If Zechariah so clearly described how Jesus would fulfill
prophecy, can we doubt the fulfillment of Zechariah's
prophecy about the end of the world?
- Friend, Jesus is looking for those who want to listen to
Him, those who desire to advance God's kingdom on earth.
If you are not among those, why not determine today to
make that change? Why not decide to listen to God, to make
giving glory to God your highest goal? You may face
trouble, but God has promised to win the battle for His
people and His city!
- Next week: Lest We Forget! (Malachi)
* Copr. 2013, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.