Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein:
 For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.
For the slaves who lived just around the time when slave trade was being abolished, I can’t imagine how they felt.
Especially for those who had gone through a lot of torture (I see an image of those whose backs were torn apart by whips) and even those who worked in large farms and ranches, freedom MUST mean a lot. Every now and then I’m sure they had nightmares of being recaptured and taken back to their masters. They must have needed some assurances, I believe.
God knew this was going to be the feeling in the camp of the “new” Jews who had returned to Jerusalem from exile. So He gave His Word to Prophet Zechariah through a vision: though they had no walls, He Himself was going to be their wall of fire to protect them (v4-5) and whoever sought to mess with them, messed with the LORD (v8).
You are not ordinary! You are the apple of His eyes (v8) and His intention is to be a wall of fire around you. Walk without fear and make people believe this about you, in your speech and in your deeds. You are more than you think!
Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns.
 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.
Contrary to what most westerners believe, many Africans would readily ascribe a spiritual dimension to every happening in their lives.
Sometimes we go way overboard, especially when one could have just solved a simpler matter with Science or common sense, but choose to wait for some revelation or something of a sort. But indeed, the spiritual does regulate the physical to a large extent and any attempt to disregard the former only depicts how immature one is in spiritual things.
The Jews had returned to Jerusalem, during Darius’ reign but struggled to progress. Zechariah, in his vision, saw 4 horns which the angel of the Lord revealed was responsible for their stalling.
When things seem difficult, perhaps try considering the spiritual and commit them into prayer. Perhaps, some spiritual horns needs to be dealt with first. Engage your guardian angels, they are there for a purpose.
Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.
 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.
 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.
The Jews had returned from a 70yr long exile in Babylon and were just beginning to pick up the pieces. Life was hard!
They weren’t seeing much of the good harvest their forefathers spoke about. They couldn’t see the head and tail of their finances; it was as if they had holes in their bags. Why was all this happening to a liberated people?
They had gotten their priorities wrong! They had not put God first! Everyone went about their business, forgetting how and where they had just come from. The prophet Haggai brought this to their attention and immediately they acknowledged this and “considered their ways,” things turned out differently.
We toil much and toil amiss when our toils are not in the LORD. Jesus encouraged us to seek the LORD’s kingdom first, so that all our desires may rather pursue us (Mat 6:33). You don’t need a patch to seal the holes in your pocket, seek God first, the holes will take care of themselves.
Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls:
 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
In the early 2000s when Don Moen released the album “I Will Sing,” I was in Senior High School and had just given my life to Christ. Lyrics of his songs were learnt in almost every Christian gathering and it was a joy to know most of them.
Just like his other albums, one track that stood out for me also bore the title of the album, “I will Sing.” Don Moen introduces the track with a narration, “though the fig tree may not blossom…” Perhaps, this was why we loved the track so much… the narration spoke directly to us… it knew our situation and ministered directly to us.
It’s good to know that these were the same words Habakkuk used to encourage his people, while under the Babylonian siege, that all was not lost and that the LORD was indeed behind it all.
Walking by faith doesn’t only require us to speak life into all situations, it also implies that though one may not see the LORD’s hand visibly, it is indeed in every situation, no matter how bad it is. God is always at work in your life!
Have a blessed day. #CarllyDevotionals #1ChapterADay #OCP
Habakkuk 1:2-3 KJV O Lord, how long shall I cry, and thou wilt not hear! even cry out unto thee of violence, and thou wilt not save!
Why dost thou shew me iniquity, and cause me to behold grievance? for spoiling and violence are before me: and there are that raise up strife and contention.
A man lived in the times when ancient Israel was at the brink of captivity. He was a prophet, yet just could not understand all that was happening. So he took his frustrations to God in prayer, he wanted answers.
He wanted to know how long the pain and grievance was going to last, how long he had to endure the torture of seeing an army totally obliterate his beloved city and do whatever they wanted with it. Why was God silent in all this? But God had an answer for this man, this prophet, Habakkuk.
God allowed it to happen! God had foretold this through His prophets and His Word was at hand! No unforgiven sin would go unpunished, if Israel, that chosen people, was taken captive for the multitude of their sins, so would we if we continue to live in sin.
Sin results in death, and that is why a price was paid to give us liberation from sin and death.
Continuing in sin wilfully puts us in a position to be overcome by death yet again. Sins have dire consequences. Let’s keep our walk with the LORD upright as we plead His blood daily to cleanse our sins, Amen.
Wherewith shall I come before the Lord, and bow myself before the high God? shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old?
 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?
One question that has plagued the thoughts of most believers is what the prophet Micah poses today in the text above. A lot of us have asked and judged whether what we are presenting to Him at a certain time is ok or not.
I personally knew an internet scammer who went all out to make a good offering whenever he was in church, which he often did.
What really pleases the LORD? Many people feel liberated internally, when they finally redeem their pledges, tithes or offerings, especially when the amounts involved are substantial.
The prophet sums it all up in Micah 6:8. The LORD requires three things from you:
1. To live justly
2. To love mercy
3. To walk humbly with your God.
No wonder Jesus told the Pharisees they were hypocrites, giving tithes on everything including spices and seasonings, yet neglecting justice and mercy to fellow humans. (See Matt 23:23-29)
Yes, give to the Lord! But be more concerned about living justly, loving mercy and walking with God, because it is only in doing these that our offerings become acceptable and make sense to Him.
Have a blessed Friday.
#CarllyDevotionals #1ChapterADay #OCP
The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet will they lean upon the Lord, and say, Is not the Lord among us?
I remember a time in Ghana when investigative journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas exposed High Court Judges who supposed sold justice to the highest bidders.
A goat at a point took centre stage when it was used to facilitate this untoward gesture to a high court judge, who in return denied justice to an innocent man simply because he received the animal.
Before Israel went into captivity they witnessed a similar trend (if not worse) on a wider scale. It involved judges, priests and prophets. All these leaders had their own parochial motives for being in such positions, so threw the real essence of their calling into the ditch. These any many more reasons resulted in the infamous Babylonian invasion that saw a chosen people go into captivity for a long long time.
There is a reason why you are a leader in a certain position. Usually that reason is to make the lives of others better and by so doing yours gets better, not the other way round.
Keep being the true leader you are supposed to be so you can continue to entertain His presence.
Have a blessed day.
#CarllyDevotionals #1ChapterADay #OCP