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Sunday, June 15, 2014

Zechariah Bible Study # 17 Zechariah Chapter 12

Zechariah Bible Study #17
Zechariah Chapter 12
Israel's Final Conflict and Great Deliverance

Jerusalem to Be Attacked

12 The burden of the word of the Lord concerning Israel.
Thus declares the Lord who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him, “Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah. It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it. In that day,” declares the Lord, “I will strike every horse with bewilderment and his rider with madness. But I will watch over the house of Judah, while I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘A strong support for us are the inhabitants of Jerusalem through the Lord of hosts, their God.’
“In that day I will make the clans of Judah like a fire pot among pieces of wood and a flaming torch among sheaves, so they will consume on the right hand and on the left all the surrounding peoples, while the inhabitants of Jerusalem again dwell on their own sites in Jerusalem. The Lord also will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem will not be magnified above Judah. In that day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord before them. And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
10 “I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. 11 In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 The land will mourn, every family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself and their wives by themselves; 13 the family of the house of Levi by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself and their wives by themselves; 14 all the families that remain, every family by itself and their wives by themselves.

The final 3 chapters 12-14 speak of “the judgment through which Israel itself is sifted and purged in the final great conflict with the nations, and transformed into the holy nation of Jehovah.” David Baron

(I must emphasize that a majority of the church would put this in the past and say it has no relevance to the future. The teaching is that God has divorced natural, physical, Israel and now only individual Jews who come to know Jesus get to be a part of the 'church' and there is no millennial reign, no promise left to be fulfilled, no prophecy that yet needs to come to pass. It is a powerful spiritual blindness, and the people that believe it, have invested their lives in “proving” that none of this matters. It is sad.)

David Baron points out that Israel has had many calamitous events in the past, but God has never visibly appeared in the person of Messiah with His angelic hosts to be the Deliverer of His people and the destroyer of many nations which were gathered against them; nor was the spirit of grace and supplication ever yet poured out upon the Jewish nation. One of the keys is “that day” the day of Jehovah, which is referred to 14 times in these last three chapters. This day spoken of all through scripture is a day of displaying the majesty of God, manifesting His divine judgment and glory, destroying the enemies of Israel and saving His own people.
Verse 1 – This verse makes it very clear that we are not talking some small regional conflict that can be brushed aside as occurring some time in the past. This does indeed concern Israel, but the One expressing the concern is Almighty God! The One who made the universe, and earth, and man, all of it! And just like in chapter 11, this is a “burden” which makes it a section revolving around threatenings and divine judgments.
To eliminate us saying, “How could all this come to pass?” God gives us His resume and effectively silences all thoughts of “this is too hard for You.” Baron points out that this verse is speaking of “continuous creative formation.” Deut. 32 is the song that Moses instructed the people they should teach their children. Verses 36-43 apply to this section of scripture and give a clear picture of the end times. God's people come to the end of their strength, God takes on their enemies Himself, their enemies are His enemies.
Verse 2 – “Behold I am going to...” Wow, so in verse one, He declares the awesomeness of who He is and in verse two, He says, and this is what I am going to do. The cup of judgment, Israel gets it, Jesus took it, and the nations who reject Him will yet drink it also. Either He drinks it for you or you drink it, period! This word for “cup” is actually a word for “bowl” to symbolize that this is big enough for all the nations to drink of. The siege affects everyone, no one is spared in Israel.
Verse 3 – Everything in verse 2 gets increased here. The surrounding nations become all nations and the cup that makes powerless, now becomes something that cuts and wounds. This is the famous last great gathering of man under Satan. (Rev. 16;14, Joel 3:9-12) God fights the enemy and supernaturally empowers Israel to fight the enemy. Psalm 118:10
Verse 4 – Bewilderment, blindness, madness, are the judgments now brought upon the nations that were previously put on Israel. Deut. 28:28. Supernatural enabling for victory... after... the people have come to the end of their strength.
Verse 5 – God has chosen Jerusalem, His choice, His election, is what makes the people strong, and they only realize this when they come to the end of their strength. But when they see that His eye is turned to them again in mercy, they are no different than we are, from that “look” they are brought to repentance and a renewed strength for the battle.
Verse 6 – I have to slow down here and ask us to compare Gen. 15:17 It came about when the sun had set, that it was very dark, and behold, there appeared a smoking oven and a flaming torch which passed between these pieces.  It strikes me that both of these verses mention a fire pot and a torch. What is the connection? One connection is the land, this was the unconditional covenant ceremony where God gave the land to Abraham. It strikes me that during the tribulation Israel will experience the fire pot of God, but in their deliverance from their enemies they will be to the nations a fire pot and torch.
Verse 7 – Saving the tents outside the walled city 'first' makes it clear that God is wanting to show His watch care over the whole nation. Those that have no wall find that He is their wall. The royalty of the nation dwelt in Jerusalem, but God is acting first on behalf of those who are ordinary. Even in this act He is striking at pride, as He always does, on all levels.
Verse 8 – Now that they have seen Jehovah act for them sovereignly, supernaturally, they are empowered to join the fight. Again in Deut. 32:30 it was put to them as a question,  “How could one chase a thousand,
And two put ten thousand to flight,
Unless their Rock had sold them,
And the Lord had given them up? Whereas, in this section of Deut. we see God acting in judgment against Israel and causing them to flee before inferior numbers, now , in this section of Zechariah, we see Him empowering them and causing them to succeed with inferior numbers.
Verse 9 – The simple and clear summation of this section. God sets about to destroy the armies that surround Jerusalem. One thing that is not clear to me is that the anti-Christ is set up in Jerusalem at the end. Daniel 11:45 He will pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain; yet he will come to his end, and no one will help him. I am not sure how this all plays out, but the Lord knows those who are His. 2 Timothy 2:19
The first section verses 1-9 comes to a close. God has physically delivered His people from their enemies, now the focus turns to the real enemy our own stony heart.

Verse 10 – “He who comes to conquer their foes comes also to subdue their hearts.” “I will pour” is an abundant pouring like Joel 2:28,29 upon all flesh. The capital, Jerusalem and the house of David, the chief family stand for the whole nation. Grace when it is poured out, enables us to cry out for more grace, = supplication. This leads to looking with a “trustful hope and longing” a look of eager faith like Israel looking upon the serpent from a desperate condition of death going throughout the camp. The idea that the great and awesome God could be pierced by His people is extraordinary, and we can certainly “forgive” the Jewish people for not seeing it. In normal reasoning or thinking it does not make sense, it required revelation knowledge granted by God. The mourning that follows this revelation is deep and intense, as for an only son. That is truth that applies to a truly converted individual also.

Verse 11 – The reference is to the national mourning for pious young king Josiah who was slain by Pharaoh Necho in the valley of Megiddon. 2 Kings 23:29,30 and 2 Chron. 35:20-27.

Verse 12 and 13 – The royal family and the priestly family are mentioned set the pace as leaders they are held responsible for the rejection of the Messiah and so feel the weight of it even more than the others.

Verse 14 – Their example is followed by the rest of the people. The mourning is national but it is also deeply personal.

Only God will be able to comfort the nation, and He will. As Joseph comforted his brothers, as Hosea comforted Gomer with an infinite, unchanging, and omnipotent love. A love which never ceases and never ends. The cross is the center of our devotion, truly coming to a place where we realize that we are the one who pierced Him. Rev. 1:7 We look to Him for salvation, we fix our gaze upon Him for sanctification.  

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