‘Reflections’ on the Writing Prophets 49
Z e c h a r I a h
Zechariah 13:1 to 14:21
“In that day” our reading this week begins. Which day? The day in which “I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem” (Zech 12:9). In that same day, as we read last week, there will be much grief, mourning, and ‘soul searching’ by the inhabitants of that city. So, “a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness”. That represents a kind of communal ‘mikvah’, a bath or body of water connected to ‘running’ water, well understood in Jewish society, often in homes, as the means of becoming ‘ritually clean’. (The christian equivalent is water baptism). We commented last week that this ‘day’ is also the day mentioned by Paul in Romans 11 as the day when “all Israel shall be saved”. IF that is the case, then possibly, it may also be the day, spoken of by the prophet Jeremiah, when the LORD will make His new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34). with the house of Israel and the house of Judah.
To add some credence to that possibility, we note that immediately following this mass ‘cleansing’ of the whole population (the house of David), and still ‘in that day’, “that I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they shall no more be remembered. I will also cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to depart from the land”. There are two ways this proclamation may be interpreted. Many commentators consider this to refer to ‘false prophets’. And certainly there will be no place in a ‘new covenant’ community for false prophets. But neither will there be any need for the kind of prophets which are the subject of this series of ‘reflections’ either. The role of such prophets has been to provide warning and counsel regarding the manner in which people had forsaken the ‘Mosaic’ covenant they had willingly made with God. A careful reading of the conditions of the coming “new” covenant, reveal that “the Torah will be written on the heart and put in the mind of everyone”. It will be unteachable, because everyone with know it, and be observant, “from the greatest to the least”. That being the case, ‘prophecy’ (speaking words given by God) will no longer be part of God’s way of communication. Therefore anyone who engages in such will, by definition, be ‘a false prophet’.
The prophecy “that in all the land … two thirds of it shall be cut off and die, but one third shall be left in it: I will bring the one third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say ‘This is My people’; and each one will say ‘the LORD is my God’” has caused great controversy in the community of believers, even today. (By way of illustration, the late, and gifted, bible teacher David Pawson had been a regular speaker at the I.C.E.J. Feast of Tabernacles annual gathering since its inception in 1980. About six years ago I was present when he spoke on this subject. It was his LAST invitation to speak at that gathering!) What we, as individuals believe, bears no influence on the outcomes God has determined. I refer you to the wisdom of Solomon. Proverbs 17:14 “The beginning of strife is like releasing water; therefore stop contention before a quarrel starts”. But we must not be delinquent in our responsibility to “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). And doing that, I perceive that this testing by fire comes immediately before the “day of the LORD” arrives, when He “will go forth and fight against those nations (who have come to do battle against Jerusalem).
To conclude this ‘reflection’ on the prophecy of Zechariah, we look to the time immediately following that great battle. On one of my early visits to the Feast of Tabernacles in Jerusalem, I recall looking from my hotel directly across the Kiddron Valley towards the Mount of Olives and trying to imagine the scene which Zechariah now describes.
The map (1985) here shows that there is an earthquake fault line which passes between the temple mount area and the Himmon Valley to the south of the City of David, very close to the Gihon Spring. Zechariah tells us that when the feet of Messiah Yeshua stand on the Mount of Olives, it will split into two from east to west (exactly as the fault line indicates). The mountain itself will move, half northward and half southward. “And in that day it shall be that living water shall flow from Jerusalem (compare Ezekiel 47 about fish in the Dead Sea and water flowing from the temple yet to be built), half of them toward the eastern (Dead) sea and half of them toward the western (Mediterranean) sea; in both summer and winter it shall occur”.
“In that day it shall be - “The LORD is one, and His name is one” (Deut 6:4). And that my dear friends will be the colloquial ‘game, set, and match’!! The whole purpose of God, in His dealings with His ancient people, and those of us who have willing joined them in faith, worshipping God in that special place which he chose at the time of King David to be the place of His dwelling on earth. It is a Kingdom set to reign for 1,000 years with Yeshua as King. But there are still some things left for Zechariah to tell us.
“And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, one them there will be no rain”. Please take time to read the whole chapter. You may be surprised to discover that part of the worship of the LORD involves presenting sacrifices to Him! At least, that’s what Zechariah says.
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