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The coming day of victory
A look into the future care of
Zechariah 14

Scripture reading: Matthew 25:1-13, Psalm 2

For the last couple of weeks we have been reading the Book of Zechariah together

-Zechariah was a prophet who ministered in the days following the return of the Jewish exiles from 70 years of captivity in Babylon
-Zechariah's message focused on the call to rebuild the Temple, the coming kingdom of God, God's call to the exiles to return home, the renewal of Israel and Jerusalem to prominence and honour, the coming of Messiah/Christ,
-To make the reading of Zechariah easier it helps to read ch.1-8 as a unit and then ch. 9-14 as a unit
-Next to the Book of Isaiah and Psalms it has more to say about Jesus than all the other Old Testament books
-As noted last week, the Book of Zechariah is very much connected to the message of Revelation and Isaiah. There is also significant overlap into Joel, Daniel, Jeremiah, the Gospels, Thessalonians, etc

Today we are going to take a quick look at Zechariah 14

-Zechariah 14 is all about Jesus and his triumphant return to earth as Lord and King******
-Zechariah 14 presents to us a detailed picture of what will happen in Jerusalem and Israel in the days and weeks just before the return of Christ. You can be sure that what is said in Zechariah 14 will happen exactly as detailed. God's Word never fails.
-Zechariah 14 also tells us what life will be like after Christ returns-- Jesus will reign as King on Jerusalem's hill and the nations will come to worship Him
-It's important to note the tone of Zechariah-- though it speaks of great trial, hardship, and persecution for the Jews of Jerusalem (who in Zechariah 12:10-14 are pictured as finally, by the grace and mercy of God, having turned in faith to Christ)- is one of hope and victory

READ TEXT

THE PATH TO VICTORY--Note how Zech.14:1 sets the tone

Look at Zechariah 14:1 "A day of the LORD is coming when your plunder will be divided among you."

Now look at Zechariah 14:14 "Judah too will fight at Jerusalem. The wealth of all the surrounding nations will be collected-- great quantities of gold and silver and clothing."

Besides indicating that v.1-14 is a unit, we are told something very important: On the Day of the Lord-- when Christ returns to Earth in glory and power, as King-- The plunderer will be plundered, those bent on destruction will be destroyed and the people will be victorious because their King has come.

a. The path to victory will entail God bringing the nations to Jerusalem to fight against her

-This is also spoken of in Zechariah 12:1-6 Read
-Other texts that speak of the nations gathering outside Jerusalem that they might destroy the Jews and Israel include Ezekiel 38-39, Joel 3, Revelation 16:13-16 (read)

The ultimate end of God's gathering of Israel's enemies is that He might destroy them and exact His vengeance upon them. Battle of Armageddon

b. The path to victory- Jesus' return and triumph- will be preceded by great suffering and trial for the Jews of Israel and Jerusalem. Read v.2

Note: This suffering will not be limited just to the Jews. The Bible specifically tells us of great trial and persecution for all the people of God the world over. Such suffering will be at its absolute pinnacle during the time of the Anti Christ-- whose intent will be purge the earth of all who name the name of Jesus as Lord and Savior

c. The path to victory--When things are there absolute worst for His people, when it looks like all is lost, Christ will return and fight for us

For a moment I'd like to draw your attention to Daniel 7- which also concerns the end and the return of Christ. In Daniel 7:21-23 it says; "As I watched, this horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them, until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.

Note the phrase "this horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them"

Further, remember the words of Christ from Matthew 24:22, in speaking of the end "If those days had not been cut short, no would survive, but for the sake of the elect those those days will be shortened."

ADDITIONAL THINGS ABOUT CHRIST'S VICTORIOUS RETURN

a. When Jesus returns, He will descend upon the Mount of Olives

Who here remembers where Jesus was when he ascended in Heaven? In Acts 1 we are told that He was on the Mount of Olives. Following his ascension what did the angels say? "This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven"

b. When Jesus returns, He will come with the armies of Heaven v.5

Holy ones-- a reference to the angels of Heaven

See also Matthew 25:31; 1 Thessalonians 3:13; Revelation 19:11-21

The Battle will be short, the victory of Christ sure.

c. When Jesus returns, He will provide a miraculous escape for the besieged and afflicted Jews of Jerusalem v.4

The nature of the escape?

When Jesus sets his feet upon the earth the result will be a great earthquake that will split the Mount of Olives in two (East to West) allowing the Jews to flee.

This miraculous escape reminds me of the Jews at the Red Sea -as they left Egypt. Pharoah thought he had the Jews trapped and yet God provided an escape-- splitting the sea in two-- and then after, swallowing the Egyptians as they tried to follow.

Note: The Rift Valley runs through the Dead Sea all the way to Mozambique

Interesting: Job 19:25 "I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth"

d. On the day Jesus returns the passage of time itself will be temporarily altered v.6-7

While I can't provide any scientific explanation for this- for we are talking about the supernatural Divine power of God-- this text is not without precedence, for in Joshua 10:13 it says "So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day."

e. On the day Jesus returns a never ending river of living water will flow out from Jerusalem to the East and the West v.8

-Seems to be following the line of the split Mount of Olives
-Such reminds me of Ezekiel's vision of Ezekiel 47
-this river will irrigate the dry land and enrich Israel turning it into a veritable Garden, the joy of the whole Earth

f. When Jesus returns He will defeat all His enemies and establish Himself as the undisputed King over all the earth v.9

The results being that He will be worshipped, the nations will stream to Jerusalem to give Him honour and praise-

Further notes: During the period Christ reigns on earth, those who refuse to come and worship Christ will endure drought and plagues v.17-18

f. After Jesus returns Jerusalem will be the capital of the Earth v.10-11

See Psalm 2

g. The earthly reign of Christ will, for the most part, be one of peace, celebration, joy, and holiness v.16-21

Such is hinted at in v.16-21 and built upon in Isaiah 11:6-10- which says "The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them. The cow will feed with the bear, their young will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. The infant will play near the hole of the cobra, and the young child put his hand into the viper's nest. They will neither harm nor destroy on all my holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea. In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious.

While the earthly reign of Christ, called the Millennial reign of Christ in Revelation 20, --will be great, hints at rebellion and a final battle to come are in this text of Zechariah 14:16-21

CONCLUSION

Zechariah 14 is not a fear mongering passage. Yes it contains some disturbing aspects (especially for God's people), yet it's tone is one of victory and triumph in Christ-- for the plunderer will be plundered and those bent on destroying, destroyed-- all because at just the right moment Christ will come and save us.

Let us rejoice: King Jesus is our champion

Can we be confident that the prophecy of Zechariah will come true?

Yes. Embedded within the Book of Zechariah itself is many affirmations of this. For instance as Zechariah prophesied- Christ entered Jerusalem riding on a foal, a young donkey. Further, as Zechariah prophesied- Christ was betrayed for 30 pieces of silver and then the money used to be the Potters field.

All these, though it might have seemed improbable at the time the word was delivered, happened exactly as said. So will the rest of the words of Zechariah.

How ought we to live as this day approaches?

2 Peter 3 which has much to say about the Day of the Lord says on v.11-12 "You ought to live holy and godly lives as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming." Further-- in v.14 Peter also says "Make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him"

Benediction

"May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones." 1 Thessalonians 3:13

Come Lord Jesus. Come! Revelation 22:20