Thursday, December 18, 2008

Layers--past, present and future

Looking at Zechariah

Zechariah is so rich with layers of prophecy-past, present and future. Reading along, you see the prophecy of Judas Iscariot throwing the 30 pieces of silver on the floor of the temple in Zechariah 11:12 and 13. And you think, wow, that was fulfilled.

But, what is the meaning of the two staffs in the very next verses, and in verse 10. The staffs form a sort of parentheses around the thirty pieces of silver prophecy.

Zechariah 11:7 So I pastured the flock doomed to slaughter, hence the afflicted of the flock. And I took for myself two staffs: the one I called Favor, and the other I called Union, so I pastured the flock.

11:10, 11 And I took my staff, Favor, and cut it in pieces, to break my covenant which I had made with all the peoples. So it was broken on that day, and thus the afflicted of the flock who were watching me realized that it was the word of the Lord.

Whenever the Bible talks about all the peoples, we need to take note. Is Jesus the Staff that was broken? The Net Bible uses the words, Pleasantness and Binders instead of Favor and Union.

Jesus is the most unique Person. The God Man. At Christmas time we celebrate His coming to earth and taking on the human body, being born. His birthday was probably in April, but now is when most Christians have agreed to celebrate God come down to put on the body. Or as CS Lewis puts it, the Author has entered the play.

Jesus set aside His place as Creator. He set aside His glory just for us. It must have been the only way. He came as the Good Shepherd who cared for the perishing, healed the broken, and sought to gather the scattered.

Zechariah 12 deals with the prophecy of what did happen to Jerusalem. But, interwoven are things that will happen again, or, as you read along, you wonder, whoops---I think this is future. And how it must make the present day Jews tremble. For their future is sure, but it is not pretty. Zechariah 12:2 sounds like the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, but verse 3 and 4 talk about things that have not yet happened.

And how we long for Jews to dwell on their own sites in Jerusalem (vs 6) and it will be so wonderful when God destroys all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

Oh, for Israel to push the arabs out and take back their rightful borders. Verse 8 talks about how the one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house if David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord before them. But, it is not a day of rejoicing, instead, in verses 10 and 11, "…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 first-born. In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, …"

A refining fire is coming. And chapter 13 and 14 are hard to read: "…For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished, and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city…" Right before Jesus stands on the Mount of Olives, right before it is split and "half of the mountain will move toward the morth and the other half toward the south. And you will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him!

I am not a physics expert, but the forces necessary to generate "living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea…"

Jerusalem will then and forever more only know peace. No more curses. Only security. Jerusalem will be the new center, the new capital of the whole world.

Merry Christmas. Jesus came. Jesus fulfilled His first mission. When He comes back to set things right, it will be so horrible at the end, so scary, and violent, and only a third make it alive.

Zechariah 14:7 For it will be a unique day which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but it wull come about that at evening time there will be light.

14:9 And the LORD will be king over all the earth, in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one. Vs.10 And the land will be changed into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem; but Jerusalem will rise and remain on its site from Benjamin's Gate as far as the place of the First Gate to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king's wine presses. And people will live in it, and there will be no more curse, for Jerusalem will dwell in security.

God rescued His people by making a dry place through the Red Sea. Is the same thing going to happen in Jerusalem? Will this earthquake split things open into a dry place for the remnant to escape? And then flood the pursuers?

Zechariah 2:10 Sing for joy and be glad, O daughter of Zion, for behold I am coming and I will dwell in your midst," declares the Lord.

Zechariah 7:9 Thus has the Lord of hosts said, "Dispense true justice, and practice kindness and compassion each to his brother; and do not oppress the widow or the orphan, the stranger or the poor; and do not devise evil in your hearts against one another."

8:11- But now I will not treat the remnant of this people as in the former days, declares the Lord of hosts….so I will save you that you may become a blessing. Do not fear, let your hands be strong…

Speak the truth to one another, judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates. Also let none of you devise evil in your heart against another, and do not love perjury, for all of these are what I hate, declares the Lord. …God is with you.

Zechariah 9:9- Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, humble and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

1 comment:

Gladys said...

Thank you for sharing that. I always forget about Zacharia. What a hard but poignant message.

Thank you for your comments on Trooper Bob. There are many more adventures to come. You see I get phone calls from my daddy and he will start telling me stories. Sometimes I'm on the phone for hours with him writing on a piece of paper or an envelope. To say he had a colorful career well is an understatement.

Again Thank you for reading me. From one Granny to another :)