Zechariah Lesson 28, Chapter 12: 1-9 :: By Sean Gooding

“The burden of the word of the Lord against Israel. Thus, says the Lord, who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him: ‘Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it.

“In that day,’ says the Lord, ‘I will strike every horse with confusion, and its rider with madness; I will open My eyes on the house of Judah, and will strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem are my strength in the Lord of hosts, their God.’

“In that day I will make the governors of Judah like a firepan in the woodpile, and like a fiery torch in the sheaves; they shall devour all the surrounding peoples on the right hand and on the left, but Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place—Jerusalem.

“The Lord will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall not become greater than that of Judah. In that day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the Lord before them. It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.”

In the betrayal of Jesus by Judas that was prophesied in Zechariah 11, the prophecy was so accurate in every sense that we can see that God can be trusted with the future.

In verse 1 of Zechariah 12, we begin with the fundamentals of our beliefs, the fundamental that God made everything.

Genesis 1:1 “In the beginning God made the heavens and the earth.”

This is the very first verse of the Bible and it sets the course for everything else. If one can believe this verse and trust it, then everything else in the Bible is believable.

In verse 1, Zechariah states that God stretched out the heavens; He laid the foundations of the earth and made man, even forming the spirit in him called the breath of life in Genesis. By doing so, the prophet establishes that God is able to know the future since He is the very creator of the earth, the sky and the people who live on the earth.

God knows His creation and, like a craftsman, He is over the creation and sees where He is going with His creation. God proceeds to tell us things about the nation of Israel that we are seeing play out before our very eyes in our time. This chapter is about today and then the near future. Today we will look at our time.

Jerusalem, a heavy stone for the world, verses 2-3

The governments of the earth groan under the weight of Israel and, in particular, Jerusalem. The UN is constantly dealing with votes about Israel. The nation is snubbed time and time again at the assembly, and they are ridiculed for defending themselves against the Palestinian Authority or Hamas when they try to protect their citizens.

Beginning in 1967, some 51 years now, there has been resolution after resolution to try and trade land for peace.

The UN passed a resolution in November 1967 trying to find peace; then the Camp David Accord hosted by President Jimmy Carter tried to broker a peace and ended with two agreements, one of which called for peace between Israel and her neighbors, including Egypt. There was no lasting peace, as the Palestinians have never wanted peace; they want the land.

In 1991, The Madrid Conference, hosted by both the US and the Soviet Union, tried to find peace once again; but Israel did not want to work with the PLO, and instead entered into a treaty with Jordan in 1994.

In 1993, there was the Oslo Accord, once again sponsored by the US, as the PLO and Israel tried to work out a lasting peace, the idea being that the PLO would set up a government alongside Israel in Jerusalem. Hamas and others rejected this agreement and instead launched rockets into Israel.

In 2000, President Clinton tried to work out a deal with Israel and the PLO, but to no avail; more war came of it. President Clinton tried again in 2001 to form an agreement, but once again to no avail.

They tried again in 2002 with the Geneva Accord; and then in 2007, President Bush Jr. hosted talks in Annapolis, Maryland. There the leaders of Israel and the PLO agreed to work out an agreement by the following year.

In 2010, President Obama tried and did get Benjamin Netanyahu to stop building in the West Bank; but the PLO and Hamas wanted more land, and the agreement fell apart.

1n December 2017, President Trump was the first President to officially recognize Jerusalem as the rightful and historic capital of Israel with the intent of moving the US Embassy there in the near future. This action sparked a UN General Assembly vote. They objected to the US actions, with over 151 nations voting against the US – in reality, voting against Israel.

Make no mistake; the nation of Israel and, in particular, Jerusalem is a stone around the necks of the nations of the world. This has been evidenced for the last 51 years and nine US Presidents.

I add this link for you to look at: http://www.nowtheendbegins.com/11-shocking-proofs-disaster-strikes-america-mistreats-israel/ . I have seen this before and think it is quite interesting. Whenever you fight or negotiate against Israel, God becomes your enemy.

Israel, too hot for mere man to handle, verses 4-7

The enemies of Israel will seem to win for a time. But they will be burned. Even recent events like the Six-Day War of 1967 and the war in 1973 show us that Israel is capable of defeating much superior enemies. God is on their side. Even in the midst of virtually continuous war over the past 50+ years, with rockets and suicide bombers, the nation has grown into a financial hub in the Middle East. It exports fruit, medical supplies, agricultural supplies and technologies. One cannot read a list of reputable lawyers or bankers and not come across Jewish names.

Somehow – we Christians know how – rockets from the enemies seem to miss targets in Israel. But, when the Jews fire, theirs hit what they shoot at.

Since 2013, the nation of Israel has been condemned in 45 UN resolutions. That is a ridiculous amount of resolutions against one nation, especially a nation that does not begin wars; it only responds to aggression. Israel is a hotbed to the world, and it sparks more conversations and fights than any other nation. Only God can and will handle Israel—because Israel is His.

Judah, the glory of Israel, verses 7-9

The weakest will be a warrior like David, and the tribe of Judah will be like the Angel of the Lord. We know that Jesus is the Angel of the Lord. God promises to destroy all nations that come against Israel. We as a nation need to be very careful as to how we relate to Israel. One of the first questions that should be asked of a person vying for national leadership should be, “How do you view the nation of Israel and your country’s relationship to her?”

There is a coming war against Israel, and we see the prophecy of verse 6 played out right before our eyes.

Jerusalem is the capital city of Israel both historically and now legally, as recognized by the USA. I am still astonished by persons, men who claim to be Bible scholars, who hold that the New Testament Church has replaced Israel and that God is done with Israel. Yet, we still see prophecies being fulfilled day after day right before our eyes. They are not being fulfilled in secret; they are being played out on national stages with the media and the world watching.

Folks, if God could renege on His promises to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, then He can renege on you and me as well, and our salvation is not secure. In Numbers 23:19, we see these comforting words,

“God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?”

God can be trusted to do what He says He will do. He will fulfill every promise to you and me, and He will fulfill every promise to Israel. This does not bode well for Israel’s enemies.

In Matthew 25: 31-46 we see an event that will come in the future called “The Judgment of Nations.” This event will judge the nations of the world on how they treated the children of Israel. Remember that Jesus, in the book of Matthew, is presented as the King of the Jews. Nations will be judged on how they treated the nation of Israel in a very physical sense.

If a nation served the Jews, fed them, provided shelter for them, clothed them and visited them while imprisoned, they will be spared. All nations who hurt the Jews or were indifferent to them will face a harsh judgment. Notice that there is no “sitting on the fence.” You are either blessing Israel or you are cursing Israel.

You say, hey Sean, what does this have to do with my everyday life? Great question.

First, God knows the future; what He says will happen, always happens. Jesus is coming soon; are you ready?

Secondly, God keeps His promises; you will either be saved forever by trusting Jesus or you will be lost in Hell forever by rejecting Him. The choice is yours.

Thirdly, for those of us that are saved, He has promised us that He will never leave us and that He will finish the work He has begun in us, to bring us to perfection in Jesus. God is not done with you or me just yet.

I am still flawed; I hate it. I get depressed at my humanity and wonder if God has abandoned me because I sin or I fail. But His promises are secure and He cannot lie to me.

God NEVER changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Trust HIM!

I/we rest in this promise from Philippian 1:6,

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.”