Been reading the headlines lately? The Arab spring, European economic woes and austerity rebellion, the Muslim brotherhood in Egypt, slaughter in Syria. Read the passage below, written over 2500 years ago, and tell me that the Bible is not relevant:
iThe oracle of the word of the Lord concerning Israel: Thus declares the Lord, jwho stretched out the heavens and kfounded the earth and jformed the spirit of man within him: 2 “Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem la cup of staggering to mall the surrounding peoples. The siege of Jerusalem nwill also be against Judah. 3 oOn that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. pAll who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And mall the nations of the earth will gather against it. 4 oOn that day, declares the Lord, qI will strike every horse rwith panic, and its rider rwith madness. But for the sake of the house of Judah I will keep my eyes open, when I strike every horse of the peoples rwith blindness. 5 Then the clans of Judah shall say to themselves, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem have strength through the Lord of hosts, their God.’6 o“On that day I will make the clans of Judah slike a blazing pot in the midst of wood, like a flaming torch among sheaves. Andtthey shall devour to the right and to the left all the surrounding peoples, while uJerusalem shall again be inhabited in its place, in Jerusalem.
7 “And the Lord will give salvation to the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not surpass that of Judah. 8 oOn that day vthe Lord will protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that wthe feeblest among them on that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, xlike the angel of the Lord, going before them.9 oAnd on that day yI will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.10 “And zI will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and zpleas for mercy, so that,awhen they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, bthey shall mourn for him, cas one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn. 11 oOn that day dthe mourning in Jerusalem will be as great eas the mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 The land shall mourn, feach family1 by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of gNathan 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 hthe Shimeites by itself, and their wives by themselves; 14 and all the families that are left, each by itself, and their wives by themselves.
2 “And ion that day, declares the Lord of hosts, kI will cut off the names of the idols from the land, so that lthey shall be remembered no more. And also mI will remove from the land the prophets and the spirit of uncleanness. 3 And if anyone again prophesies, his father and mother who bore him will say to him, n‘You shall not live, for you speak lies in the name of the Lord.’ And his father and mother who bore him shall pierce him through when he prophesies.4 “On that day oevery prophet will be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies. He will not put on a hairy cloak in order to deceive, 5 but he will say, p‘I am no prophet, I am a worker of the soil, for a man sold me in my youth.’1 6 And if one asks him, ‘What are these wounds on your back?’2 he will say, ‘The wounds I received in the house of my friends.’7 “
Awake, O sword, against qmy shepherd,against the man who stands next to me,”declares the Lord of hosts.r“Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered;I will turn my hand against the little ones.8 In the whole land, declares the Lord,two thirds shall be cut off and perish,sand one third shall be left alive.9 And tI will put this third into the fire,and refine them as one refines silver,and test them as gold is tested.uThey will call upon my name,and vI will answer them.wI will say, ‘They are my people’;and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’”
This is an amazing passage of Scripture. It seems to clearly be about the 2nd coming of Jesus where the first part of Zechariah seems to fit the 1st coming of the Messiah.
Here is an amateur take on what this passage refers to.
There will be a day when all of the world will be gathered (in God's providence) under the direction of Satanic power to finally wipe Israel off the face of the earth. It will be a bloody war and 2/3 will not survive.
But just as this global assault looks like it will win, even pushing into Jerusalem... The Lord Himself will show up and cause Israel to be victorious.
I find it fascinating that He will cause confusion and 'blindness' of the horses. If I am just to make a guess, the highly technical weapons will fail and there will rise up an army of God inspired warriors who fight like King David and wins. They will be like a blazing pot in the fire (strong and withstands the heat), a flaming torch burning up the sheaves, and a 'rock' that the world will be injured by trying to lift, and a bowl of wrath that will cause the invading army to be reeling. Don't mess with Israel.
A key to all of this is the repeated phrase 'on that day' which is a reference to the day of the Lord.
Then an amazing miracle will happen. Salvation will come in mass to the Jews who are left in the land. They will see that the Lord Himself has kept His covenant promises and their spiritual eyes will be opened.
By the way- ch 13:7-9 is as amazing a section as any in the OT. What must happen before this great fountain of cleansing can be opened? Pain must come and more specifically the Sword must fall on the shepherd. Could there be any more amazing reference to the cross than this?
Jesus drank this cup 2000 years ago and is still waiting to consummate the marriage feast. All he needs is the Father to say, "It is time".
1) A fountain of grace
2) Removal of idols
3) False prophets forsake their false gospels
4) Unrepentant false teachers are removed
5) Sanctified believers will be declared once again to be the people of God.
I know there may be other ways to read this passage- but this interpretation could very well come true in out lifetime- sooner than we all think.
The Bible is clear- there are some who will be caught off guard and not make it. These are not the days to be caught sleeping at the wheel. Trim the wicks and fill the oil- every day is a good day to be ready for His return.