Daniel and Ezekiel were exiles in Babylon,
Jeremiah preached and witnessed the three exiles to Babylon - 605, 597 and 586
Extreme hardship often highlights desire for eternal Kingdom of God.
But Zechariah had returned with the Jews from Babylon in 538BC,
18 years later they were beginning to prosper, rebuilding was going on apace.
Though rebuilding the Temple had started and stopped - foreign threats.
Zechariah began to prophesy:
Return to me, declares the Lord Almighty ... turn from your evil ways ... 12,4
Then they repented ... 16b
These 3 words are a rare treasure.
They resumed building the Temple, and completed it 4 years later in 516 BC,
exactly 70 years after it had been destroyed - as Jeremiah (2910-14) prophesied.
They did seek the Lord, and he gave Zechariah 8 visions in a single night!
This is part of the 3rd vision:
"Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you," declares the Lord. "Many nations will be joined with the Lord in that day and will become my people. I will live among you and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you. The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem." Zech 210-12
Such is the grace of God, sandwiched between 'Daughter of Zion' and 'Judah'
is the beautiful promise of the inclusion of 'many nations'.
Almighty God is telling the Jews that they will not be alone in 'that day'.
Gentile believers will come humbly before the God of Abraham,
and we will honour the nation God chose 3,000 years ago.
How many nations honour Israel today?
Only Micronesia consistently supports Israel at the UN.
Part of Marshall Islands, Pop. = 110,000 (< ½ size of Plymouth)
One day (in 'that day') many nations will do so.
What did Almighty God say to the Jews?
The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land
and will again choose Jerusalem.
Judea is currently called 'The West Bank'
or now more commonly 'Occupied Territory'.
'In that day' all Judea and all Jerusalem will undisputably belong to the Jews,
and they will live there with Almighty God.
Some years after the 8 visions, Zechariah prophesies again:<
"I am very jealous for Zion; I am burning with jealousy for her." This is what the Lord says: "I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the Lord Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain." This is what the Lord Almighty says: "Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with cane in hand because of his age. The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there." This is what the Lord Almighty says: "It may seem marvellous to the remnant of this people at that time, but will it seem marvellous to me? ... I will save my people from the countries of the east and the west. I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God." Zech 81-8 (also Zeph 314-20)
What sort of city or country do you long for? What would be its characteristics?
Truth, beauty, righteousness and justice,
honesty, loyalty and unrestricted worship.
Almighty God, who knows all history and all the future, tells us what it will be.
Jerusalem and the land will be filled with truth and holiness, peace and joy.
'In that day' Jews will be seen as righteous, and their God as faithful.
Feast on this vision. Dan 924 Jer 30-33 Ezek 34,36,37, Zech 8
But how will all this come about?
What does Zechariah reveal about God's plan for the Last Days?
See how all God's Word is so consistent, it all flows together.
Remember Dan 7 and 8, the 'little horn', 'the master of intrigue', the Beast,
the source of 'Jacob's trouble', all his deceit and destruction - and his end!
The word of the Lord concerning Israel. The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the human spirit within a person, declares: "I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness," declares the Lord. "I will keep a watchful eye over the house of Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations. Then the leaders of Judah will say in their hearts, 'The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the Lord Almighty is their God.' Zech 121-5
How will the people of Jerusalem be strong 'in that day'?
I think 'that day' will not be 24 hours,
but might be better phrased 'at that time' or 'in those days'.
Will Israel be saved immediately before, during or directly after Jesus returns?
Probably before (scripture not specific). But they will be saved!
And 'the Lord Almighty will be their God'.
At the end, 'little Israel' seems alone against the rest of the world. Jer 3017
Almighty God assures us that Israel is not alone! (See also Oleg 1992)
I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be great. ... "On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity. On that day, I will banish the names of the idols from the land, and they will be remembered no more." Zech 1210 - 132
I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. The armies of heaven were following him, riding on white horses and dressed in fine linen, white and clean. Coming out of his mouth is a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations. "He will rule them with an iron sceptre." He treads the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: King of kings and lord of lords. And I saw an angel standing in the sun, who cried in a loud voice to all the birds flying in midair, "Come, gather together for the great supper of God, so that you may eat the flesh of kings, generals, and the mighty, of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all people, free and slave, great and small." Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered together to wage war against the rider on the horse and his army. But the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who had performed the signs on its behalf. With these signs he had deluded those who had received the mark of the beast and worshipped its image. The two of them were thrown alive into the fiery lake of burning sulfur. The rest were killed with the sword coming out of the mouth of the rider on the horse, and all the birds gorged themselves on their flesh. Rev 1911-21
I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. It will be a unique day, without daytime or night-time--a day known to the Lord. When evening comes, there will be light. On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter. The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name. Zech 142-9
When you were a child I loved you,
Tho' you turned your face from me,
Held my arms out while you stumbled,
Longed to teach you to walk free;
Watched in anguish while the nations
One by one declared you'd die
Without trace, not understanding
You're the apple of my eye.
Still I sent you as I'd promised
My Messiah, Holy Lamb,
O my heartache then, and sorrow
When you didn't see my plan.
Now I wait my bride to cherish,
These are days for other men
To find grace and my salvation,
Days to be fulfilled, and then,
Then with shouts of 'Grace' and 'Glory',
My Corner-stone now recognised,
I shall pluck you from the burning
And declare you justified.
Then the fountain which I opened
Still shall plead your cause to me;
And my child, beloved Israel
Bring me joy - Eternally.
In those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. There I will enter into judgment against them concerning my inheritance, my people Israel, for they scattered my people among the nations and divided up my land. Joel 31,2
The evil world is successfully dividing, separating Judea from Israel.
But Almighty God is not pleased! Soon he will act as promised.
Proclaim this among the nations: Prepare for war! Rouse the warriors! Let all the fighting men draw near and attack. Beat your ploughshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears. Let the weakling say, "I am strong!" ... For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine. The Lord will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the sky will tremble. But the Lord will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel. Then you will know that I, the Lord your God, dwell in Zion, my holy hill. Jerusalem will be holy; never again will foreigners invade her. Joel 39-17
See the consistency of Scripture; old and new Testament.
The story and the promise of God concerning Israel remains the same.
For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or household gods. Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the Lord and to his blessings in the last days. Hosea 34,5
"I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them," says the Lord your God. Amos 915
The Lord has made proclamation to the ends of the earth: "Say to the Daughter of Zion, 'See, your Saviour comes! See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him'." They will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed of the Lord; and you will be called Sought After, the City No Longer Deserted. Is 6211,12
Then I, Daniel, looked, and there before me stood two others, one on this bank of the river and one on the opposite bank. One of them said to the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, "How long will it be before these astonishing things are fulfilled?" The man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, lifted his right hand and his left hand toward heaven, and I heard him swear by him who lives forever, saying, "It will be for a time, times and half a time. When the power of the holy people has been finally broken, all these things will be completed." I heard, but I did not understand. So I asked, "My lord, what will the outcome of all this be?" He replied, "Go your way, Daniel, because the words are rolled up and sealed until the time of the end. Many will be purified, made spotless and refined, but the wicked will continue to be wicked. None of the wicked will understand, but those who are wise will understand. Dan 125-10
The righteous will remember that
The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
the righteous run to it and are safe. Prov 1810
"The word of God is true and the people of God are safe."