December 28, 2021

Zechariah 12:1–13:9

Zechariah 12 catapults us all the way to the Battle of Armageddon, when the nations of the world gather together in the Valley of Megiddo, to attack Jerusalem and, in essence, fight against God (Revelation 16:12-16; 19:11-21). This takes place at the end of the Tribulation Period. It won’t be much of a battle; Jesus will return and all the redeemed with Him – Jesus will strike the world with the sword of the Word that proceeds out of His mouth, (He will speak the slaughter) and protect His people living in the land of Jerusalem. We read in:

Zechariah 12:4 (NLT) “On that day,” says the LORD, “I will cause every horse to panic and every rider to lose his nerve. I will watch over the people of Judah, but I will blind all the horses of their enemies.”

This is Bible language for Divine intervention! Divine judgment.

Zechariah 12:9 (NKJV) “It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.”

And then the day comes, when the Jews clearly see the sacrifice of their Messiah. It will require the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus returns, He still bears the scars…they will see Him and mourn (Zechariah 12:10-11). 

We read in Zechariah 13 how idolatry will finally be finished, and a fountain of forgiveness will be provided by God.

Zechariah 13:1 (NLT) “On that day a fountain will be opened for the dynasty of David and for the people of Jerusalem, a fountain to cleanse them from all their sins and impurity.”

Of course we know there’s only one fountain of forgiveness, none other than Jesus Christ, who loves us so much, that He’s willing to wash us from all our sins in His own blood…it’s there we’re made as white as snow. Not only are we forgiven initially, but in one sense we’re forgiven continually. I’m reminded of that passage in:

1 John 1:9 (NKJV) “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Not only will the idolatry of the Tribulation period and worship of the beast be extinguished but every false prophet will be judged. Zechariah may be referring to the time of the Millennial kingdom at this point (Zechariah13:3-5), when every false prophet will be swiftly dealt with by King Jesus and those who rule with a rod of iron. 

Some say Zechariah 13:6 refers to the claim of the false prophets, but I have a hunch that Zechariah abruptly shifts gears, and speaks of Jesus, as the Jews see Him, with His scars, they ask Him, “Where did you get those wounds?”

Zechariah 13:6b (NKJV) “…Then he will answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’”

Zechariah continues – more prophecies about Jesus and the Jews. As a matter of fact, Jesus quoted Zechariah 13:7 in:

Matthew 26:31 (NKJV) “Then Jesus said to them, ‘All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’’”

The remainder of the chapter (Zechariah 13:8-9) speaks of the surviving Jews (1/3) protected by God at the end of the Tribulation Period. What a beautiful but painful experience when we’re refined in the fire.

Zechariah 13:9 (NKJV) “I will bring the one-third through the fire, will refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; and each one will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’”

Job and Peter said something similar (Job23:10; 1 Peter 1:6-7).

Revelation 19:1-21

Revelation 19 begins with a great multitude in heaven praising God for His just judgment. This is the first time we see the word Alleluia in the New Testament. This is a Hebrew word that has been transliterated universally, it means, “Praise the Lord!” Once we’re in heaven, we’ll be able to understand even more so, the necessity of judgment upon those who reject God’s righteousness provided in His Son, and not just a temporary punishment. We read something interesting in:

Revelation 19:3 (NKJV) “Again they said, ‘Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!’”

The next “Alleluia” is due to that glorious wedding day and Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Jesus is the Bridegroom (John 3:29), the church is the bride, and this is the Day we’ve all been waiting for – a formal, finalized, and forever “outward” expression of an inward reality. We belong to Jesus, as a chaste virgin, dressed in white, clean and bright (2 Corinthians 11:2). He bought us by dying for us and takes personal care of us as His bride (see Ephesians 5:25-33).

In Revelation 19:10 we’re reminded that we are NOT to worship angels (Colossians 2:18), we are forbidden to bow down before anyone but God (see Matthew 4:8-10).

Next – what a glorious scene, Jesus returns on a white horse, finally coming to conquer the world, and to literally, physically rule and reign from Jerusalem – the King returns. He has many names (Faithful and True, the Word of God, King of kings, Lord of lords, and one that only He knows) are glorious. His description (eyes like fire, many crowns on His head, a sharp sword proceeding from His mouth) wow! He comes to conquer, He returns to reign and He will do so with a rod of iron, meaning that if anyone gets out of line, He will deal with it immediately – there will be no nonsense when Jesus rules.

This is the battle of Armageddon, and all the rebel soldiers who marched to war as described in Revelation 16:12-16 will foolishly fight God and be massacred on the battlefield with a simple word from the lips of the Lord.

Sandy Adams has some helpful words, “Revelation chapter 19 describes the climactic conclusion to a galactic battle. Waged in heaven, resumed on earth, won at the cross, resisted through the ages – the war between God and Satan winds up for its grand finale’ in the Valley of Megiddo. It has been a long time since this wicked world has seen the Lamb. What a surprise to hear Him roar like a lion. He came the first time to save. He comes the second time to slaughter.”

Revelation 19:14 reveals the fact that we will be with Him, but I’m pretty sure that Jesus does most – if not all of the fighting, we’re just following Him on white horses. If you were to travel to Israel today you would see this battlefield that will one day be swirling 4-feet high in blood. In Revelation 19:19 we read of the capture of the beast (antichrist), as well as the false prophet who are both cast alive into the Lake of Fire burning with brimstone, while the rest of the resistance were killed by the “sword” of our Savior. What a glorious day that will be! It’s not the absolute end of evil, but we’re getting there…and from this point forward it only gets better – next is the Millennial Kingdom, one final fight a thousand years later, followed by the everlasting, unending Kingdom of God.

Psalm 147:1-20

As Christians we know – there are innumerable/infinite reasons to praise the LORD. We also know – how good, pleasant, and beautiful it is to praise Him.

Consider how God has regathered Israel to her land, numerous times! (The outcasts regathered – Psalm 147:2)

Consider how God is so personal and powerful – that He’s able to heal the broken hearts of any person individually, but He also knows every star by name and makes sure that not one is missing (Psalm 147:4; Isaiah 40:26).

He lifts up the humble; He casts down the proud. Psalm 147:6 states it in dramatic fashion.

Psalm 147:6 (NKJV) “The LORD lifts up the humble; He casts the wicked down to the ground.”

He gives rain for grain for food for people; He’s even responsible for feeding the young raven. He’s not impressed with the strength of man, but He is impressed when men and women fear Him.

Throughout the ages God has protected His people. Some may question this, but we need to know, that if it weren’t for God’s gates (Psalm 147:13) all of God’s people would have been wiped out – instantly.

God blesses us with a wide range of benefits from peace, to meat, to the finest wheat; by His word we get snow and then water, as He melts the snow, and by His Word we receive direction.

And then there’s His Word of Words, so to speak – the Bible! Spiritual insight, truth, revelations of things pertaining to the Kingdom.

Psalm 147:19–20 (NKJV) “He declares His word to Jacob, His statutes and His judgments to Israel. 20 He has not dealt thus with any nation; and as for His judgments, they have not known them. Praise the LORD!”

We have His Word, where would we be without it? Left to ourselves, we’d be lost, and without a clue.

I’m so blessed to think that those of you who are reading this blog are first reading His Word. God will bless you my friend!

“A thorough knowledge of the Bible is worth more than a college education.” – President Theodore Roosevelt

Proverbs 31:1-7

Proverbs 31:1-2

The name Lemuel means “for God” or “belonging to God.” It is not at all certain, but some believe this to be King Solomon…Lemuel perhaps being another name given to him by his mother (Bathsheba) (any of you moms have multiple names for your kids?)

Here we read that Lemuel relays the counsel that his mother had given to him, to which Pastor Chuck Smith said, “Much of the book of Proverbs contains advice passed down from father to son. But this last chapter is the advice a mother gave to her son.”

Bathsheba warns her son, beware of the wrong type of woman!

Proverbs 31:3

The first thing she says, we read there in Proverbs 31:3, “Do not give your strength to women…” (some people have the potential to weaken us) (we’ll see later that the virtuous woman is a complete contrast, she strengthens her husband).

If Lemuel is Solomon, he completely ignored his mother’s advice on this point.  As a matter of fact, women were probably the primary cause for Solomon’s failure in the end.
We read about Solomon in: 

1 Kings 11:3 (NKJV) “And he had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines; and his wives turned away his heart.”

An later in:

Nehemiah 13:25-26 (NKJV)  “…Did not Solomon king of Israel sin by these things…who was beloved of his God; and God made him king over all Israel. Nevertheless, pagan women caused even him to sin.”

Mom tells Solomon, “be careful…” as a king there’s a heavy crown to wear, be sure to take your responsibility seriously, God is the one who’s given you this authority…be careful you don’t get weakened by a woman, who has the potential to reduce a man to a crust of bread. (Proverbs 6:26)

Son – if you’re a womanizer, they’ll take your time, your attention, your money; you won’t be able to fulfill your responsibility as king…you’ll lose your family

Bathsheba also warns her son to beware of wine.

Proverbs 31:4-7

Another thing you must beware of as a leader is wine and intoxicating drink.  Those who are dying need their senses dulled…but not you my son.  You must be sober and sharp, always have your full faculties.

Intoxicating drink – most likely refers to barley beer. We have even stronger drinks now – not to boast, it’s actually something we should be ashamed of.

We read something similar in:

Ecclesiastes 10:17 (NKJV) “Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobles, and your princes feast at the proper time–for strength and not for drunkenness!”

Notice again, the reasoning we read there in:

Proverbs 31:5 (NKJV) “…lest they drink and forget the law, and pervert the justice of all the afflicted.” 

(See also Deuteronomy 17:18-19)

Drinking and drunkenness are bad for many reasons. The alcohol will master you.  It’s addictive, and destructive to the person who drinks. They bring themselves to a place where they need a drink to think, to calm their nerves, to have fun, and eventually, just to function.

In Proverbs 31:7 we see, it only numbs the pain and hides the problems – it doesn’t heal or help. But the main reason not to drink, as stated in this context, is the way it affects others.  The King might forget the law and therefore pervert justice towards the afflicted. One shouldn’t take that chance! As we’ve seen so often in the Proverbs, justice is first, fundamental, foremost for Godly leaders, in God’s eyes…may we never forget that the poor and afflicted have a special place in His heart.

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