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A 2nd Promise of Blessing Zech 12:10-13:2

The Second Promise of Blessing!

Text: Zechariah 12:10-13:2

Now that the Holy Spirit has begun his work, now that the sinner is mourning over his sin, Christ is revealed as the Saviour!  Now see in the passage:-

 

1. The Fountain of Pardon and Cleansing!  V1

This imagery was extremely suggestive to Zechariah’s listeners.  A Fountain has been opened!  What a great blessing for the people who live in a land of blazing heat!  A fountain produced water, and water is vital for life and health.  Deut. 33:28 Israel then shall dwell in safety alone: the fountain of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn and wine; also his heavens shall drop down dew.  When Zechariah promised the people a fountain, he was promising them everything that was needed to sustain life itself!

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Nahum Survey

Nahum Survey

Nahum Chapters 1-3

The name Nahum means Consolation.  God was comforting his people, by reminding them that the enemies who would chasten them would one day themselves be chastened, and that their fate was doom laden indeed. His home was Elkosh, but some think that Capernaum (lit., “village of Nahum”) may have been his birthplace. Time-wise Nahum was contemporary with Jeremiah, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah. Around 640BC. The northern kingdom of Israel was already in Assyrian captivity. Assyria itself was still a world power, though in a state of decline Nahum prophecies the coming fall of Nineveh. A fall it would suffer at the hands of the Babylonians.  The book of Nahum can easily be divided into three sections – each found in one of the chapters.

 

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The Spirit of Prayer. Zech 12:10

The Spirit of Prayer!

Text: Zechariah 12:10 Romans 8:26-28

Zechariah speaks in this verse of something that will occur to the ‘inhabitants of God’s city’ in a time when God’s blessing is being rained upon them.  They will experience a desire to pray!  There are some who will not regard prayer as a blessing, rather as a chore and there are actually identifiable reasons why this happens:-

  • Because we simply don’t know what to say! Romans 8:26  The disciples had been in the physical company of Christ for months, listened to his preaching and heard the greatest sermons ever preached and witnessed the most amazing miracles, and still had to ask, ‘Lord teach us to pray…’
  • We have an in-bred inability when it comes to prayer!  Paul speaks of our ‘infirmity’ – our weakness.   Matthew 26:40-41   

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So, we need help to pray.  The help that we need is the help of the Holy Spirit, for we cannot pray without Him!  In response to our appeal for God to rain down blessing upon us, he sends us the Spirit of Grace and Supplication!

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Beauty and Bands

Beauty and Bands!

Text: Zechariah 11:1f

A KING IS COMING!  This King is Jesus, and here we see his mission outlined, and we see a remarkable prophecy about the betrayal of the Lord.  See:-

1. The Storm of God’s Judgement!  V1-3

 God has spoken to his people. Still, Israel has been disobedient.  God will not overlook wilful disobedience in His people!  Prior to the coming of the Romans a great civil war erupted in Palestine.  Calvin sees this passage as a prediction of that war, and reckons that it is depicted here as God’s terrible warning of Judgement upon the land.  It is a truly dramatic passage!  The prophet sees a storm of destruction pouring down upon the land from the north.  

  • Lebanon is destroyed by fire!  What hope has the tender Cypress tree of southern parts, if the mighty cedars have fallen?  Is it any wonder that the land cries out and wails in pain.
  • Mighty forests have fallen!     Bashan was an area where cows grazed,  and a place of green fields, with tall solitary oaks. They will be consumed, and more weeping is seen!
  • Jordan’s banks are no longer a blessing!  The shepherds wail, for their ‘glory’ is laid to waste, their broad pastures utterly destroyed.  Even the lions have lost their homes by the river bank.  (The ‘pride of Jordan’ was an expression for the thick tangled undergrowth that existed along the river bank, where the wild animals found cover for their lairs).

Complete destruction!  What a picture of God’s judgement upon the land that has rejected him.  Yet it is the darkest hour before the dawn, for in a matter of years, into this awful wasteland, God is going to send a shepherd-king!   

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True and False Shepherds. Zech 10

True and False Shepherds

Text: Zechariah 10:1-6

But before Zechariah can continue on the theme of the coming king, he must firstly develop a number of important points.  He must call the people to prayer, and he must draw a distinction between true and false pastors!

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1. A Call to Approach God in Prayer! V1

Zech. 10:1  Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.  Israel was an agricultural society, and being in a hot land, with parched soil, they really depended upon rain!  It was a nightmare without it and a blessing when it came.  The blessing of rain, to the Israelites, was inclusive of every other blessing, and symbolical of all spiritual blessings.  So Zechariah uses that desire for blessing as an encouragement to pray. Ask the Lord for rain!  Seek His face and seek His blessing!   We must not only seek the former rain, but we must go on to seek the latter rain.  In Israel the ‘latter rain’ was the rain that fell at harvest time.  (Former rain in October fertilised the seeds, latter rain in March)  Let us pray for growth, for abundance and for maturity!

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Jesus Christ – The King of Kings! Zech 9

Jesus Christ – The King of Kings!

Text: Zechariah 9:9-17

A king is coming! Against the human horror of an anticipated invasion from Macedonia, Zechariah sets out a prophecy of the coming of another king.  One who will be the King over all Kings, the Lord over all Lords.  This king will reign over a peaceful kingdom.  His subjects will love him and praise him, he will rule over them with great mercy and justice.  This king is Jesus!  So, as KING:-

1. He is More Welcome than any earthly king!

 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee

The prophet urges the people, personified as the ‘daughters’ to welcome their king with singing and shouts of great happiness!  Thus the difference between Christ and any earthly king is demonstrated!  Earthly rulers impose heaviness upon the people, but Christ comes to set us free from our burdens!  Hearts rejoice at His coming! Zeph. 3:14-15  

Now be aware that Zechariah can be talking about two separate comings of the Lord, the Messiah:-

  • He Came to this world at Bethlehem!  At Bethlehem the King came into this world as a baby, to a humble birth.  
  • He is Coming again at the end of history!  A day will come when the Lord will come again, when He will come to judge the earth and to reign in righteousness.

Biblical prophecy provides some of the greatest encouragement and hope available to us today. Just as the Old Testament is saturated with prophecies concerning Christ’s first advent, so both testaments are filled with references to the second coming of Christ.    Matthew 21:4-5  

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The New Jerusalem. Zech. 8

The New Jerusalem

Text:  Zechariah 8

Zechariah wanted to lift the hearts of the downcast people of Jerusalem, struggling to rebuild the city after their return from exile.  They had become discouraged, so Zechariah has a vision of what the New Jerusalem would be like.  As we know, this wasn’t in any way perfectly fulfilled in Zechariah’s day, – but as we shall see in this study, Zechariah’s prophecy points us to the NEW JERUSALEM of the church, God’s people of every age, gathered home in the new heaven and earth, around the throne of God.  See:-

1. The Description of the New Jerusalem!

 Now let’s firstly see the description that the Bible gives us of this heavenly city with its heavenly people:-

  1. It is a DEEPLY TREASURED city!  In fact the prophet tells us here that God is ZEALOUS for His city and His people! Zech. 8:1-2  His love for them allows for nothing else to come between them and Him!
  2. It is A WELL ESTABLISHED city!  Look at its description in verse 3; It is established and immovable, because God is dwelling in the midst of it, and God cannot be moved!  It is like a mountain!  He is immutable, unchangeable, immortal, eternal, constant…  Because God is in the midst, it is a city of truth!
  3. It is a SAFE and SECURE CITY!  V4-5   Even the vulnerable people of this earth shall be safe there!  Old people can sit unmolested in the streets, and little children can play without fear and without threat.  Zech. 8:6  In Revelation, we are told that heaven’s gates are never closed! There is complete safety!
  4. It has an ETERNAL CONTINUITY! V7-8.  Now here we see something about the New Jerusalem which is not always apparent to the average reader, but which we, as Reformed Christians will be aware of…  It is an appearance of that very important phrase, which we now know to be the Covenant Formula (The Covenant of Grace)  Zech. 8:8  “ they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousnessn   Jeremiah 31:31-33  

Such are some of the things that we know about heaven – the New Jerusalem! It is true that Jesus taught far more about Hell than about Heaven, for people must be warned!  But for the believer, what a glorious prospect awaits!   

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