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God’s Plan for His People

God’s Plan for His People!

Zechariah 14:1-11

This final section of the book is ‘apocalyptic’ in tone.  Reformed thinkers have seen it as describing the experience of the church of God in the period from the first coming of the Lord through to His second coming.  Many scholars see this as a ‘recap’ of what Zechariah has already taught.  In a way similar to Revelation there is a progression in the recap!  This time Zechariah goes as far as the second coming of the Lord.  Remember that the use of the terms ‘Israel’ and ‘Jerusalem’ are often used to mean God’s whole redemptive race, not only the OT Church, but the NT Church. In this scenario, the attack upon Jerusalem is identified as the culminating assault of the nations on the city which had begun in 12:3-9.

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Zechariah and the Stricken Shepherd

The Stricken Shepherd

Text: Zechariah 13:7-9

As is common with the OT prophets, Zechariah sums up his previous teaching in a conclusion, and, of course, since the previous sections of the prophesy were concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, so will this conclusion be also!

1. The Stricken Shepherd! V7

Now we know that verse 13 is about the Lord Jesus, because He tells us so Himself.  In Matthew 26:31-32:    Jesus is about to go to the cross, and the Passover has just been kept, and the Lord’s Supper has been instituted.  He was singing a psalm from Psalms 113-118.  See what the prophet says about Christ and the scattering of His Sheep:-

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Zechariah’s Vision of a Redeemed Ministry.

Zechariah’s Vision of a Redeemed Ministry 

Text.  Zechariah 13:4-6

Zechariah talks about ministry in chapter 13.  He’s been referring to the time when redemption would be accomplished, when there would be a fountain opened up, so that sinners could be cleansed from their sins.  What a change that would make in ministry!  No longer would false ministers be tolerated in the true kingdom of God, in the body of Christ.  As he makes this point, Zechariah hints at what a redeemed ministry would look like in v4-6…

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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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