Alright! Well, good evening. Let’s take our Bibles, if we could and open them to the book of Zechariah chapter 12, and verse 4 (Zech 12:4). Zechariah chapter 12, verse 4. We’re continuing our verse by verse teaching through the book of Zechariah.
There was a call to repent, chapter 1, by way of review and from there, there were eight-night visions, each of them in their own way, motivating the post-exilic community, the community coming back from the exile to rebuild the second temple.
III. Questions & Answers Concerning Fasting (Zech, 7‒8)
Then chapter 7 and 8, God through Zechariah rebukes the people for empty ritualism. In other words, they were practicing a form of religion but not understanding the reality behind it and we talked all about that and then, from there we moved to the final part of the book the two burdens.
The first burden relates to the first coming. It’s basically everything God wanted to do in and through Israel, had Israel just received their Messiah and Zechariah there predicts five hundred years in advance that they will not receive their Messiah. So therefore, all of those blessings are postponed for the second coming and so to see how Israel is going to come to faith one day, yet future, recognize Jesus as their Messiah and then experience all of the blessings God has for them, we have to read the final burden which is chapters 12 through 14. 3:12
So we are in chapter 12. We just started chapter 12 and we’re going to start at verse 4. But chapter 12 basically has two parts. There is predictions of Israel’s physical deliverance one day, verses 1 through 9 (Zech 12:1-9). But God is not content just to physically saving his nation. He’s going to actually spiritually save His nation and that becomes the dominant theme beginning in verse 10 through the end of the chapter. So we started looking at this last time and we saw the prophecies there of verses 1 through 3 (Zech 12:1-3). How the nations in sort of a drunken state, as they’re not using their mental faculties rationally, are all going to come against not just Israel but the city of Jerusalem and it’s going to look as if, this is describing a tribulation period circumstance, it looks as if Israel is going to be blotted out. Except God shows up, Amen, verses 4 through 9 and so, you see the problem described verses 1 through 3 (Zech 12:1-3), then you see the solution that God is going to protect His elect nation, verses 4 through 9 (Zech 12:4-9).
So we finished talking about the nations coming against Israel in their drunken state, last time and now let’s look at how God shows up to protect them and let’s pick it up, if we could in verse 4 (Zech 12:4), it says: In that day… So, in other words, in the time period when these events are prophesied… In that day, declares the LORD, I will strike every horse with bewilderment and his rider with madness. But I will watch over the house of Judah, while I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness… So you’ll notice that when these nations come against Israel, they’re going to be on horses, horseback and we actually saw that, Sunday morning, Sunday school, Ezekiel 38 and 39. It describes actually the enemy nations coming on horseback and people say, well, you can’t take that literally. So if you’re not going to take it literally in Ezekiel, then you can’t take it literally in Zechariah and this is sort of the problem you run into, is the problem doesn’t disappear just because it’s in one book of the Bible. So I’m of the persuasion that they’re actually going to be actual horses. Part of the reasoning for that is only horseback gets into those mountainous regions there in the land of Israel and it’s difficult to fight with something else other than horseback. So I actually think horses mean horses and Charles Feinberg says this as God strikes these horses with blindness when the horse itself is going to be struck by God with bewilderment and blindness. Charles Feinberg says:
Charles L. Feinberg – God Remembers: A Study of Zechariah (Wheaton: Van Kampen, 1950, p. 223.
“The seriousness of this blow to the armies of the enemy will be readily understood when it is remembered that Calvary held a large place in Eastern warfare. Imagine the confusion in the ranks of the beleaguering armies when their horses are thrown into deadly fright and are blinded, and the horsemen are smitten with madness.”
So it is interesting that I think our own government in 1980, when it was dealing with warfare in the Middle East, actually brought in horses from Tennessee, because horses are, you know, better capable of dealing with battle in mountainous terrains; and so as this happens, God is going to strike these horses with bewilderment and He’s going to strike them with blindness. Now, blindness is interesting because if you go down to verse 10 (Zech 12:10), and maybe we’ll get there tonight, you’re going to see how God is going to take the blindness off the Jewish people. 8:22
So the apostle Paul tells us that Israel nationally has been blinded in part. In other words, her blindness is not permanent. The moment she rejected her Messiah is the moment God gave the nation over to sort of a judicial blindness. That’s not to say that an individual Jew can’t get saved today, that happens all the time but the crux of the nation of Israel, the crux of the nation as a whole, is in a state of spiritual blindness and so because Paul says that blindness is in part, it implies that one day that blindness is going to be taken away and by the time we get to verse 10 (Zech 12:10), if we get there this evening, I’m not sure, you’ll see God removing the blindness from the Jewish people through His Holy Spirit, which by the way, is how God removes the blindness from anybody. If the Holy Spirit was not doing a ministry in our lives, we would be just as blind spiritually, Amen? So it’s interesting that as God is blinding the enemy that’s attacking Israel, He’s actually simultaneously in this chapter, removing blindness from His chosen people. So these horses are going to be struck with bewilderment, they’re going to be struck with blindness and the riders of the horses are going to be struck with madness or insanity and that’s an interesting threefold combo, madness, blindness and bewilderment and if you look sometime at Deuteronomy 28:28 ,chapter 28, verse 28, you’ll see all three. It says: The Lord will smite you with madness and with blindness and with bewilderment of heart… That’s all the way back in the time of Moses, madness, blindness, bewilderment. So it’s not a big shock a thousand years later to see those three mentioned by the prophet Zechariah during the post-exilic time period. So as God is smiting the enemy, the horses with bewilderment and blindness and the riders with madness, you see what God simultaneously is going to do for the nation of Israel and it’s at the second part of verse 4 (Zech 12:4), God through Zechariah says: but I will watch over the house of Israel, while I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. So God is constantly watching over the nation of Israel, because they’re the covenanted nation. In fact, you might know this but the nation of Israel has their own guardian angel, his name is Michael and you’ll see his role to protect Israel described, I believe it’s in Daniel chapter 12, and verse 1 (Dan 12:1). So this explains how the nation of Israel has survived so long despite many, many attempts to wipe the Jewish people from the face of the earth and here is the ultimate attempt by the nations. Every nation is going to come against Israel and God is going to protect Israel, because God watches out for Israel. Psalm, 121, verse 4 (Psa 121:4) says: Behold, He… that’s God… who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep… So it’s always a dangerous thing to come against the nation of Israel because God keeps Israel, God watches over Israel and He doesn’t fall asleep on the job. You’ve heard of Israel’s iron dome, right? This is a pretty good depiction of Israel’s true iron dome.
It’s God’s protective hand over Israel. This is why the nation of Israel keeps winning so many conflicts in spite of overwhelming odds. It’s this protection that God gives to His nation. There’s a book out, it’s called “Six days in June” and it deals with the Six-Day War, which started June 5th, 1967 and in the Six-Day War, like their war of independence in 1973, nobody bet on the Jews. Everybody thought the Jews were going to be wiped from the face of the earth, you know, they were outnumbered in every category and this particular book just details all the miracles from the standpoint of military, armaments, strategy, you know, dust storms coming up, you name it, where the hand of God protected the nation of Israel in those six days, six days in June. June, 5th, 1967 is what those six days revolve around and even that to me is interesting, because God worked six days to protect Israel and rested on the seventh day, kind of sounds like something I’ve read before somewhere in the Bible and what’s going to happen through this process, you look at verse 5 (Zech 12:5), it says: Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts… So Judah is going to recognize what’s making them strong. They’re going to figure out that what is making them strong is not themselves, but it’s the hand of God and that’s a blindness that has to be taken off them because they basically believe that they’re survivors and they’re strong because they’re tougher than everybody else, they’re smarter than everybody else, they’ve got the Mossad which is their version, you know, of the CIA, they’ve got an army, they’ve got this great economy and they have been lulled into thinking that we are survivors because of our natural abilities and so when God takes the blindness off them, they’re going to start to discover that the source of their strength is not them, but it’s God and that’s a heart problem, because you see there in verse 5 (Zech 12:5): Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts. So if you’re here today and you think that your life is going the right direction because of your own acumen and skill and training, then we’re sometimes lulled into thinking like that when we have some successes, then that blindness has to be taken off us, just like it has to be taken off the nation. God has to bring us to the point where we recognize that he who boasts should boast in the who? In the Lord and so this is going to happen for Israel on a national scale and it’s a heart issue, that’s why it mentions the heart here. 16:07
Proverbs, 4, verse 23 (Prov 4:23) says: Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life… God is in the business of removing blindness from our stubborn hearts and He’s going to do that for the nation of Israel. Back to verse 5 (Zech 12:5) it says: Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, A strong support for us are the inhabitants of Jerusalem through the LORD of hosts, their God… So they’re going to figure out that their help comes from God and if you ask a typical Hebrew today, particularly in Israel, your help, where does it come from? You don’t really get the answer that’s described here. You get a lot of talk about economy, military, strategy and God is going to bring the nation to the point where they’re going to recognize that it’s through the Lord of hosts, their God, that they receive hope and help. The nation of Israel currently, although their God’s people, is in a state of terrible unbelief. Revelation chapter 11, verse 8 (Rev 11:8) describes the city of Jerusalem in its natural state without the work of the Holy Spirit in that city. It says: Their dead bodies… That’s the two witnesses… will lie in the street of the great city which mystically is called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified… So the city is obviously Jerusalem because it says, where their Lord was crucified but it says it’s mystically Sodom and we know all about Sodom, from our studies on Sunday morning in Genesis, depravity and it’s also Egypt, spiritually speaking, Egypt would represent bondage. So that is the current state of the city of Jerusalem. It’s a wonderful city to visit but it has the atmosphere of Sodom, depravity and it has the atmosphere of Egypt or bondage, legalism and God is going to take that city and its inhabitants and turn it into a believing city. That’s what verse 5 here is describing and they’re finally going to recognize that their help comes from the Lord and it’s not until God puts them in this circumstance where every nation comes against them, that they will learn this tremendous lesson, which by the way, is why God puts any of us in difficult circumstances. If you really want to boil it down to its basics, it’s to get us to realize that God is our strength. I can’t recognize God is my strength until I’m put in positions where my strength can’t get me out of my circumstances. Once I figure out my own strength can’t get me out of my circumstances, I call on the Lord and then you see the Lord’s hand in His timing and you just step back and you say, well praise the Lord, my strength is in the Lord and it’s a lesson that you can’t learn as long as you’re in control, naturally, of your life. I mean, we all want to be in control of everything, all the time and as long as I’m in control of everything in my life all the time, how in the world would I ever learn about the hand of a supernatural God that strengthens me. I would see no need for it. So God will put us in circumstances that we can’t control, just so that we’ll learn this lesson of seeing His hand and this is a lesson that we all have as Christians, we all walk through this. It’s just going to happen on a national scale for the nation of Israel. 20:22
So one of the problems with Israel is their success.
I’ve given you this quote here by Mark Twain several times, so I won’t re-read it all, but it’s basically Mark Twain visiting the land of Israel in 1867 and saying there’s nothing here but a barren wasteland. Today, Israel’s gross domestic product outstrips that of its neighbors, dramatically.
So a miracle has happened in Israel economically and that figure there is off because that’s a 2005 figure. Here is something that’s more recent, that’s a 2021 figure and you could see how wealthy Israel is in comparison to her surrounding neighbors.
That’s coming from what Mark Twain called “a silent and mournful expanse” and as Bible prophecy indicates, Israel will become the home of spoil and plunder and cattle and goods. The verse goes on in verse 13 and says, silver and gold and the problem with having spoil, plunder, cattle, goods, silver and gold is there is a tendency to forget God. That’s why Jesus in the gospels over and over again said it’s hard for the rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. It’s not that God doesn’t love the rich, He loves everybody, but the rich have a difficult time seeing their need for God, because they’re used to basically buying their way out of their problems and if I have enough earthly resources where I can buy my way out of all my problems, what do I need God for? And this basically is the problem with wealth. We have a tendency to look at wealth as a huge blessing, which it can be, but there’s a tremendous curse associated with wealth. It blinds you to your need for God. That’s why to the church at Laodicea in the book of Revelation chapter 3, the most carnal church that we have a record of in the whole first century, Jesus is portrayed as standing outside the door of that church, because they’re saying to themselves, we’re rich, we have acquired wealth, we have no need of anything. In fact, wouldn’t even need Jesus in this church. So we’re going to have Christianity without Christ and so Jesus is outside the door of the church knocking on the door seeking admittance to His own church. I mean, it’s a stunning thing and so what was wrong with the Laodicean church is it just had too much going for it. You know, they had their marketing programs, attendance was up, they had a big budget, I’m sure they had a big staff of people and you know, if everything’s going that well there’s a tendency to say, well, Lord we’ve got this covered, we’ll check in with you when we need you. That’s the problem with prosperity. So I like what, I think it’s Agur in the book of Proverbs, what he says about money, he says, you know, Lord, don’t make me so poor that I have to beg, but don’t make me so rich that I forget about you. Put me Lord right in the middle. I don’t want to be too rich. I don’t want to be too poor, I just want to be right there in the middle so I’m not a professional beggar, but at the same time I’m not so lifted up with pride that I don’t see my need for you and that’s a pretty good thing to pray for. Be careful about praying for tons of prosperity, because if God were to ever give that to you, that could very well be the worst thing that ever happened to you. When you get to heaven you can ask Solomon all about that, he’ll tell you all about it, too much prosperity and that’s basically the problem with Israel relative to her gross domestic product, her success in the war of 1948, her success in the Six-Day War, her success in the Yom Kippur War 1973 and all these wars no one ever bet on the Israelis and they won and they just have a tendency to think that they are the reason for their own success. So the pride of the Jewish people has to be broken in order for them to enter into their promises nationally. 25:30
The book of Daniel chapter 12, and verse 7 (Dan 12:7), says and it’s describing the second half of the tribulation, it says: I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the stream, as he raised his right hand and his left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever that it would be for a time, times, and half a time… Now, that would be the second half of the tribulation and then it describes what God’s doing in the second half of the tribulation it says in Daniel, 12, verse 7 (Dan 12:7) very end of the verse: As soon as they finish smashing the power of the holy people, all these events will be completed… What is God doing in the second half of the tribulation period? It says there, he is smashing the power of the holy people, the holy people in context is Israel. He’s smashing their power. He’s smashing their pride. He’s bringing them to a place where they have no one to depend upon other than God and the blindness is taken off of them, just like the blindness is put on their enemies and they will know that through the Lord of hosts, verse 5 (Zech 12:5), their support comes and once they enter into this time where they recognize that their support comes from the Lord, it starts to get described there in verse 6 (Zech 12:6), it says: In that day… In other words, when all this happens… I will make the clans of Judah like a firepot among pieces of wood and a flaming torch among sheaves, so they will consume on the right hand and on the left all the surrounding peoples… So once God is on their side in the sense that they’re leaning upon him for strength, it’s going to be like a fire consuming wood. It’s going to be like a torch consuming sheaves, that’s how powerful it’s going to be. In the same way, the clans of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will consume their attackers. It will consume their attackers just like fire consumes a stick of wood. That’s what can be done under God’s strength. In 2nd Corinthians, 12, verses 7 through 10 (2 Cor 12:7-10), there’s a description of the apostle Paul, who had a thorn in the flesh. Nobody knows what the thorn in the flesh was, but I know this much, it hurt because it’s described as a thorn. Actually, I think the Greek is better, it’s described as a steak and so it was something in Paul’s life that caused him a lot of injury. There’s all this speculation as to what it was, some people think it was malaria, other people think it was some issue with what Paul had in his eyes, because the Galatians said to him, you know, we would tear our eyes and give them to you if we could. A lot of people think it was loneliness, because Paul was a Pharisee and to be a Pharisee you had to be married and at this particular time in his life he was single and so a lot of people think it was a heartbreak of some kind. I personally think the thorn in the flesh was the church he was trying to pastor to be honest with you, because when you read the 1st Corinthians letter, it’s like who in the world would want to be a pastor of that group. I appreciate you guys for being easy on me, you guys are not like them, most of you anyway. So I praise the Lord for that, but whatever is it, just hurt and he asked God three times to take it away and each time God said no. He said My grace is sufficient for you. My power is made perfect in weakness and it’s kind of interesting, you listen to all these historians they try to tell you why Paul was so great. I mean, do you realize that Paul accomplished things in missions that no one’s ever accomplished in terms of taking the gospel all the way to Rome and planting churches and writing two thirds of the New Testament epistles and everybody’s always trying to figure out why was he so great? Maybe it was because of his intellect, maybe it was because of his, you know, great background academically and they’re always trying to attribute it to some sort of natural ability that Paul had. But all you have to do to see the secret of the man’s greatness is read 2nd Corinthians, 12, he tells you. He says it was this thorn in the flesh. He kept asking God to remove it and God wouldn’t take it away and he says, His power is made perfect through weakness. In other words, it put him in this place of total dependence on God and when you’re in a place of total dependence upon God, well, watch out, watch what God’s going to do with your life. It’s amazing what He’ll do, because He is the source of it and when Israel come to this place where she recognizes finally who the true source of her strength is, the power that’s going to be unleashed, it’s going to be unbelievable. It’s going to be like fire consuming a wood, it’s going to be like a torch consuming sheaves and then you look at the end of verse 6 (Zech 12:6) and it says: while the inhabitants of Jerusalem again dwell on their own sites in Jerusalem… 32:12
Notice that it says here that when the nation of Israel is in Jerusalem, they’re dwelling on their own sites. Zechariah would have been a terrible commentator for CNN, for MSNBC, because all of those outlets will tell you over and over again that the Jews have stolen someone else’s land, that’s all they say and if the Jews would just give up part of it, you know, we would have world peace. I don’t know if you remember the White House correspondent, Helen Thomas. She was in that role, I mean, all the way back to, I believe JFK, right in there, she was like a long time White House correspondent and they caught her on camera in her older years, this may be happen five to ten years ago and she says on camera that the Jews need to get the H-E-L-L out of Palestine, that’s what she said. That’s what she was really thinking about the Jews when she was caught in an unguarded moment and I’m so happy that that was caught on camera, because that shows you the heart of the person. She really didn’t believe that the Jews belong in the land of Israel, cause it wasn’t theirs anyway and so the person that was filming her and you could probably drudge this up on the internet and see it, asks her, well, then where should they go? She says, go back to where they came from, you know, go back to Russia, go back to these places in Europe. I mean, like the Holocaust where that happened, yeah, go back to where they came from and that was her attitude. I mean, that’s the attitude of the political establishment in our nation, many of them very sadly, as they really don’t think that the Jews belong in the land of Israel, they’re usurping someone else’s land. But look at what Zechariah says here: While the inhabitants of Jerusalem again will dwell on their own sites… See that? In Jerusalem, he doesn’t say here they’re dwelling on someone else’s site. He says they are dwelling on their own sites. So it’s interesting how just a little bit of Bible reading can help you see through a lot of the political propaganda that we are experiencing today. Ezekiel wouldn’t have been a very good MSNBC political commentator either, because he’s the one that makes this prediction of the re-gathering of the Jews to the land in the last days and it says, God through Ezekiel, I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the lands and bring you into someone else’s land, does not say that, does it? I’ll bring you into your own land. So who owns the land? God does. Leviticus, 25, verse 23 (Lev 25:23) all the way back in the time of Moses God says, the land is mine. Now that’s what we call the promised land, the track of real estate from modern day Egypt to modern day Iraq. God says, it’s mine and as you know from our studies in Genesis on Sunday mornings, God gifted that land in the form of an unconditional covenant to the physical descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob it’s not given to anybody else. So that’s why Ezekiel says, when they’re re-gathered they’re going to go back into their own land and that’s why the end of verse 6 (Zech 12:6) says, when these events happen Israel will be dwelling on their own sites in Jerusalem and then you come to verse 7 (Zech 12:7), it says: The LORD also will save the tents of Judah first… Now the words “save” there can be a little tricky. Most of the time when we think of the word “save” we think of somebody that trusts in Christ and they’re on their way to heaven and the Bible does use the word save that way, many times, if not most of the time. The Philippian jailer says, what must I do to be saved? He was talking about going to heaven and not going to hell and Paul and Silas says, believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. But the word “save” is broader than just that. It can refer to physical protection. Hebrews, 11, verse 7 (Heb 11:7) says: By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household… So Noah was not saved in the sense that he got a chance to go to heaven because he built an ark. If that’s true, it violates everything in the book in Hebrews chapter 11 which says over and over again we are saved by what? By faith. Noah didn’t go to heaven because he built an ark. But Noah was saved from something else because he built an ark and what was that other thing he was saved from? The global flood. Had he not built the ark, he would have been swept away in the flood. So save here Hebrews, 11, verse 7 (Heb 11:7) is talking about physical protection. Paul the apostle in Philippians, 1, verse 19 (Phil 1:19) says: for I know that this will turn out for my deliverance… In Greek that’s our word save. Through your prayers and the provision of the spirit of Jesus Christ. So when Paul says, this is going to work out for my deliverance, he is not talking about going to heaven there, he’s talking about getting out of jail. I’m going to be protected from jail. 39:09
So this is how the word “save” is being used right here in verse 7 of Zechariah 12 (Zech 12:7): The Lord will save the tents of Judah first… He is going to physically protect them from this army. But as we’ve already seen hinted at this chapter and we’ll see more clearly when we get to verse 10, God has a lot more in mind for the nation of Israel than just physically protecting them from these drunken armies. He’s going to use this to bring them to saving faith in Messiah. So first comes the physical salvation and that’s going to lead to the spiritual salvation and the word save as it’s used in the Bible is broad enough to cover both. So it says in verse 7 (Zech 12:7): The LORD also will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem will not be magnified above Judah… So notice he talks about the tents people dwelling in the tents, those are defenseless people and then he talks about people living in the city. Those are people living under fortification and God says here, I’m going to save both the exact same way. In other words, when I save, physical protection ultimately leading to down the road spiritual salvation, the recipients are going to be the defenseless and the fortified. In other words, the beneficiaries are going to be the strong and the weak. The people without fortification are going to be saved the exact same way as the people with fortification. We might put it this way in modern day vernacular, the people living behind gates in gated communities are going to be saved the exact same way as people that are homeless living on the streets, because God is going to work in such a way that people can’t step back and say well, it was my gated community that protected me. I was protected in Texas cause I have a second amendment right here, which by the way, don’t get me wrong, I’m very pro second amendment. If I wasn’t, I could probably be stoned to death in this state. But people that have a second amendment right and people that don’t have a second amendment right are saved physically protected and spiritually saved because of God’s power. In other words, it’s not your second amendment right that protected you, it was the Lord. The people living in the gated communities are going to be saved the exact same way as a homeless, because God is going to work in such a way that you can’t attribute your success or your protection to a gate, it was the hand of God. 42:31
So Charles Feinberg commenting here on verse 7 (Zech 12:7) says:
Charles L. Feinberg – God Remembers: A Study of Zechariah (Wheaton: Van Kampen, 1950, p. 223.
“The tents of Judah will be saved first. This probably indicates their defenselessness. God will work… Watch this now… so that human pride will not be indulged…” If I think that my protection is because I’m living in a gated community, that contributes to pride, right? I mean, I’m protected where the homeless people aren’t. I live in a gated community, they don’t and that leads to pride, but God says, when I work, and everybody is saved the exact same way within the nation, human pride won’t be able to take credit for what God has done… “The Lord will deliver the defenseless country before the fortified and well defended capital, so that both… Defenseless and defended, homeless and gated community… both may realize that the victory is of the… What?… Is of the Lord.”
Now, I will say this, God does have a problem. Does God have problems? Yes, God has a problem. Here’s God’s problem. God’s problem is when He works through a human instrument, and He works all the time through people, the human instrument has a tendency of getting in the way of the credit that rightfully belongs to the Lord. So the human instrument will think, it was my intelligence, it was my education, it was my strength that brought about this victory and the people will think it was his or her intelligence, education or strength that brought about the victory and so the human instrument ends up getting the glory, which is a problem because Isaiah, 42, and verse 8 (Isa 42:8) says: God will not give His glory to another… So here’s God’s problem, God’s problem is: I’m going to work through an instrument and the human instrument is going to stand in between the praise and Myself, when that praise rightfully belongs to me and not the human instrument, that’s God’s problem. So how does God get around this problem? The way God gets around the problem is He picks the least qualified people to use and you can track this all the way through the Bible, you can see it in Gideon, who was the least of His clan and he’s actually asking Lord, why would you ever select me to free Israel from the Midianites? You can see it in Moses, where Moses is basically trying to talk God out of using him because he’s not qualified, after all he just committed murder forty years earlier, when he murdered the Egyptian. You can see it in Jeremiah, when God called Jeremiah. What does Jeremiah say? in Jeremiah, 1, I think it’s about verses 5 and 6 (Jer 1:5-6) right in there, well, who am I Lord? I’m but a youth. Moses said to God, I’m not a speaker, I’m not a public speaker, I’m not an orator. But the thing to understand is this is the design of God, because if God can work through a flawed instrument, the people will say, well, there’s no way that flawed instrument accomplished this victory. So it must be the Lord that accomplished the victory and I share this by way of encouragement, because a lot of people will say, you know, I’m not educated, I’m not talented, I’m not an orator, you know, I’m not this, I’m not that, look at my background, I’ve had some problems in my background and the truth of the matter is you’re exactly the kind of person God wants to use, because if He uses somebody too talented, then the glory will go to the talent. When he uses you, everybody’s going to say, there’s no way you did this, must be the Lord. So once you start to understand this, you start to understand why you can apply for the job to be used by God, because God intentionally is not looking for the most talented person out there. Paul the apostle in 1st Corinthians 1:26-31 says to the Corinthians: For you see your calling brethren, not many of you wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called. But God chose the foolish things of the world to put shame to the wise and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things that are strong. So if I seem foolish in the eyes of the world, if I seem shameful in the eyes of the world, if I seem weak in the eyes of the world by human standards, then you, all of a sudden, you become qualified. He goes on and he says, in the things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen and the things which are not to bring to nothing the things which are and here’s the issue, that no flesh should glory in His presence. God says, I don’t want the glory to go to the instrument, I want it to go to Me, and Paul says to the Corinthians, that’s why he chose you, just common people. He goes on verse 30 of 1st Corinthians, 1 (1 Cor 1:30): but of Him you are in Christ Jesus who became for us wisdom from God and righteousness and sanctification and redemption that it is written he who glorifies let him glory in the Lord. 2nd Corinthians, 10, verse 17 (2 Cor 10:17): He who boasts is to boast in the Lord… 49:45
So I don’t know, once I started understanding that I got encouraged, I hope this encourages you. He goes on there in verse 8 (Zech 12:8) and he says: In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the LORD before them… So as God is defending the nation of Israel as they are coming to this place, where they’re trusting in His power to the point where they’re so powerful because God is on their side, it’s like fire consuming a stick of wood. He gives more descriptive imagery here about what it will be like. The most feeble among them, not a feeble person but the most feeble. I mean, the weakest person in that day, will be like David. 1st Samuel, 18, verse 7 (1 Sam 18:7) says of David: Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands… I mean, who in the world whatever bet on David with his slingshot against Goliath and they think Goliath had some brothers cause he had five smooth stones. So it’s one little nothing against these five Giants, that look like Akeem Olajuwon, Ralph Sampson and all of the others… who’s the other guy that played…? Yao Ming played for the Rockets. I mean, I’m not a small person, as you probably have noticed, I stood next to Shack in San Antonio, when the Lakers and the San Antonio Spurs were in their playoff series in the early two thousands, there he was in an elevator and I went and stood next to him and I felt like a little tiny nothing next to that guy, cause first of all, I’m not used to seeing people taller than me and when a guy is like, what was Shack? seven foot four or something? I mean, I just felt so tiny, you know, you can imagine how David felt going against these five giants and yet, God knew where the vulnerability of these giants was, it’s right here in the skull and he slung that sling shot and he just went over like he was nothing and the bigger they are the what? The harder they fall. So in this day, the weakest in Israel is going to be just like David in his strength. The house of David… Now watch this very carefully… is going to be like God… There it is in verse 8 (Zech 12:8): The house of David will be like God… Now this idea that man can become like God is a dangerous proposition because that’s what got us into trouble to begin with in the garden of Eden, right? Genesis, 3 verse 5 (Gen 3:5) Satan deceived Adam and Eve into thinking they could become like God and then Satan fell, Isaiah, 14, verse 14 (Isa 14:14) because he wanted to be like the most high. So that’s why all of these false religions out there are replicating this lie that man can become like God. That’s what the New Age movement teaches, by the way. We can all evolve into deity. It’s what Mormonism teaches. That we can all be like God and have our own planet. It’s, you know, everybody today is upset with the prosperity preachers on TV, preaching you’re entitled to wealth and prosperity and health as a child of God and yet behind those doctrines is what’s called the little gods doctrine. Which is the much bigger issue. They think whether it’s Kenneth Copeland or any of these types of people on TV that teach this, that they’re entitled to health and prosperity and wealth because they are little gods. So almost every false doctrine out there has in its roots this idea that man is a god, man can become a god and that is not, that’s new age but it’s an old lie. That’s the lie that caused Satan to fall from heaven, Isaiah, 14, verse 14 and it’s the lie that caused our forebears in Eden to fall, Genesis, 3, verse 5 (Gen 3:5). So you have to be very careful about this expression, in that day you will be like God. So what does it mean? It’s not saying man can ascend to God, humanism teaches that. God capital G, if He exists at all is irrelevant, man is on this upward ascent to Godhood, humanism. That’s what they teach round the clock in all the public schools. They may not be as overt about it but that’s the underlying premise. So since that doctrine is wrong, what does it mean here when it says the house of David in that day when God strengthens and will be like God? Well, it’s not saying that they are God and they can become God, but they’re going to seem like God to their adversaries. When this army from every nation comes against Israel and God protects Israel, to the opposing forces, the Israelis will seem like God. It’s not saying that they are God, it’s saying they’re going to appear that way or seem that way in the eyes of their enemies. That’s how to understand this. 56:20
It’s very similar to what God said to Moses. God said to Moses, who kept saying God I’m too weak, don’t use me. God said to Moses, see, I will make you as God to pharaoh, Exodus, 7, verse 1 (Exo 7:1) He’s not saying Moses you’re going to become God, that would be heresy, what He’s saying is, to your enemies My power through you is going to be so profound that to them you’re going to seem like God and so, I think that’s what he’s saying there in verse 8. So when I work the most feeble will be like David. The house of David will be like God in the eyes of their adversaries and they will be like the angel of the Lord. They will be as strong as the angel of the Lord. How strong is the angel of the Lord? Well, Isaiah, 37, verse 36 (Isa 37:36) says: Then the angel of the LORD… That’s one angel… went out and struck 185,000 in the camp of the Assyrians; and when men arose early in the morning, behold, all of these were dead… One angel of the Lord killed 185,000 people in a single evening. You know, after dinner, I guess. One angel of the Lord did that and so when God strengthens His people once their pride is broken off them, once their blindness is broken off them, once God is using them, I mean, the most feeble will be like David. They will be like the angel of the Lord that killed 185,000 people, one angel of the Lord and they will be like God. It’s not saying they are God, but boy! They’re going to seem like God to their opposing forces and then you end there with verse 9 (Zech 12:9) and we’ll stop with verse 9: In that day… So it’s talking about that same period of time… I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem… So look there, it’s right there in your Bible. The Bible predicts every nation, in the end times, in their drunken state, spiritually drunken state that we saw last week described in verses 1 through 3 (Zech 12:1-3) will come against the city of Jerusalem every single one of them and people say well where is America in Bible prophecy? It’s right there in verse 9, because America, just like any other nation, will go this direction and will turn against Israel in the last days. In fact, you can already see it happening, can’t you? So God says, all the nations are going to come against Jerusalem and when they do that, I’m going to come against them. So you have to figure out which side of this do I want to be on. Do I want to be on the side of the nations that come against Jerusalem? Or do I want to be on the side of God who’s going to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem? And I can’t speak for the whole country, I can only speak for me and my house. Me and my house are on the side of Israel. Me and my house on the side of Jerusalem. As long as I have any influence at this church as the pastor of this church, this church is on the side of Jerusalem. The church is on the side of Israel, we’re not going to do all the BDS stuff here, boycott, divestment and sanctions. We’re not going to teach replacement theology that God has replaced Israel with the church. The conference that we have coming up, not this Saturday but the following Saturday and Sunday, it’s going to be dealing with the significance of Israel in Bible prophecy. We’re going to keep having conferences like that, as long as I’m here, because why? Why would we do that? Because I want to be on God’s side. It’s like that famous saying, you know, how does that saying go? Are you on God’s… let’s see, how does it go? Say it. Yes. Yeah, something like that. I mean, it’s not whether… well, I’m not going to keep doing it, because I’m just going to… The more I think about it, the more I maim it so, I’ll have it next week for you, assuming the rapture doesn’t take place first.
Zechariah 12 (Israel’s Physical & Spiritual Salvation)
So we get to verse 10 (Zech 12:10) and now the subject moves away from physical deliverance to spiritual deliverance. Where you have beginning in verse 10, one of the greatest works of the Holy Spirit described in the whole Bible. So you learn that God is not just interested in physically protecting Israel but He’s going to bring them to saving faith and the only way that that can happen is through the work of the Spirit in their hearts. So we’ll see that next time. So it’s 8:04…