6 “On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume all the surrounding peoples right and left, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place. 7 “The Lord will save the dwellings of Judah first, so that the honor of the house of David and of Jerusalem’s inhabitants may not be greater than that of Judah. 8 On that day the Lord will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord going before them. 9 On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem. ~ Zechariah 12:6-9
We continue, today, our study of the Old Testament book of Zechariah. In Zechariah 12, we have four features of Israel’s coming deliverance and salvation: The siege of Israel, the shielding of Israel, the sorrow of Israel, and the salvation of Israel. In our last blog and podcast, we considered the siege of Israel. Today, we will consider the shielding of Israel.
As we mentioned in our last blog and podcast, at the end of the Tribulation, at the battle of Armaggedon, the nations of the world will attempt to attack little Jerusalem. But, in the end, the nations will find themselves unsuccessful in their huge attempts to destroy the insignificant Jews and their beloved city, Jerusalem.
In Revelation 17:6, we are reminded, the world will be drunk with all the blood of the Jewish Christian martyrs. They will come upon Israel and they will be drunk with the idea of their seeming conquest. They will be convinced of their seemingly easy win over Israel. This will only lead them to, instead, lose their minds.
For Israel, it will appear that they will be done in by these advancing madmen. But, it is in these moments, is where the Lord God shines the greatest. The Lord always masters at taking a situation that is absolutely hopeless and He turns the circumstances on a dime. Need I mention Gideon's victory, Elijah's victory, David's victories, and the disciples victories in the book of Acts?
In v.6 of today's text we read, "On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume all the surrounding peoples right and left, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place."
Back, in that day, a firepot was used to contain hot coals in a little metal pot. The firepot was used to start a fire. In this verse, Zechariah is likening the Gentile armies to kindling. The clans of Judah are likened to firepots. At the battle of Armageddon, that small, simple country will burn the armies of the gathered gentile nations. Israel will be like a torch of fire in a dry sheaf. If we were to take a sheaf of grain that’s dry and set a torch to it, we would get the same thing. So just as a firepot sets fire to twigs and dry wood and a torch sets fire to dry grain, so Judah will devour its enemies.
In v.7 of today's text we read, "The Lord will save the dwellings of Judah first, so that the honor of the house of David and of Jerusalem’s inhabitants may not be greater than that of Judah."
When Judah wins this big victory, it will be obvious to them that the victory was brought about by the Lord. So, the inhabitants of Jerusalem will have nothing to boast about. After they win this incredible battle, they will unmistakably say, "All the glory goes to God. It sure wasn’t us who garnered the victory." The weak and the defenseless will, yet again, be delivered by the Almighty.
In v.8 of today's text we read, "On that day the Lord will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord going before them."
King David is the greatest soldier in the history of Israel. One little rock rendered one dead giant by the name of Goliath. A case in point: the weak and the puny nation of Israel, in the last days, will be like David. They will be so outnumbered that their victory will resound throughout the universe for eternity.
This has always been the case down through history. God has always shown up mightily on the behalf of the weak and defenseless. And, according to the book of the Revelation, we discover this will happen just at the climax of the battle of Armageddon, just when the war reaches its highest point. It will be, at that point in time, that out of the sky will come the Lord Jesus Christ, and we will witness this great feat for we will return to earth with Him.
It is most interesting that the angel of the Lord is equated, here in this verse, with God. Another evidence that the angel of the Lord was not just an angel, but God incarnate, the Lord Jesus Christ.
In v.9 of today's text we read, "On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem."
God will wipe out all those who will seek to wipe out His people and His Kingdom. The phrase “will set out” is a most interesting Hebrew phrase. In the Hebrew, it is a term that is used of a marksman who bends his bow with his eye focused on the target. Unquestionably, will He hit the bullseye and nothing will distract Him from accomplishing His goal. The details of this victory are given to us in Revelation 16 & 19. The Lord Jesus will break through the heavens with great glory and power. He will wield a flaming sword dipped in blood and He will come conquering His foes.
So, in summary, the first nine verses of Zechariah 12 describe prophetically Israel’s great deliverance and the destruction of the armies of the world gathered against her. The first part of the this battle will be political, whereas, the next part will be spiritual. And, in our next blog and podcast, we will get into the spiritual side of this.
Finally, God majors in His ability to show up when all looks lost. And, when we are depending on Him instead of anything or anybody else, His power flows in and through our yielded lives. David showed up at the valley of Elah and everyone laughed at him. They laughed because they didn't know of the battle that was about to be won. They didn't understand the might behind our trust in the Lord Almighty. What separated David from all others that day was he knew and understood how to access the power of God. We access God's power by being totally dependent upon Him. And, David's dependence upon the Lord was forged through the insignificant and mundane assignments the Lord gave him leading up to that day. David went to the valley of Elah to feed his brothers. And, when he got there, David was ready for God's miracle through his weak and humble life. Our light afflictions, now, are preparing us to depend upon God most greatly in the future. We only need to depend upon Him in the small things.