14 Then the Lord will appear over them; his arrow will flash like lightning. The Sovereign Lord will sound the trumpet; he will march in the storms of the south, 15 and the Lord Almighty will shield them. They will destroy and overcome with slingstones. They will drink and roar as with wine; they will be full like a bowl used for sprinkling the corners of the altar. 16 The Lord their God will save his people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown. 17 How attractive and beautiful they will be! Grain will make the young men thrive, and new wine the young women. ~ Zechariah 9:14-17
Today, in our text, we find ourselves at the final battle when God will conquer those who oppose His definitions of all things. This will happen when the Lord appears over them, His people, Israel. This description is consistent with the Second Coming of the Lord as described in the New Testament. The picture here is that of a sovereign guarding his people. When He appears, there will be a spectacular lightening show, and no one will be able to miss it.
The appearance of the Lord Jesus will happen with the sound of the trumpet. This will be the trumpet that will be sounded at His Second Coming. This can not be the trumpet that will be sounded at the Rapture because the Rapture will be unexpected, whereas this trumpet will be calculable due to the fact that we know the Tribulation will be seven years in length and we know that at the middle of the Tribulation, Satan will set himself up as God in the Temple in Jerusalem. And, then the Lord will return to His own. So, from the beginning and the middle of the Tribulation, we can calculate the Second Coming of Christ. This is not possible with the Rapture of the Church.
In v.15 of today's text we read, "and the Lord Almighty will shield them. They will destroy and overcome with slingstones. They will drink and roar as with wine; they will be full like a bowl used for sprinkling the corners of the altar."
The enemies in those days used to hurl stones, sometimes little slingstones, sometimes huge boulders with which they would crush the huge walls that often surrounded the cities. Whatever the enemy shoots at Israel, in that day, will bounce off and fall to the ground.
It will be at this point that Israel will know for themselves the victory of the Lord and the joy that will accompany this moment. The battle being described here is Armageddon. And the armies of the world will amass themselves against little Israel, but Israel will overcome the stones, shouting with great joy.
The bowls here in v.15 harken to the bowl used to catch the blood of the sacrifices in the Temple which were splashed against the altar in the Old Testament. Israel will see the splattering of the blood of the godless before their very eyes.
This description is consistent with what we read in Revelation 14:20 which reads, "They were trampled in the winepress outside the city, and blood flowed out of the winepress as high as horses’ bridles for a distance of about one hundred eighty miles."
The bloodshed will be visible from one end of Israel to the other, from north to south. As visible as the blood that would drip off the corners of the altar when the animals were cut by the priests for sacrifice.
In v.16 of today's text we read, "The Lord their God will save his people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown."
Whenever a new monarch came to power, the people always wondered what type of King would the new king be. Scripture reveals the Lord Jesus Christ will be a different kind of a King, He will be the Shepherd King.
The occupation of shepherd was not prestigious in biblical days and usually left to the lowly in the culture of the Bible. Male shepherds were usually on their own, away from other human beings. In biblical days, shepherds very often cared for sheep that were not their own.
The shepherd metaphor appears in 2 Samuel 5:2 where the Israelite people say to David “Yahweh said to you, you will shepherd my people Israel and you will be a leader over Israel.”
King David was a type of the Lord Jesus in the Old Testament. At the end of time, as we know it, the Lord Jesus, in all His glory, will lay aside His crown and He will pick up the shepherd’s staff. Ezekiel tells us He will search for His sheep and seek us out. Interestingly, sheep have very poor eyesight. The good news is the Lord Jesus will guard His sheep all the day long.
In v.17 of today's text we read, "How attractive and beautiful they will be! Grain will make the young men thrive, and new wine the young women."
God is so good and so loving that He sent His one and only Son Jesus Christ to save us. The Lord Jesus, Himself, became the path of salvation for the broken. He took our sins and removed them from us. Sin made us very unattractive, but the Lord Jesus has clothed us with His righteousness through the shedding of His blood. Through Him, we became attractive and beautiful to the most important One, the Father. And, in His kingdom, there will be an abundance of food and drink that we will never thirst or hunger again.
We are told in Revelation 21, in the New Jerusalem the foundations of the wall of the city will be made of precious stones and the twelve gates of the city will be twelve pearls. We are told the foundations and the gates represent God's people from the Old Testament and the New. In Christ there is a beauty that only the dwelling place of God explains. Having believed on His Son, we will be for eternity, the dwelling place of God. Thus, the beauty described here by Zechariah.
In Isaiah 57:15 we read, "And this is the reason: God lives forever and is holy. He is high and lifted up. He says, “I live in a high and holy place, but I also live with people who are sad and humble. I give new life to those who are humble and to those whose hearts are broken."
Truly it is the goodness of God that leads us to turn from our way to His. This is the posture that has enabled us to access the very presence of God through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.