ON THAT DAY
Lord, I would dread marching in the army of those opposing you.
Read ZECHARIAH 14:1–11, 20, 21
The Lord Comes and Reigns
14 A day of the Lord is coming, Jerusalem, when your possessions will be plundered and divided up within your very walls.
2 I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. 3 Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. 4 On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. 5 You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake[a] in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.
6 On that day there will be neither sunlight nor cold, frosty darkness. 7 It will be a unique day—a day known only to the Lord—with no distinction between day and night. When evening comes, there will be light.
8 On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter.
9 The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.
10 The whole land, from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, will become like the Arabah. But Jerusalem will be raised up high from the Benjamin Gate to the site of the First Gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the royal winepresses, and will remain in its place. 11 It will be inhabited; never again will it be destroyed. Jerusalem will be secure.
a Zechariah 14:5 Or 5 My mountain valley will be blocked and will extend to Azel. It will be blocked as it was blocked because of the earthquake
20 On that day holy to the Lord will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the Lord’s house will be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar. 21 Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the Lord Almighty, and all who come to sacrifice will take some of the pots and cook in them. And on that day there will no longer be a Canaanite[a] in the house of the Lord Almighty.
a Zechariah 14:21 Or merchant
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:23)
In the Old Testament, “that day” signifies when God steps in to punish those who oppose his purposes. This may happen within history (Isaiah 13:9–22). Such events foreshadow a final day of reckoning and deliverance. Zechariah’s apocalyptic passage, chapter 14, uses symbolic imagery. Being symbolic, its message is not literal, but lies in the theological truth it portrays. The message of verses 1–5 is that God’s people will often suffer at the hands of those who oppose God’s rule but that, at a time God chooses, he will destroy the evil forces in the world and deliver his people. This is an encouraging message for us in times of trouble. We find ourselves ultimately on the winning side, “more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).
God’s final victory will lead to a transformed world order (6–9). The image of the divided Mount of Olives allowing water from Jerusalem to flow to the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean symbolizes God’s life-giving blessing spreading into the whole world. Jesus envisioned this beginning with the Spirit flowing out from those who believed in him and whom he sent out to be disciples to the nations (John 7:38; Matthew 28:19, 20).
In ancient Near-Eastern thought, the gods ruled from a high mountain in the far north. The psalmist uses this imagery of Jerusalem (Psalm 48:2, NRSV) – which in reality is lower than the Mount of Olives and not in the north. On that day, however, all will recognize that the God worshipped there is the one true God and King (9–11). When God has accomplished his salvation and subsequent judgment, the holiness which was originally symbolized by the high priest (Exodus 28:36) will characterize all God’s people (20,21) because of the once-for-all sacrifice made by Jesus, the true high priest who gave himself as the sin-offering for the world (Hebrews 7:27).
Think of the coming of the Day of the Lord. Are you prepared?
Lord, help me to drink deeply of the water You offer so that something of Your blessing will flow out into the world from me.
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