Zechariah 12:1-14  (CLICK HERE FOR BIBLE VERSES)

Hi GAMErs!

Today’s passage is Zechariah 12:1-14.  As usual, I encourage you to read the passage yourself first and see what you can glean with the Holy Spirit’s help, then read the GAME sharing below.  Let’s go!

Zechariah 12:1 (NIV)
This is the word of the LORD concerning Israel. The LORD, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him, declares: 

On verse 1:  Here Zechariah writes down a message from the LORD regarding Israel.  Before describing the message, first Zechariah describes the God who gave him the message as “the LORD, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him”.  In other words, the same God who made the heavens and the earth, as big as they are, also forms the spirit within each person.  You’re not a spiritual being by accident.  It is God who formed the spirit in you so that you would ultimately reach for Him.

Zechariah 12:2-4 (NIV)
“I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. 
 On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.
 On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness,” declares the LORD. “I will keep a watchful eye over the house of Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations.

On verses 2-4:   Zechariah’s message from the Lord concerns a future day when Jerusalem will battle against all the nations of the world.  Zechariah uses the phrase “On that day” six times in this chapter.

What does Zechariah see happening on that day?  Both the city of Jerusalem and the surrounding region of Judah will be besieged by other nations (v2).  Yet Jerusalem will not be moved.  Instead, God will make Jerusalem to be a cup that sends the other nations reeling (v2) and an immovable rock that the nations cannot move (v3).  He will also keep a watchful eye over Judah (v4).  In other words, God will protect Jerusalem and Judah, so much so that those who try to attack God’s people will injure themselves (v3) and be blinded by fear and madness (v4).  When God is with you, it doesn’t matter who is against you or how difficult the odds against you are.  You plus God always equals a majority.

Zechariah 12:5-7 (NIV)
Then the leaders of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the LORD Almighty is their God.’
“On that day I will make the leaders of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume right and left all the surrounding peoples, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place.
“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. 

On verses 5-7:  Here we see God’s heart not just for the people in Jerusalem but also for the people in the surrounding region of Judah.  In particular we see that Judah’s leaders will be inspired by what they see in Jerusalem and will rise up powerfully against their enemies.  In this way, both Jerusalem and all of Judah would be saved.

God’s heart is not just for those in the city but for those in the countryside as well.  All people, regardless of their background, economic status or where they live, matter to God.

Zechariah 12:8-9 (NIV)
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.
On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem. 

On verses 8-9:  In verse 8 God is described as a shield for those who trust in Him — so much so that the weakest person will be strong like David, and those who are strong will become supernaturally stronger in Him (v8).  In verse 9 Zechariah describes God as being determined to destroy the nations that attack His people, Jerusalem.

When God is working, the weak become strong, and those who are strong in Him become stronger still.

Zechariah 12:10-14 (NIV)
10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.
11 On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be great, like the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.
12 The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the house of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives,
13 the clan of the house of Levi and their wives, the clan of Shimei and their wives,
14 and all the rest of the clans and their wives. 

On verses 10-14:  Earlier verses 1-9 describe how God will enable Jerusalem to be victorious in defending herself against all the nations that are attacking her.  Yet in verse 10 we see a striking turn of events: God Himself is pierced, not by foreign nations attacking the people of Jerusalem, but by the very people He was trying to defend and protect: the people of Jerusalem themselves (v10).  After that the Holy Spirit will soften the hearts of the people, giving them “a spirit of grace and supplication” (v10), such that they grieve greatly over how they have killed their own hero and saviour.

These verses are pointing us to the day that Jesus, Jerusalem’s greatest champion and defender, would be pierced and killed, not by foreign powers, but by the very people Jesus sought to protect and defend.  Amazingly, Zechariah is giving this message approximately 500 years before Jesus would be born.  As the prophet Isaiah would also predict: “…he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

Lord Jesus, thank You for being our greatest champion and defender.  Thank You that with Your protection nothing can harm us.  Thank You that in Your presence the weak become strong, and the strong in You become stronger still.  May we never forget that it was our sins that caused you to be nailed to the cross, pierced in your side and killed.  In Jesus’ name, AMEN!

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