Hi GAMErs!

Today’s passage is Zechariah 14:1-11.  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 14 has posed quite a challenge for scholars.  For example, Martin Luther once wrote two commentaries on Zechariah.  In the first one, Luther stopped at Zechariah 13 without explaining why.  Then in his second commentary, Luther begins his discussion on Zechariah 14 by saying, “Here, in this chapter, I give up.  For I am not sure what the prophet is talking about.” 1 I love Martin Luther’s honesty!

So we must approach Zechariah 14 with special care and humility.  It seems quite clear that Zechariah 14 is talking about the end times.  Whereas Zechariah 9 to 11 focus on Jesus’ first appearance on earth, Zechariah 12 to 14 focus on Jesus’ second coming and the establishment of His kingdom.

At the same time, I believe the Holy Spirit has some powerful lessons to encourage us today from this chapter.  Let’s go!

Zechariah 14:1-2 (NIV) 
1 A day of the LORD is coming when your plunder will be divided among you. 
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. 

On verses 1-2:  Here Zechariah describes how all the nations will fight against Jerusalem and initially cause great damage: the city will be captured, houses ransacked, women raped (v2).  Half of the city will go into exile while the rest will remain in the city.  The events described in these two verses probably precede the events described in Zechariah 12.  In other words, before the Lord turns Jerusalem into an immovable rock (12:3) and saves Jerusalem (12:7), Jerusalem will first incur great loss and damage (14:1-2).  Sometimes things will get worse before they get better, but as we’ll see in the verses that follow, when you have God’s Messiah in your life, you have hope.

Zechariah 14:3-5 (NIV) 
Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. 
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. 
You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. 

On verses 3-5:  Just as it seems that the nations have conquered Jerusalem and all hope is lost, the Lord will appear and fight against the nations, saving the city (v3).

In verse 4 Zechariah describes how the Lord will stand on the Mount of Olives and it will cause an earthquake that splits the Mount of Olives in two from east to west.  Incidentally, last century (about 2,500 years after Zechariah wrote Zechariah 14) it was reported that the Sheraton Hotel wanted to set up a hotel on the Mount of Olives.  But after doing their seismology research, they discovered there was a fault line right underneath the Mount of Olives that could cause it to split from east to west.  So after spending a great deal of money on the project, Sheraton decided against building their hotel on the Mount of Olives because of the fault line. 2

What can we learn from this?  The Bible is ahead of its time.  What seismologists could not discover until the 1900s, the Bible was already talking about 2,500 years before.

Zechariah 14:6-7 (NIV) 
On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. 
It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime–a day known to the LORD. When evening comes, there will be light. 

On verses 6-7:  Here Zechariah describes how the day of the Lord’s second coming will usher a unique day where there is no sunlight or darkness (v6), no distinction between day and night (v7).  What’s going on?  It’s as if the Lord — the Creator God “who stretches out the heavens” and “lays the foundation of the earth” (12:1) — is in some ways undoing His original creation before establishing His new kingdom.  Here destruction comes before construction.

Isn’t this often the way God deals with us too?   Sometimes God has to break something down before He can build something better and stronger in its place.  If you’re going through a period where God seems to be breaking you down, remember: it’s not because God hates you; it’s because He’s in the process of building a better and stronger version of you to take the place of what was old in your life.

Zechariah 14:8 (NIV) 
On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter. 

On verse 8:  Zechariah describes how on that day when Christ returns, living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the Dead Sea (“the eastern sea”) and half to the Mediterranean Sea (“the western sea”).

Do you know why there is no wildlife in the Dead Sea?  It’s because the Dead Sea has no outlet.  Water flows into the Dead Sea, but water does not flow out.  As a result, nothing lives in the Dead Sea.  In contrast, the Mediterranean Sea is full of wildlife because it receives much water and also gives out much water to other places.   From this we can learn two things:

1. The fact that in verse 8 living water flows from Jerusalem to both the Dead Sea and to the Mediterranean Sea speaks of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit, whom Jesus describes as “living water” (John 7:37-39).  The Holy Spirit can let living water flow even to the “deadest” place.  Nothing is too difficult for Him.  He can give life both to the dead and to the living.

2. If you want to truly live, you need to be a giver, not just a taker.  If all you do is take from others, you can receive living water from Jesus and still be dead.  If all you do is give, you’ll be dry.  But if there’s a healthy give and take in your life, you’ll truly live.  All of us need to choose: will I be like the Dead Sea or the Mediterranean Sea?

Zechariah 14:9 (NIV) 
The LORD will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one LORD, and his name the only name. 

On verse 9:  In Zechariah 9-11 the focus is on Jesus’ first “advent”, or appearing on earth.  During that time, Jesus came as a humble, suffering servant.  As Zechariah 9:9 says, “See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey”.  But in Zechariah 12-14, Jesus returns to earth not as a suffering servant, but as a conquering king.  As Zechariah 14:9 says, “The Lord will be king over the whole earth.  On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.”

What can we learn from this?  Just as from Zechariah 9:9 to 14:9 Jesus goes from being the suffering servant to the conquering king, the more we grow as followers of Jesus, the more we must make that transition as well: from seeing Jesus simply as our servant who serves us to seeing Him as the mighty king who rules over us and our world.

Zechariah 14:10-11 (NIV) 
10 The whole land, from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, will become like the Arabah. But Jerusalem will be raised up and remain in its place, 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. 
11 It will be inhabited; never again will it be destroyed. Jerusalem will be secure. 

On verses 10-11:  Here Zechariah describes how on the day Christ returns, the land south of Jerusalem will be flattened, while Jerusalem itself will be raised high.  Jerusalem will be in this elevated state, inhabited and secure, never to be destroyed again.

This picture is consistent with the last book of the Bible.  In Revelation 21, John describes a vision he sees of the church as the new Jerusalem, raised high where the Lord is, radiant and full of life.  It goes to show: God’s heart and God’s plan for His church has always been to raise us high with Him, like a city on a hill that cannot be hidden.  No matter how many challenges, difficulties, disappointments, and losses we may suffer, our destiny as God’s people is to reign victorious with our God, raised up with Him forever.  So here’s a rap based on Zechariah 14:10-11 to encourage you today:  If you’re living in aggravation, agitation, consternation or frustration, get inspiration from this revelation: your destination is elevation!

For your prayer time today
If you want to take your prayer time to another level today, go back to the lessons I’ve shared with you above and turn each lesson into a prayer.

Or, if you’re pressed for time, try reciting the below prayer out loud:

Lord Jesus, before You appeared as a humble, suffering servant who came to save me.  But now You are the mighty, conquering king who has come to rule over me.  Thank You that when You rule over me, mountains will move, living water will flow, and my enemies will flee.  Thank You that when You rule over me, You don’t trample on me, but You elevate me and raise me up to be where You are.  So rule over me today, my victorious King.  In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN!

1 Klein, G. L. (2008). Zechariah (Vol. 21B, p. 396). Nashville, TN: B & H Publishing Group.
2 Courson, J. (2006). Jon Courson’s application commentary: Volume two: Psalms-Malachi (p. 913). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

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