Zechariah 11:12 And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.
13 And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.
14 Then I cut asunder mine other staff, even Bands, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.
15 And the LORD said unto me, Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd.
16 For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces.
17 Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.
Most of the main stream media is in support of Hamas and what is known as the Palestinians. The U.N. is also influencing nations to call for a ceasefire in the current war between Israel and the Arabs. A ceasefire would be used by Hamas to regroup and attack Israel again. An Arab who was holding a young baby girl was asked if he would be happy if that daughter would grow up to become a suicide bomber. The father stated that he would encourage his daughter in such a decision. The media tries to portray the citizens of Gaza as innocent victims of this whole matter. No doubt some of them are “innocent” to a degree. However, they chose to live among those terrorists.
It is important for people in general to understand that if you choose to align yourself with wickedness, you will reap the consequences of that choice. It is also important to understand that if you are caught in a system of wickedness, you too may reap the effects of that wickedness. We know that the apostle Paul lived during a time of wickedness. The Roman government was not “elected”. It was simply the government. The leaders of that government were not “elected” either. They were appointed. The Judaizers were not God-fearing people and they had a friendly tolerance for the Roman government. It was very difficult for the apostle Paul and the other apostles and also any true Christians at that time. God provided His peace and joy to the saints during that difficult time. The Gospel went forward and true churches were established.
Today we are living in a time where wickedness is greatly increasing and more and more people are becoming intolerant to the truth. However, if we are faithful to the Lord, we too can know His peace and joy in our hearts.
As we continue our study of the book of Zechariah, we know that God is very much alive and that He knows what is going on at any moment and He also knows what is coming. He is in charge. It is extremely foolish to ignore the true God because of some personal opinion. No person is greater than God. Man’s opinions will not cancel out God’s Word.
In verse 12 God talked of the price that was paid to Judas for Jesus’ betrayal. Of course Judas’ name is not mentioned. Jesus’ name is also not mentioned. We know from the Bible that this is what God is referring to.
In Exodus 21:32 God taught the nation of Israel that the price of a servant was 30 pieces of silver. This was in reference to an ox that would kill a servant. Jesus Christ came as a servant obedient unto death. He is far more precious than a servant. A human servant cannot pay for our sins. Jesus Christ is the eternal Son of God and He could and He did provide the only way of forgiveness for mankind.
It was the chief priests who offered Judas 30 pieces of silver as payment for betraying Jesus Christ to them. They had full intentions of killing Him. Jesus Christ was not a criminal. He never sinned. He exposed the false teachers, but He also showed them how to be forgiven. They were far too stubborn to accept Him as their Messiah and Saviour.
In verse 13 we read further that God prophesied that this money would be thrown to the potter. Judas later realized he had sinned. He went back to the same chief priests who had paid him, and confessed his sin to them. They would not forgive him and they did not care about his soul. He cast the money down and went and hanged himself. He could have turned to God and trusted in Jesus Christ for his forgiveness and salvation, but he chose not to do that. We read in Matthew 27 that these false religious leaders took that money and bought the potters field to bury strangers in. They were cold hearted men who are in torment today.
God knows the future. He did not name Judas here. He did not force Judas to betray Jesus. He knew the hard-heartedness of those who reject the true God. There have been many people who have ended up in hell because they rejected God’s way of salvation. Judas chose to betray the One Who chose him as one of His disciples. He had all the opportunity he needed to believe on Jesus Christ as his Messiah and Saviour. He chose to reject Him. Money was more important to him than his soul.
Jesus asked the question: “what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” That is still a valid question today. For those who do not want to trust in the true God and the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation, do you really believe you can pay your way into heaven? Do you really believe you look good enough to get into Heaven on your own? If you reject the fact of Heaven, you are sadly mistaken. There is a heaven and there is a hell. Jesus Christ is the only Saviour of mankind.
In verse 14 we read that God would break His other staff, Bands. We noted before that the Hebrew word there means to be braided like a rope. It speaks of a tight knit bond. As we see in our text, due to the rebellion of the Jews, this bond would not be there at that time and for many years to come. That bonding is still not there today. We have noted that Israel has never elected a majority government since being back in their land in 1948. Over the past year there has been much unrest in Israel because of the conflicting philosophies of the Jews. This current attack by Hamas has brought the people a little closer together for the time being. That will likely change again if this war ends. We know that in the future, at the start of the Millennium, the Jews will be united as that Band.
In verse 15 God spoke of the foolish shepherd. That is what the people chose in Jesus’ day. They chose to follow the Pharisees and their cohorts, rather than turning to Jesus Christ. A few Jews trusted in the Lord but the majority then and now refuse to follow Him.
This foolish shepherd will culminate in the antichrist. He will not care about the people. He will use anyone and everyone to advance his evil desires. As we have noted before, we see that in our current govt. Our P.M. claims to be a feminist and he claims to want to advance women in high places. Yet when his attorney general would not bow before him, he got rid of her. He only promotes those who will bow before him. He is not the antichrist but he is an antichrist. The Bible tells us there are many antichrists. God has warned many generations of the danger of rejecting the truth and accepting a lie. Yet, many people still want to have it their own way.
According to verse 17, the end of the idol shepherd is not good. The Bible tells us that at the end of the Tribulation, the antichrist and the false prophet will be cast into the lake of fire. Their rule will be short and brutal, and their end will be an eternity in the lake of fire.
Again we are warned here of the tragedy of rejecting the true God. We need to be careful that we are not using the same methods as our politicians who try to twist everything into a pretzel of their own making. They pick apart every statement to defend themselves. There are many people who “wrest” the Word of God as Peter warned in II Peter 3. We need to submit to the Word of God and honour Him. His peace is different than what the world suggests. His peace is for those who know the true God.