Zechariah 9:1 The burden of the word of the LORD in the land of Hadrach, and Damascus shall be the rest thereof: when the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, shall be toward the LORD.
2 And Hamath also shall border thereby; Tyrus, and Zidon, though it be very wise.
3 And Tyrus did build herself a strong hold, and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets.
4 Behold, the Lord will cast her out, and he will smite her power in the sea; and she shall be devoured with fire.
5 Ashkelon shall see it, and fear; Gaza also shall see it, and be very sorrowful, and Ekron; for her expectation shall be ashamed; and the king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited.
6 And a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.
7 And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth: but he that remaineth, even he, shall be for our God, and he shall be as a governor in Judah, and Ekron as a Jebusite.
8 And I will encamp about mine house because of the army, because of him that passeth by, and because of him that returneth: and no oppressor shall pass through them any more: for now have I seen with mine eyes.
Chapter 9 begins another section within the book of Zechariah. The LORD is looking ahead to the Millennium once again. The word “burden” speaks of that which is weighty. It is a powerful message packed with facts from the LORD.
The land of Hadrach is a reference to a region in Syria. Damascus is the capital city of Syria. Syria has been an enemy of Israel for many, many years. Interestingly, in Deuteronomy 26:5, God directed Israel to remember that their roots were in Syria. Isaac’s wife came from Syria. Later on, Jacob spent a number of years there working to acquire his two wives and their two handmaids. The majority of his children were born while he lived there. The LORD allowed the Syrians to afflict Israel when they continued to rebel against Him. At one point king Ahaz, king of Judah, was meeting with the king of Syria in Damascus and he saw an altar to their false god there. He took a pattern of it and sent it back to Jerusalem and commanded that they build him an altar just like that. He set God’s altar to the side and put this pagan altar in its place.
Sadly, Israel has had a very storied history. They have rebelled against the true God often. If it were not for God’s holiness, and faithfulness to Himself, Israel would long have been destroyed. However, God is faithful. Many Jews have died and gone to hell. However, the nation and the name Israel will stand. God will always have His remnant.
As we see in verses1-5, the nations around Israel will be changed in the Millennium. There will be Syrians saved. Only saved people will enter the Millennium. Syria is supported by Iran and Russia today, but that will come to an end. God says so and we can believe Him.
It is interesting to note that Gaza is mentioned in verse 5. Gaza is under God’s judgment. Yes, they have managed to build buildings and tunnels. They have caused great harm to Israel. However, none of this has gone unnoticed by God. He will destroy them. We are seeing how Gaza is being pounded right now by Israeli bombs. Hamas fighters are being killed. Of course the media is lying and making the people of Gaza as the innocent victims. It is interesting to note that Hamas is trying to keep the civilians from being able to leave the area. Apparently, no Arab country is taking any fleeing Arabs from Gaza. The UN is demanding that Western nations need to take in refugees. That would be poison. Even those who are not labelled as Hamas are sympathetic to Hamas. A Muslim is a Muslim, is a Muslim. They can be saved, but unless they get saved, they are a dangerous people. They are trained in hatred.
In verse 6 God talks of the bastard. Today, we use that word as a swear word. However, it is used here to speak of a non Jew. A bastard is an outcast. Ashdod will be inhabited by underdogs. God also declared that the Philistines would be humbled. God will straighten out the mess we are witnessing today.
We see again that any true born again Christian needs to be humbled. Man is normally quite proud. You see that early in the life of a child. They do not like correction. Many adults pamper the pride in children. It needs to be addressed and children need to be humbled. Learning comes through teaching. Teaching can only be received if a person realizes the need to learn. Having learned something is no reason to boast.
In verse 7 we learn that the violence that is common with the Philistines will be gone. God will remove the violent and thus the violence. Those that remain shall be saved. That will be the result of removing the pride. The person who truly gets saved is humbled. These are things we need to understand.
In verse 8 we see that the LORD will surround His house. God is the protector that man needs. Israel today assumes that their rockets and their iron dome and their laser weapons are their “saviour”. God is the physical Saviour. More importantly, He is the spiritual Saviour. There is no hope for man apart from God. It would be good for people to realize this. Apart from knowing the LORD there is no hope. There are so many people who want success without God. They make big money, but they are not happy. Their personal lives are a mess. There is a great need for people to know the true God.
Zechariah was prophesying to Jews. The Jews of his day were quite pagan. They needed to be reminded of the importance of turning to the true God and trusting in Him. God told Zechariah to remind even the ungodly of his day that one day, their descendants would humble themselves and know the true God. The enemies of the LORD will be eliminated. He will not pamper the wicked. He will destroy them. He sent the prophets to speak the truth. Jesus Christ loved the people and He taught them the truth. He exposed the lies of the false teachers. He openly rebuked them. They hated Him. The modern thinking is that if Jesus would have chosen His words better and approached the false teachers differently, they might have accepted Him.
We can see the results of that attitude in New Evangelicalism. The God of New Evangelicalism is a weak, ineffective God. New Evangelical groups are filled with dysfunctional people who cannot get beyond themselves. That is because their god is the god of their imaginations. A true child of God has a God that is immeasurably bigger than he or she is. The true God can do anything. He told Zechariah that He would straighten out the mess that was there at that time and that would be around when the Lord Jesus Christ comes back at the end of the Tribulation.
I am putting my trust and my hope in that God. He can do all that He says He will do. I do not need to spin some yarn to diminish His greatness. I need to submit to Him and accept His greatness and proclaim that greatness to all that God sends across my path. Every true child of God needs to do the same. Let us not submit to the lies of modern psychology. Let us walk in the light of the true God Who can do all things wondrously.