Zechariah 12:1 The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.
2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
4 In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness.
It is important to note the language used here in this text. The LORD called this message a “burden”. The Hebrew word translated as burden means “load” and “doom”. The LORD did not take any pleasure in giving this message to Zechariah. We have already noted that God wanted to bless Israel, but He could not do that because Israel continued to rebel against Him. The fact is that God wants to bless all of mankind. God promised Abraham that through his seed all nations would be blessed. That blessing came in the gift of God — salvation through the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. The tragedy is that most reject the truth.
In chapter 12 the LORD prophesied regarding the treatment that the Jews would give to the Lord Jesus Christ. He also prophesied about the suffering that Israel would face due to their continued rebellion. There was a spiritual battle taking place in Zechariah’s day and that battle is still going on today.
Satan is the enemy of God and as we read in the book of Job, he cannot attack God, and so he attacks God’s creation as much as he is allowed. His hope is to destroy God. He is a fool, and yet he is able to convince most people to follow him.
In verse 1 of our text, the LORD reminded the people that He is the Creator. He stretched out the heavens. He created the atmosphere that we need to live on this earth. The climates have been changing every year since the fall of man. They are limited in their changes to what God allows and directs. The LORD also laid the foundation of the earth. We have earthquakes in various places at times. They can do quite a lot of damage at times. Even though there are earthquakes, they cannot destroy the earth. God limits the strength and effects of the earthquakes. The LORD also created the spirit of man within him. Man is accountable to God. This was necessary for the Jews of Zechariah’s day to know and it is still important for mankind to know today. As Israel fights for its survival at this time, it would be good if they would realize they are accountable to the LORD. If they would know Him, things would be much different for them. The Bible tells us this will be the case one day.
Our P.M. came out recently with his acting mannerisms declaring that the animosity expressed by both sides in this country must stop. He stated that this is not who we are as Canadians. He says that, but the facts show that this is who we have in Canada. He has demonstrated first hand that he has a hatred for those who oppose his “law”. It should not be surprising to him and to this nation that the enemies of God would be taking advantage of the lawlessness in this country to openly express their hatred. Our P.M. has allowed an element of people to come into this country, many of them illegally, that have a hatred for God and a hatred for the Jews. They also have a hatred for born again Christians. Right now it is convenient for them to protest in various ways against the Jews. They have the support of our governments and our legal system. There is a completely different approach to the protests now than those that were the after effects of the wicked lockdowns.
Our P.M. and the media do not understand this is a spiritual battle that is spilling over into the physical realm. The hatred for the Jews has been around for thousands of years. During the time of Jacob, the Pharaoh had some respect for Israel. Joseph was seen as a “saviour” of Egypt and the surrounding nations. God sent a major famine into that area, and Joseph was given the privilege of interpreting the dreams that God gave to the Pharaoh, regarding this upcoming famine. The fledgling nation of Israel enjoyed great respect due to Joseph’s important role in preserving life in Egypt and the surrounding areas.
After the death of Joseph, things changed drastically. The Pharaoh who took over after the death of Joseph, did not know the history of the nation of Israel. He saw a people that were multiplying and he saw them as a threat to the nation of Egypt. Rather than getting to know who these people were, he chose to persecute them in order to keep them under control. Eventually, the LORD brought the nation out of bondage. Egypt was severely crippled economically and also population wise, at that time. The army was greatly diminished due to the Pharaoh’s fight against God.
The animosity against the Jews goes back at least to the division between Jacob and Esau. Esau chose to despise the LORD and he expressed that attitude in despising his birthright. God had already declared that the birthright belonged to Jacob, not to Esau. The troubles we are witnessing in Israel now and that are spilling over into the streets of Canada are the result of the hatred for God. Our P.M. can make all the declarations he wants to. The hatred that is being expressed is much deeper than he understands. He cannot fix the problem. The antichrist will deceive the people into accepting a pseudo peace for a very short time during his 7 year rule. It will not be until the Jews acknowledge Jesus as their Messiah and King at the end of Tribulation, that peace will rule. The enemies of the LORD will be removed from this earth at that time.
In the meantime, we read in verse 2 of our text that the LORD will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about. That is what we are witnessing right now. Hamas attacked Israel and they are still seeking to overthrow and remove the Jews from the earth. Hezbollah, a proxy of Iran, as is Hamas, are also involved in trying to get rid of the Jews. Yemen is involved as is Qatar and Russia and others.
Unless we take God’s Word into account, we are left in the dark with regard to what is actually happening right now. P.M. Netanyahu would like to think he has some good counsellors around him to guide him through this conflict. He would like to think that they will win this war with Hamas and peace will reign in Jerusalem soon. He does not say how soon, but he expects there will be peace. Yet his efforts are all expended without regard to the real problem. He is the P.M. of a very wicked nation. Yes, it is the Jewish state of Israel, but it is under the judgment of the LORD. It will become much more of a cup of trembling yet before things get better. Apparently he has agreed to a daily time of cease fire to allow “humanitarian” aid to enter northern Gaza. If this is true, it is another sign that this conflict will not end.
In verse 3 we read that Jerusalem will be a burdensome stone for all people. The “allies” of Israel have poured money and other resources into that small nation and the city of Jerusalem. Many people have donated funds to help that nation at this present time. There is much effort being put into trying to resolve the conflict taking place.
Verse 3 is looking ahead to the battle of Armageddon. We know that because we have God’s completed Word. We know that at that time the wicked world will be involved in a slaughter. Preceding that day, the antichrist and his cohorts will be actively involved in seeking to wipe out the Jews. The antichrist will have turned Jerusalem into his headquarters. He will have declared himself as God and he will enlist all the resources he can to wipe out the Jews and the Christians in the final 3 1/2 years of his short rule. All the lost people of the earth will be gathered together at the battle of Armageddon.
Verse 4 tells us that the LORD will smite every horse with astonishment. Israel will not need to fight that battle. The LORD, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, will fight that battle. He will put an end to the resistance mounted against Him. The antichrist and the false prophet will be cast into the lake of fire and Satan will be bound with a chain and cast into the bottomless pit for 1,000 years.
The LORD will smite the horses with blindness. This will take the wind right out of the sails of the wicked. They will be no match for the LORD. The Bible tells us there will be a massive slaughter at that time.
There will also be good news at that time. We will see that in the following verses. It is the same good news that the LORD wants us to know now.
As we mentioned earlier, the troubles we are witnessing are real and they affect the physical environment of the earth. However, these troubles have a spiritual root to them. James tells us that wars come from the lusts that war in the heart of man. When a person is not at peace with God, he cannot be at peace with his neighbour. Through compromise some people seem to get along. However, there is a constant tension there. When the LORD rules the tension is gone. There is a peace that can only come through surrendering to Him. It is pointless to fight against this fact, and yet the world is fighting. The Jews are fighting this fact as are the Gentiles. Only those who are born again have the opportunity of truly knowing that peace. It is a blessing to have that peace. That peace must be maintained through confession of sin by the saints and daily feeding on God’s Word by the saints. Others can enter into that peace as well, if and when they humble themselves and are born again. That is the only hope of man.
If you are struggling today, turn to God. Look to Him and let Him show you the way to be victorious in that struggle. Be sure you know Him as your God and Saviour. Get into His Word daily. Spend quality time in prayer. Find a good church to attend and fellowship in. Trust in God to give you His peace.