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Zechariah 10

Sunday Morning Bible Study

November 9, 2014

Introduction

Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die?  Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Regular:  2900 words    Communion: 2500 words

The historical background to Zechariah, like that of Haggai, is found in the book of Ezra.

Zechariah lived during the time that the Jews had begun to return from Babylon and rebuild their Temple.

After having been captive in Babylon for seventy years, the Jews are given permission to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their Temple in Jerusalem.

When the Temple construction is stopped, it was Haggai and Zechariah who began to prophesy and encourage the people to finish the Temple. (Ezra 5:1-2)

After the people began to build, opposition arose from their enemies, and for a period of 15 years, the Temple construction was halted.

It was then that God raised up two prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, who began to encourage the people to get back to work and make God’s House a priority.

(Ezra 5:1–2 NKJV) —1 Then the prophet Haggai and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophets, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them. 2 So Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak rose up and began to build the house of God which is in Jerusalem; and the prophets of God were with them, helping them.
It was under the ministry of Haggai and Zechariah that the work got stirred up again.
The Temple won’t be complete until March 12, 515 BC (Ezr 6:15-18)

The prophecies of Zechariah are given during the years of 520-518 BC.

One of the key distinctions of the book of Zechariah is the amount of prophecy about the coming Messiah.

Except for the prophet Isaiah, there are more prophecies about the Messiah in this book than any other Old Testament book.

We now begin a new section in Zechariah, when he gives a series of prophecies that look far into the future.

Except for the prophet Isaiah, there are more prophecies about the Messiah in this book than any other Old Testament book.
One set of scholars list 41 quotes or allusions to Zechariah in the New Testament.

It seems that Zechariah has dated each of his prophecies, like Haggai did.

The first prophecy is 1:1-6
It was given on 08/??/02
The second prophecy is 1:7 – 6:15
Hag.2:10-19 talks about how “uncleanness” defiles everything it touches.

Haggai’s prophecy was given on 9/24/02

In Zec. 3 God talks about Joshua the high priest being “filthy”, but being cleansed.

Zechariah’s prophecy was given 11/24/02

The third prophecy is 7:1 – 14:21
Some suggest that only 7:1-7 are tied to the last date, and the rest of the book is undated.

The first eight chapters covered a series of eight “night visions” (1:7) that Zechariah received from God on a single night.

Chapters 9-11 are a new section containing a single prophecy that jumps far into Zechariah’s future.

We are now in the next section

They all took place on February 15, 519 BC.

This is now the _____ vision.

We’ve seen a vision of horses and riders. (1:7-17)
The horns and craftsmen (1:18-21)
The surveyor (ch.2)
Joshua the high priest’s cleansing (ch. 3)
The Olive Trees and Lampstand (ch. 4)

10:1-12 Restoration

:1 Ask the Lord for rain In the time of the latter rain. The Lord will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, Grass in the field for everyone.

:1 Ask the Lord for rain

Rain in Israel comes during two seasons of the year, the former rain (Sept.-Oct.), and the latter rain (March-April).

Both were necessary to allow the crops to grow properly.

The question is, what do you do to cause the rain to fall? Do a “rain dance”? Who do you call for help? Do you resort to asking the various idols?

Our state is in the middle of a massive drought.

I appreciate the passing of “Prop. 1” that will somehow help us with future droughts, but what we really need to be doing is turning to God and asking Him for help.
Years ago I saw an interesting article on the internet about Israel. The political government has an agreement with the orthodox Jews, the government fights, the orthodox Jews will pray. I like that set up.

:1 the time of the latter rain

Some have suggested here a hint about the Holy Spirit.

The prophet Joel talked about both rain (Joel 2:23) and the Holy Spirit.

(Joel 2:23 NKJV) —23 Be glad then, you children of Zion, And rejoice in the Lord your God; For He has given you the former rain faithfully, And He will cause the rain to come down for you— The former rain, And the latter rain in the first month.
(Joel 2:28–29 NKJV) —28 “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. 29 And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days.
On the day of Pentecost, Peter quoted Joel to explain the Holy Spirit being poured out on the disciples.

But Joel went on to say,

(Joel 2:30–31 NKJV) —30 “And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth: Blood and fire and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood, Before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.
Some have suggested that the “early rain” of the Holy Spirit came on the day of Pentecost, while the “latter rain” would be an outpouring of the Spirit during the time just before Jesus comes back.
God says through Zechariah that we ought to “ask the Lord for rain”.

We ought to be praying for a fresh, overwhelming outpouring of the Holy Spirit on us and on the world.

:2 For the idols speak delusion; The diviners envision lies, And tell false dreams; They comfort in vain. Therefore the people wend their way like sheep; They are in trouble because there is no shepherd.

:2 idols[email protected] a kind of idol used in household shrine or worship, often used in “divination”, trying to figure out the future.

It is interesting that the word teraphim is derived from the Arabic word tarafa, meaning “to live in comfort”.

Teraphim were worshipped as the source of earthly prosperity.

:2 They comfort in vain

There are all sorts of things that we turn to in times of need or times of trouble.  The problem is that some of them are “fakes”

Lesson

False Comfort

Video:  Southern Comfort commercial
I hope I don’t offend you, I don’t know the name of the karate fellow in the commercial, but frankly, if you were acting like that in a beauty salon, I’d think you were an idiot.  And I guess the message of the commercial is that when you’re drinking “Southern Comfort”, you “don’t care”.

How sad.

There are all sorts of things that we look to for “comfort”, but what they really give us is a fake.
Some turn to alcohol.  Others to drugs.  Some to sex.  Some to food.  Some try to forget their troubles by going to a movie, or some form of entertainment.

Some of those “comforts” are better than others.

But ultimately they all fall short.

Paul wrote,
(2 Corinthians 1:3–5 NKJV) —3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.

My friend, as far-fetched as this sounds, God has the ability to give you “comfort” like no other.  Do we really believe that?

Jesus said,

(John 16:33 NKJV) These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

:3 “My anger is kindled against the shepherds, And I will punish the goatherds. For the Lord of hosts will visit His flock, The house of Judah, And will make them as His royal horse in the battle.

:3 shepherds …goatherds

Dating back to the time of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and his twelve sons, the nation of Israel was a nation of shepherds.

At one time the main part of their economy was that of raising sheep.

Because of this, the leaders of Israel are often referred to as “shepherds”, and the nation as “sheep”.

The “goatherds” might be referring to the foreign leaders ruling over the Jews.

:3 make them as His royal horse

The southern kingdom of Judah will become God’s battle horse.

:4 From him comes the cornerstone, From him the tent peg, From him the battle bow, From him every ruler together.

:4 From him comes

From the tribe of Judah – three things that speak of the Messiah…

:4 the cornerstone

The cornerstone is the key piece to the foundation of a building.

Peter quotes several Old Testament passages (Is. 28:16; Ps. 118:22; Is. 8:14) when he writes,

(Isaiah 28:16 NKJV) Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily.
(Psalm 118:22 NKJV) The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone.
(Isaiah 8:14 NKJV) He will be as a sanctuary, But a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense To both the houses of Israel, As a trap and a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
(1 Peter 2:4–8 NKJV) —4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
Peter is talking about how we as believers are a sort of “temple”, a place where God is worshipped.
6 Therefore it is also contained in the Scripture, “Behold, I lay in Zion A chief cornerstone, elect, precious, And he who believes on Him will by no means be put to shame.”
When you put your trust in Jesus, you become part of God’s building, and you will never be put to shame by God.
7 Therefore, to you who believe, He is precious; but to those who are disobedient, “The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone,”
Peter is quoting Ps. 118:22.  Jesus was rejected by the Jewish leaders, but He was in fact the very One that God’s work was built upon.
8 and “A stone of stumbling And a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.
For those who reject Jesus, He is something that causes them to stumble, to “trip”.  They fall on their face in God’s sight.

:4 the tent peg

tent pegyathed – pin, stake, peg, nail

A better translation would be a “nail”.  The word is used to describe a faithful man like this:

(Isaiah 22:23–24 NKJV) —23 I will fasten him as a peg in a secure place, And he will become a glorious throne to his father’s house. 24 ‘They will hang on him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the posterity, all vessels of small quantity, from the cups to all the pitchers.
There are a lot of valuable things that hang on a nail today – masterpieces of art, costly clothing, valuable objects.
Everything important “hangs” on Jesus.

:4 the battle bow

Jesus is the ultimate warrior.

Moses wrote,

(Exodus 15:3 NKJV) The Lord is a man of war; The Lord is His name.

When Jesus returns, He will deal with His enemies…

(Revelation 19:21 NKJV) And the rest were killed with the sword which proceeded from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse. And all the birds were filled with their flesh.

:4 every ruler together

A better translation of the Hebrew would read, “from Him will depart every oppressor”.

The idea is that He will expel everyone who oppresses His people.

:5 They shall be like mighty men, Who tread down their enemies In the mire of the streets in the battle. They shall fight because the Lord is with them, And the riders on horses shall be put to shame.

:5 They shall be like mighty men

God promises to one day empower the army of Israel.

Why would anyone want to come against the army of Israel?

Keep in mind though what Israel/Judah has gone through since the time of Zechariah.

The Maccabees – a time of warriors
The time of Jesus – not many warriors
2,000 years of dispersion – no warriors
Modern Israel – a powerful army.

It also reminds me of our own armed forces and those who have served our country.

Video:  Veterans Day:  The 11th Hour
Do we have any veterans with us today?  Would you stand?

:6 “I will strengthen the house of Judah, And I will save the house of Joseph. I will bring them back, Because I have mercy on them. They shall be as though I had not cast them aside; For I am the Lord their God, And I will hear them.

:7 Those of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, And their heart shall rejoice as if with wine. Yes, their children shall see it and be glad; Their heart shall rejoice in the Lord.

:6 Judah … Joseph

Judah is the southern kingdom.

“Joseph” is another title for the northern kingdom.

Even though Joseph was one of the twelve sons of Jacob/Israel, there was no single tribe of “Joseph”.  Joseph was represented in Israel with the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh.
“Joseph” was the dominant tribe of the northern kingdom.

The southern kingdom isn’t the only one that God will be restoring and blessing.  

:7 rejoice as if with wine

Could this be a hint about the Holy Spirit?

(Ephesians 5:18 NKJV) —18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,
(Acts 2:15 NKJV) —15 For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day.

:8 I will whistle for them and gather them, For I will redeem them; And they shall increase as they once increased.

:9 “I will sow them among the peoples, And they shall remember Me in far countries; They shall live, together with their children, And they shall return.

:8 whistle for them and gather them

God gathering Israel from the nations.

:8 they shall increase

Population growth of the Jews.

:9 I will sow them among the peoples

The population of Jews will grow because they will have been scattered around the world where they will have grown in number.

The Assyrian and Babylonian captivities have already passed in Zechariah’s day.

God is hinting that there will be another future dispersion of the Jews, as they were scattered by the Romans in AD 70.

:9 they shall remember Me in far countries

No matter where the Jews have been scattered, they have remembered God.  They have retained their identity as a people who worship God.

:10 I will also bring them back from the land of Egypt, And gather them from Assyria. I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon, Until no more room is found for them.

:10 Egypt … Assyria

These were two places where the Jews had already been held in bondage.

They represent the places in the world where the Jews would be oppressed and scattered.

:10 Gilead and Lebanon

Gilead is where the current “Golan Heights” is located, on the border with Syria.

Lebanon is north of current Israel.

:10 Until no more room is found for them

There will be a LOT of Jews.

We’ve mentioned this many times before, but a miracle has been going on for the last sixty years as millions of Jews have come from all around the world to make Israel their home.  They call this immigration “making Aliyah”

:11 He shall pass through the sea with affliction, And strike the waves of the sea: All the depths of the River shall dry up. Then the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, And the scepter of Egypt shall depart.

:12 “So I will strengthen them in the Lord, And they shall walk up and down in His name,” Says the Lord.

:11 the River shall dry up

Riveryeor – river, stream, canal, Nile, Nile-canal

The word for “River” is one used exclusively for the Nile River in Egypt.

:11 pass through the sea with affliction

These are all pictures of how God brought the Jews out of Egypt into their Promised Land, but it is now being spoken of as happening in the future.

God will remove all the obstacles that would keep them from coming home.

I wonder if there might not even be a hint of how the Jews would survive the Holocaust and establish the nation of Israel as a result.

:2 …They are in trouble because there is no shepherd

:2 because there is no shepherd

The people are like wandering sheep because they ask their idols for help instead of asking God.

Ezekiel prophesied,

(Ezekiel 34:12 NKJV) As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day.

Jesus noticed something similar.

(Matthew 9:35–38 NKJV) —35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.”

Lesson

Your Shepherd

I appreciate that some of you might say that I’m your shepherd.
The title “pastor” means “shepherd”.
But to be honest, the best I can ever be for you is an assistant shepherd.
Peter wrote to elders, to pastors, and said,

(1 Peter 5:2–4 NKJV) —2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; 4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

Jesus is the “Chief Shepherd”.

Jesus said,
(John 10:14–15 NKJV) —14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

God spoke through Zechariah that the people were “in trouble” because there was no “shepherd”.

As great as a pastor as you think I am, I am flawed.  There will be times when I will actually let you down.

Jesus is the shepherd who will NEVER let you down.

Make sure that your goal in life is to follow Jesus.

I will do my best to set a good example, but ultimately Jesus needs to be the one that you are looking to.