Give Glory

Give Glory – Zechariah 14:16-17       11/05/2019 We’re coming up against the conclusion of the Book of Zechariah, it is my prayer that it has challenged you.  Today we will find every person remaining alive after the Battle of Armageddon coming into the presence of God for worship.  Our text today is Zechariah 14:16-17.  In this passage, we have the pilgrimage of all of the nations to Jerusalem.[1]  They will gather to worship their King[2] Jesus who has saved them from death during the Great Tribulation, but more importantly, He has saved them for eternal life with the Father.  What we have in the final scene in the book of Zechariah is a picture of the world after Armageddon.[3]  There are enormous changes taking place across the world as Jesus inaugurates His rule.[4]  These changes will be physical, spiritual, economic, virtually every aspect of life will be impacted.[5] For the first time since the Garden, mankind will dwell in a nearly perfect environment ruled by a King who does not make mistakes. After Messiah’s worldwide reign has been established the nations will make an annual pilgrimage to Jerusalem.[6]  The passage portrays the Gentiles entering into a Jewish festal journey to God’s temple in Jerusalem.[7]  Many passages from the Hebrew Scriptures foretell the fact that we Gentiles will worship at Jerusalem,[8] one such example is Micah 4:2. Zechariah gives the impression that there will be survivors of the final battle.[9]  Many commentators see these people as those who were involved with the rebellion against God, and yet mercifully survived.  I don’t see how this could be possible, these are the people who accepted the Mark of the Beast and are condemned in Revelation 14:9-10.  My personal opinion, and it is just opinion, is that these people are Christians from across the globe, Jew and Gentile, who have survived the events of the Great Tribulation.  There is an interesting statement in Zechariah 14:17, it’s tempting to focus on the promised punishment, but what I want us to notice right now is the use of the word “family” (מִשְׁפְּח֤וֹת)[10] [miš peḥȏṯ´] in this verse.[11]  This seems to suggest that the various nations of the earth will be considered to be nothing less than so many families among the one people of God.[12]  That should make you think of Galatians 3:26-29. But… could these Christians be considered to be a part of the nations that came against Israel?  This is an important point; we are seen as individuals, and we come to faith in Jesus Christ individually.  At the same time, we are all members of larger groups, in fact multiple groups.  We are members of the church, and we participate in the blessings of the Church.  We are also members of the nation we live in.  If that nation is judged we’ll experience that judgment right along with everyone else.  Just as the righteous were taken into exile along with the unrighteous when God judged the nations of Judah and Israel, so we are counted as members of the nation we live in.  The experience of Daniel is an excellent example of this.  Now is a good time to notice the warning in Zechariah 14:17.  Why would a warning be needed during the Millennial Kingdom?  Because this is a test, one that, ultimately, humankind will fail.[13]  During this time, based on Isaiah 65:22-23, it seems that the survivors will live, work, marry, and bear children.  It will be a new world, but one not entirely unrelated to the previous one.[14]  In the midst of this, people remain people.  As the survivors of this time begin to die off there’s no guarantee that their children will follow the Lord.  By the end of the Millennial period there will apparently be unconverted people in the midst of this new One Nation.[15]  In fact, there will be those who forget what God has done, and will subsequently be led astray at the end of Jesus’ thousand year reign; Revelation 20:7-9. Because of this, in mercy, God will provide a reminder.  Failing to honor Him will result in the withdrawal of the blessings He provides,[16] specifically rain. Mankind’s sin does not change.  We rebelled against God in the perfect environment of the Garden in Genesis, and in the restored world of the Millennium mankind we will rebel one final time.  We needed a Savior at the start, and we will still need a Savior at the end.  We have needed a Savior all along.  In love, God has provided that Savior; His arrival was proclaimed by the angels in Bethlehem; Luke 2:10-12. This savior, the perfect and indivisible union of God and man, took our sin upon Himself so that we might be saved; 2 Corinthians 5:21.  With Jesus taking on our sin we are now reconciled to God, and more than simply reconciled, we are actually made into something entirely new; 2 Corinthians 5:17-19.  We are, right now, members of the people of God who universally worship Him.  We who walk in faith in Jesus Christ are given the unimaginable blessing of living in the benefits of His life and death.[17] But we’re still in an intermediate period, not all of God’s promises have yet been realized.  There is still one Day coming when all of God’s promises concerning Israel, Christians, and the nations of the world, will be fulfilled.[18]  Right now it can be pretty tough.  But, we can learn something from what Zechariah has to say.  We who are now following Jesus, along with the Israelites Zechariah addressed, rather than moaning and weeping over the present, we should keep our eyes set on what God has done in the past, and on what He has promised to do in the future.  In seeing His faithfulness, we are then able to be faithful in return, and therefore be doing what He has instructed us to do in the present.[19]

[1] Ralph L. Smith, Micah–Malachi, vol. 32, Word Biblical Commentary (Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 1984), 292.

[2] Elizabeth Achtemeier, Nahum – Malachi, Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching, ed., James Mays, OT ed., Patrick Miller, (John Knox Press, Louisville, KY.: 1986), 167.

[3] Ralph L. Smith, Micah–Malachi, vol. 32, Word Biblical Commentary (Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 1984), 292.

[4] J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee: Volume III, Proverbs – Malachi, (Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN.: 1982), 987.

[5] J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee: Volume III, Proverbs – Malachi, (Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN.: 1982), 987.

[6] F. Duane Lindsey, “Zechariah,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 1 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 1571.

[7] C.F. Keil, Zechariah, trans., James Marten, Commentary on the Old Testament: Volume 10, The Minor Prophets, eds., C.F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, (Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA.: 2011), 625.

[8] John D. Barry et al., Faithlife Study Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012, 2016), Zec 14:16.

[9] J. Carl Laney, Zechariah, Everyman’s Bible Commentary (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1984), 136.

[10]Christo van der Merwe, The Lexham Hebrew-English Interlinear Bible (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2004), Zec 14:17.

[11] John Peter Lange, Philip Schaff, and Talbot W. Chambers, A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Zechariah (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2008), 112.

[12] John Peter Lange, Philip Schaff, and Talbot W. Chambers, A Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Zechariah (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2008), 112.

[13] J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee: Volume III, Proverbs – Malachi, (Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN.: 1982), 987.

[14] Ralph L. Smith, Micah–Malachi, vol. 32, Word Biblical Commentary (Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 1984), 292.

[15] Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset, and David Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, vol. 1 (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 1997), 735.

[16] C.F. Keil, Zechariah, trans., James Marten, Commentary on the Old Testament: Volume 10, The Minor Prophets, eds., C.F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, (Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA.: 2011), 625.

[17] Donald F. Ackland, “Zechariah,” in The Teacher’s Bible Commentary, ed. H. Franklin Paschall and Herschel H. Hobbs (Nashville: Broadman and Holman Publishers, 1972), 582.

[18] E. Ray Clendenen, “The Minor Prophets,” in Holman Concise Bible Commentary, ed. David S. Dockery (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998), 389.

[19] E. Ray Clendenen, “The Minor Prophets,” in Holman Concise Bible Commentary, ed. David S. Dockery (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1998), 389.

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