That Day

That Day – Zechariah 14:6-9       10/27/2019 Today we’re still talking about “that day.”  On “that day,” the Day of the Lord, the King will return and finally take charge.  Just like clockwork, there’s an appointed time when Jesus will return.  We don’t know when that will be, but I suspect sooner rather than later. Our passage today is Zechariah 14:6-9, which as usual I leave to you to look up.  There are some challenges with this passage; some of it seems to be symbolic and spiritual in nature, while some appears to be literal.  Which is which?  That is the question!  What is clear is that the effects of God’s presence in the midst of His people will be profound.[1] The natural order appears to be changed at this time.[2]  The Hebrew is obscure, and vast varieties of possible translations have been proposed down through the years.[3]  Predictions of a failure of the sources of light on planet earth are not limited to Zechariah.  A few other examples, by no means exhaustive examples, are found in Amos 5:18, Isaiah 13:9-10, and Joel 3:14-16.  Following this, Zechariah 14:7 says a new source of light becomes evident.  The gloom and darkness are dispelled by the Messiah’s glory as Jesus returns… as promised.[4] Is this literal?  Is it simply apocalyptic language using hyperbole to convey a “feel” for what will take place?  An argument could be made for this…  It is possible to understand this as a symbolic reference to the end of our present period of darkness with the dawning of a new day of peace.[5]  Alternatively, it could be literally stating that, at the end of a twenty-four hour day, during the evening, light provided by Jesus will come.[6]  Either way, there will be light instead of darkness.[7] Then we come to Jerusalem and its future… it seems to be all wet; Zechariah 14:8.  “Living water” is a reference to waters that are flowing as opposed to cistern or well water.[8]  What’s prophesied here is impossible with the current terrane around Jerusalem.[9]  Presently the four hills, Mount Zion, Mount Moriah, Mount Acra, and Mount Bezetha, form a plateau that the city of Jerusalem rests on.[10]  Higher hills and surround these.[11]  Either this description is symbolic, [12] or the massive earthquake that will split the Mount of Olives will radically change the present features of the countryside.[13]  Frankly, this is exactly what’s suggested in verse 10 of Zechariah 14. There will be a flat plain that extends northward from Jerusalem to Geba, which is about six miles to the North.  The plain will also extend south to Rimmon thirty-five miles South and West of Jerusalem.[14]  So, with this change in terrain, streams of water could flow out from Jerusalem to the Mediterranean Sea to the west and the Dead Sea to the east.[15]  This is similar to the vision of Ezekiel 47:1-2.  Ezekiel goes on to state that the waters of the river flowing out of the temple will flow through the arid region of the Arabah south of the Dead Sea, and into the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba[16] where it will make the salt waters fresh.  These transformed waters will team with marine life.  We also see something similar in Revelation 22:1-2. Is this literal or figurative?  Again, I’m not certain.  Certainly, the flow of living waters point to the life-giving power of God, which will work in unrestrained power.[17] Then we come to Zechariah 14:9 and the reign of Jesus Christ.  Zechariah sees a time coming when God’s uniqueness will be universally acknowledged; all of the nations will acknowledge God as King.[18]  Christ will rule supreme as “King over all the earth.”[19]  The Kingdom of God will be established among men as a universal and united Kingdom.[20]  This is echoed in Revelation 11:15. We have here the objective and the culmination of human history.[21]  The battle is won, and the Lord Jesus Christ reigns as sovereign King over the entire world.[22]  He alone will be revered and worshiped.[23]  He will be honored in the hearts of his subjects, acknowledged King throughout the world.[24]  His authority will be accepted and submitted to, and allegiance will be given to Him.[25] We who follow Jesus have already had the Father revealed to us.  What’s more, fundamentally, to know God is to be saved.  Salvation is not something that happens as a standalone commodity.  We are accepted as we enter into a relationship with our God through Jesus Christ, our God.  Jesus is ruling right now as our King, and His rule will soon be absolute.  Take note of something.  In “that day”, His rule will be absolute.  Nevertheless,… His rule is intended to be absolute in our lives right now.  In very practical ways, if you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you are already living in the reality of His present reign, even as you wait for the culmination of His reign on the earth.

[1] 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), 166.

[2] Marten Woudstra, Zechariah, in The Biblical Expositor: The Living Theme of the Great Book: Volume II, Job – Malachi, consulting ed., Carl Henry, (Baker Book House, Grand Rapids, MI.: 1960), 377.

[3] C.F. Keil, Zechariah, trans., James Martin, in Commentary on the Old Testament: Volume 10, The Minor Prophets, eds., C.F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, (Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA.: 2011), 620.

[4] J. Carl Laney, Zechariah, Everyman’s Bible Commentary (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1984), 132.

[5] J. Carl Laney, Zechariah, Everyman’s Bible Commentary (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1984), 132.

[6] J. Carl Laney, Zechariah, Everyman’s Bible Commentary (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1984), 132.

[7] J. Carl Laney, Zechariah, Everyman’s Bible Commentary (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1984), 132.

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

[9] H. D. M. Spence-Jones, ed., Zechariah, The Pulpit Commentary (London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909), 157.

[10] Accessed from https://www.bible-history.com/jerusalem/firstcenturyjerusalem_the_land_of_jerusalem.html on 10/22/19.

[11] H. D. M. Spence-Jones, ed., Zechariah, The Pulpit Commentary (London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909), 157.

[12] H. D. M. Spence-Jones, ed., Zechariah, The Pulpit Commentary (London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909), 158.

[13] H. D. M. Spence-Jones, ed., Zechariah, The Pulpit Commentary (London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1909), 158.

[14] Robert B. Hughes and J. Carl Laney, Tyndale Concise Bible Commentary, The Tyndale Reference Library (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2001), 382.

[15] C.F. Keil, Zechariah, trans., James Martin, in Commentary on the Old Testament: Volume 10, The Minor Prophets, eds., C.F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, (Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA.: 2011), 621.

[16] Accessed from https://www.bing.com/search?q=arabah&form=PRUSEN&mkt=en-us&httpsmsn=1&refig=9e98f91d7d504d2b91413235142fbb35&sp=-1&ghc=1&pq=arabah&sc=9-6&qs=n&sk=&cvid=9e98f91d7d504d2b91413235142fbb35 on 10/16/19.

[17] 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), 166.

[18] Ralph L. Smith, Micah–Malachi, vol. 32, Word Biblical Commentary (Dallas: Word, Incorporated, 1984), 289.

[19] J. Carl Laney, Zechariah, Everyman’s Bible Commentary (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1984), 133.

[20] Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994), 1593.

[21] 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), 166.

[22] C.F. Keil, Zechariah, trans., James Martin, in Commentary on the Old Testament: Volume 10, The Minor Prophets, eds., C.F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, (Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA.: 2011), 622.

[23] C.F. Keil, Zechariah, trans., James Martin, in Commentary on the Old Testament: Volume 10, The Minor Prophets, eds., C.F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, (Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, MA.: 2011), 622.

[24] Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994), 1593.

[25] Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible: Complete and Unabridged in One Volume (Peabody: Hendrickson, 1994), 1593.

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