Reading Through the Bible, Sunday, October 9. Zechariah 12 – Malachi 1.

    We have reached the most difficult section of Zechariah.  The final three chapters are held together by continued reference to a particular “day” that is coming – a time that is specifically mentioned sixteen times.

    But what day is it?

    My view is that the time looks so far into the future that only snippets of information can be understood.

    First, there is an oppression of God’s people by the nations of the world (12:1-5), but God will make His people strong and they will not be overcome (12:6-9).  The presence of God among His people will be so obvious that it will cause His people to be ashamed of their sins (12:10-13) and out of that repentance, God will provide forgiveness (13:1).  Israel will be humbled, but blessed (13:2-6).

    The scene is repeated again in more detail beginning in 13:7.  Once more, we see the oppression of God’s people.  This time, it is an oppression by God to purify His people (13:7-9).  The oppression will be facilitated by pagan nations (14:1-2) who are then overcome by God’s power (14:1-5) ushering in a time like no other when living water flows to all the earth (14:6-11).  Judgment will come on all nations (14:12-15) who do not worship the Lord and God Himself will be exalted (14:16-21).

    When will this happen?

    My view is that it concerns the end of time.  It very much sounds like the pattern repeated in the book of Revelation.

    That the work of Jesus is a part of this vision is seen by at least two passages, one in chapter 12 and the other in 13.  Zechariah 12:10 is used in John 19:34-37 as a reference to Jesus and likewise 13:7 is used in Matthew 26:31 and Mark 14:27.  The oracle of Zechariah is at least one of the texts God refers to in Revelation 10:7 – “But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.”