“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. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling (reeling from intoxication) unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem” (Zech.12:1-2).
EZEKIEL PROPHESIED that Russia and her Islamic associates Turkey, Iran, Libya and Sudan would be brought from the north by God. God will put “hooks in their jaws” and compel them to come into the land (Ezek.38:4).
Joel prophesied that a “northern army” would come into the land of Israel in the first half of the Tribulation and God calls it “my great army which I sent among you” (Joel2:25). Then in the second half of the Tribulation he states that “all nations” would invade the land of Israel and that God would “gather” them into the valley of Jehoshaphat (Joel 3:1-2).
Zechariah prophesied that God would make Jerusalem “a cup of trembling” i.e. that all the nations would be intoxicated with hatred for Jerusalem and Judah (Israel) and that they would invade the land and besiege “Judah and Jerusalem” (Zech.12:2). God will cause them to drink!
We wonder why hatred for Israel is growing. The nations are drinking from God’s intoxicating cup because He will bring them into the land to fulfil His purposes.
Of course these nations don’t realise that it is God who is putting it in their hearts to invade Israel. They think it is all their own design just as Sennacherib the Assyrian King thought it was His idea to invade Judah in 713BC and that he was invincible. Sennacherib learned that his mighty army was no match for God when Hezekiah and Isaiah caused the Jews to trust in the Lord. In one night the angel of the Lord smote the Assyrian army and Sennacherib fled to Nineveh leaving 185,000 of his mighty men in Judah for the Jews to bury!
A similar thing will occur when Israel is invaded in the Tribulation. Only one sixth of the Russian and Islamic invaders will escape and it will take Israel seven months to bury the dead!
The Purpose of God
Why would God bring all of these armies into the land of Israel in the last days? Doesn’t God protect Israel? Aren’t the Jews God’s chosen people? Didn’t God promise to bless the seed of Abraham? Why then would God bring all nations against Israel in the last days?
The reason for these invasions is twofold: i) To cause Israel to turn to Jesus Christ and be forgiven. Isaiah wrote that “Zion shall be redeemed with
- ii) God will judge the ungodly nations of the world for their sin and for their treatment of God’s people.
It is God’s intention that this age will conclude at Jerusalem.
“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” (Zech.12:2).
We wonder why Hezbollah, Hamas, Iran, Turkey and many other nations are opposed to Israel. During the Tribulation there will be universal war but the climax will be at Jerusalem and every nation that dares to oppose Israel will perish for not only does Israel have a covenant relationship with Almighty God but at the end of the age Israel will seek the Lord with all their heart and “then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle” (Zech.14:3).
What God Will do in THAT DAY The last three chapters of Zechariah’s prophecy describes what will happen “in that Day”. i.e. The Day of the Lord. It will be the day of Christ’s triumph and His victory over Antichrist, over Satan and over all the ungodly nations who have opposed God and the Bible. Fifteen times through chapters 12, 13 and 14 Zechariah details what will occur at that day; at the end of the age.
1) Israel’s Enemies will be Cut in Pieces
“In that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces…” (Zech.12:3).
2) Horses and Riders will be Struck with Blindness and Madness
In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness…(Zech.12:4).
3) The Jews will Destroy their Attackers “In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about” (Zech.12:6).
4) Even Feeble Jews will be Victorious “In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them” (Zech.12:8).
5) The Nations will be Destroyed when Israel Repents of Rejecting Christ “And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem” (Zech.12:9). “And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son …” (Zech. 12:10).
6) Israel will Declare a Time of Repentance and National Mourning “In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. And the land shall mourn, every family apart… (Zech.12:11-12).
7) Israel will be Forgiven and Cleansed of her Sin
“In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness” (Zech.13:1).
8) False Religion with be Removed “In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land” (Zech.13:2).
9) False Prophets will be Exposed “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied” (Zech.13:4).
10) Christ will Come to the Mt of Olives “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley” (Zech. 14:4).
11) The Sun and Moon will be Darkened “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night… (Zech.14:6-7).
12) Water will Flow out of Jerusalem “And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be” (Zech.14:8).
13) Christ will Reign over all the Earth “And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one” (Zech.14:9).
14) Israel’s Enemies will Destroy Each Other
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbor, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbor” (Zech.14:13).
15) All Nations will Worship the Lord at Jerusalem when Christ Reigns “In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts” (Zech. 14:20-21).
We must recognize that God is in control of world affairs and He will bring human history to a close in His time and in the way He chooses. The prophecy we are considering is spoken by the Lord who
“stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him” (Zech.12:1).
God is the Author and Creator of the universe and is omnipotent. He created the universe, beautified this earth and placed man upon it. The only reason history has gone so long is because He is longsuffering and merciful.
It is God’s plan to use Israel as the focal point for the climax of history. Israel has always been at the centre of God’s dealings with the human race ever since He called Abram from Ur of the Chaldees. Israel must be redeemed before the kingdom of God can be established.
God will stir all the nations to hate Israel so that Israel will, in her hour of need, repent of rejection of Messiah. At the same time the nations will be gathered so that they can receive the just judgment they deserve for their wickedness.
Therefore the 15 things God will do IN THAT DAY are just the culmination of God’s plan to place Jesus Christ on the throne of David as King of kings and to establish His kingdom on earth with Israel as “the priests of the Lord”, Jerusalem the place of God’s throne and all nations the servants of our God!
The Church, as the Bride of the Lamb, will share the throne with Christ (Rev.3:21).