Did you know that the Lord is exceedingly jealous for the welfare of His people Israel? He wanted to have a nation set apart for Him free from idolatry through which He could bless the nations and ultimately through whom He would send the Messiah to save His people from their sins. (Matthew 1:21) He chose Abraham and called him His friend. (Isaiah 41:8) (James 2:23) God knew that Abraham would respond to God’s call and chose Abraham to be the patriarch of this new and unique nation set apart to God for his exclusive use in the earth. As God also said; “Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and through him all the nations of the earth will be blessed. For I have chosen him, so that he will command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, in order that the LORD may bring upon Abraham what He has promised.” (Genesis 18:18-19)
Through cutting a blood covenant with Abraham His friend, God declared that Abraham’s descendants through Isaac would inherit the land of Canaan as an “everlasting possession” stretching from the wadi of Egypt to the River Euphrates including everything in between. (Genesis 15:17-19; 17:7, 17-22) The name Israel was given to them by the Messiah, before His incarnation, when He wrestled through the long night with Jacob at the Brook Jabbok. At the break of day after Jacob had insisted on obtaining the blessing the Messiah said to him; “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” But he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” So He said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.” (Genesis 32:26-28) (See also Genesis 35:10) And so God called the nation Israel, not Palestine being a name invented by the Romans. God calls the Land Israel. The Lord Jesus calls the Land Israel and the writers of both Testaments all call the Land Israel. Those within and without wider Christendom who insist on calling the land ‘Palestine’ are arguing with God Himself!
Now this “wrestling match” between Jacob and the Messiah that continued through the night until the break of day pre-figures the Time of Great Trouble at the end of this present age when Israel as a nation will wrestle with their Messiah through the dark days of affliction and trial but at the end of it, in desperation, the surviving Israelites will come into their full and complete spiritual and national restoration through a personal encounter with the Risen Messiah our Lord Jesus.
Personally I prefer to call them Israelites as the Bible does. The term “Jew” or “Jews” has a negative connotation not only in secular society but also in the Bible in relation to the religious leaders and those within Israel who rejected the Messiah and persecuted His faithful saints. I like the term “the Jewish people” which is acceptable terminology in my view. Down through history when you look at the spiritual backsliding of Israel it was a very dark and slippery place they often found themselves “wrestling” with the Lord until they had no way out other than to turn back to the God of our forefathers of faith Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Here in Zechariah Chapter eight the Lord promises to bless the Jewish people and especially the City of Jerusalem, and bring them into their inheritance and to place them under the Messiah our Lord Jesus, “David their king.” (Ezekiel 27:24) God is an exceeding jealous lover and He loves Israel with a burning passion that cannot be quenched and by extension and inclusion the faithful Assembly (Church) grafted into the Olive Tree being the Commonwealth of Israel. After Israel has been spiritually refined and revived the nation will “possess their possession” and “possess the gates of their enemies.” (Obadiah 1:17) (Genesis 22:17) With these thoughts in view let’s now look at Zechariah Chapter eight…
(Verses 1-3) “Then the word of the Lord of hosts came, saying, 2 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I am exceedingly jealous for Zion, yes, with great wrath I am jealous for her.’ Thus says the Lord, ‘I will return to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts will be called the Holy Mountain.’
Whenever we see that the Word of the Lord came to a prophet we see that it is the eternal Living Word of God Himself our Lord Jesus before His incarnation as a flesh and blood man. He has always been around and existing in eternity. (Micah 5:2) (John 1:1-2) Now we are told that the Lord our God is exceedingly jealous for Zion, being His people corporately and those among whom He dwells by His Spirit. Not only is He a jealous lover over His betrothed but His heart burns with a passion for their spiritual and temporal wellbeing, a passion that cannot be quenched. He is a covenant keeping God. He remembers His covenants. (Psalm 105:8) As the prophet Zephaniah exclaims; “The LORD your God is among you; He is mighty to save. He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you with His love; He will rejoice over you with singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)
He knows that His people Israel have been rebellious and are still strangers and aliens to their own covenants of promise even as they now live in the Land of Israel since 1948 when the nation was reborn in a day. (Isaiah 66:8) For the sake of Abraham, the father of faith and the father of the Israelites God will have mercy on the House of Israel and Judah in the last days. He is going to return to the original Mt Zion in the City of David in the person of the Messiah our Lord Jesus where God will have His Millennial Temple and where His “right arm,” being the Messiah our Lord Jesus, will reign over the surviving nations.
As the prophet Isaiah writes; “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will accomplish this.” (Isaiah 9:6-9)
Jerusalem will be a city where truth reigns and where righteousness and justice will prevail forever and flow out to the nations and dominate the world. (Psalm 45:6) As the prophet Isaiah writes; “In the last days the mountain (Kingdom) of the house of the LORD will be established as the chief of the mountains (kingdoms); it will be raised above the hills, and all nations will stream to it. And many peoples will come and say: “Come; let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob. He will teach us His ways so that we may walk in His paths.” For the law (the Torah) will go forth from Zion, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 2:2-3) Now let’s continue…
(Vs 4-5) “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Old men and old women will again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each man with his staff in his hand because of age. And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets.’
At present Israel is a hedonistic nation, as young Israelis live it up to the hilt like the pagan world, a nation filled with idolatry, promoting sodomy, immorality, licentiousness, selfish ambition and pride, where innocent unborn babies are sacrificed to demons on the altars of the abortion clinics for the sake of convenience. (Deuteronomy 32:16-17) (1 Corinthians 10:20) Do old men and women sit in the streets dwelling in safety and security or are they fearful of the enemies that surround Israel on all sides? Even when we see boys and girls dancing on the streets we see them running for shelter when the air raid sirens sound. While the Israeli government seek to establish a peace accord with their Islamic Arab neighbours we can well ask the question, will this peace last?
The time is coming when Israel will pass through “the Time of the Big Trouble for Jacob” where two thirds will be struck down in the land but a remnant will pass through the Lord’s refining fire to be saved and reconciled with their Messiah our Lord Jesus. (Jeremiah 30:1-10) (Zechariah 13:8-9) Even though another exile is coming for the people of Jerusalem only a half of the people will be taken from the city while the other half remain. (Zechariah 14:1-2) Having said all of this, God will never abandon His covenant people being the Commonwealth of Israel and by extension and inclusion the faithful Assembly (the Body of the Messiah-the faithful Church).
The day will come when the surviving remnant of the Jews in Israel will encounter their Messiah as He returns in great power and glory to destroy and to punish all who have raised their hands against His people. (Zechariah 12:10-14; 14:3) In that day indeed the old men and women will sit and rest securely in the streets each under their own vine and fig tree and on the porches and roofs of their houses basking in the light of their Messiah our Lord Jesus and rejoicing in His salvation.
The little boys and girls will be dancing and singing with delight and unbridled joy in the streets and city squares of Jerusalem and in all the cities and towns of Israel and praising their Messiah, rejoicing in His bounty and provision knowing that the canopy of His salvation, blessing and prosperity covers them completely. No longer will they be afraid for the Lord will be dwelling in Zion in His Temple in the City of David. (Micah 4:4) (Joel 3:17) And then we read…
(Vs 6-8) “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘If it is too difficult in the sight of the remnant of this people in those days, will it also be too difficult in My sight?’ declares the Lord of hosts. Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Behold, I am going to save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west; and I will bring them back and they will live in the midst of Jerusalem; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God in truth and righteousness.’
Nothing is too difficult for God and what is impossible with man is possible with God. As the prophet Jeremiah proclaims, “Oh, Lord GOD! You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too difficult for You!” (Jeremiah 32:17) Indeed does not worn and weary Job at the end of his time of great suffering proclaim into the heavens; “Now I know that You can do all things; no plan of Yours can be thwarted.” After the coming exile, when the Lord has returned and established His Messianic kingdom and having destroyed all opposition, He will bring back to Israel the exiles from the lands to the east and to the west. In other words they will come from every nation in to which they were exiled.
As the prophet Isaiah exclaims; “So the redeemed of the LORD will return and enter Zion with singing, crowned with everlasting joy. Gladness and joy will overtake them, and sorrow and sighing will flee.” (Isaiah 51:11) God will be with them and wipe away all of their tears. He will cleanse and spiritually renew them and delight to dwell among them and they shall be His personal possession, His people and be their God reigning in a kingdom where truth and righteousness prevail. ‘David’ their king (the Messiah our Lord Jesus) will be over them. (Jeremiah 30:9) (Isaiah 32:1) (Ezekiel 37:24) (Hosea 3:5) And so God says…
(Vs 9-10) “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Let your hands be strong, you who are listening in these days to these words from the mouth of the prophets, those who spoke in the day that the foundation of the house of the Lord of hosts was laid, to the end that the temple might be built. For before those days there was no wage for man or any wage for animal; and for him who went out or came in there was no peace because of his enemies, and I set all men one against another.”
God now reminds His people to remain strong and dedicated in their service for Him and to have hope for the future and for the Temple to come. He reminds them of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah himself who both promised and prophesied prosperity at the foundation of the previous temple which now stood in Jerusalem. Prophetically it applies to the Millennial Temple to come where the Messiah Himself will sit to rule and to reign over the nations with an iron sceptre. In the Old Testament we are told that after the Israelite exiles in Persia returned to lay the foundations of the new Temple they were harassed by their enemies and were not paid wages to work but worked tirelessly for the Lord knowing His provision and protection from their hostile neighbours.
Tragically many centuries later in 70AD the temple in Jerusalem was destroyed by the Roman legions. Until 1948 the land of Israel lay desolate for almost 2,000 years. As the prophet Hosea writes; “For the Israelites must live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred pillar, and without ephod or idol. Afterward, the people of Israel will return and seek the LORD their God and David their king (The Messiah-our Lord Jesus). They will come trembling to the LORD and to His goodness in the last days.” (Hosea 3:4-5)
(Vs 11-12) “But now I will not treat the remnant of this people as in the former days,’ declares the Lord of hosts. ‘For there will be peace for the seed: the vine will yield its fruit, the land will yield its produce and the heavens will give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to inherit all these things.”
According to the prophet Ezekiel the People of Israel would be restored to the land of Israel in the last days but still be living in unbelief and uncircumcised in heart. They would have ‘flesh and blood’ but no ‘breath’ of the Spirit within them as we see today in Israel. (Ezekiel 37:1-8) However after Israel has passed through the refining fire of the Lord the remnant in the nation will receive the Spirit of God and be spiritually restored and the nation itself fully restored nationally. (Ezekiel 37:9-14) At present the nation has been partially restored, but after the remnant in Israel have been saved and the Messiah has returned they will possess their possession as promised to Abraham, our forefather of faith. (Genesis 15: 17-21)
Even though today we see the land of Israel producing the crops and the desert blooming and the nation leading the other nations in technology and in weaponry and the medical field and making their mark as a nation in the world, they are still estranged from the only one who can bring them “salvation from their enemies and from the hands of all who hate them.” (Luke 1:7) The prosperity we see today and the agricultural development in Israel still cannot be compared with the time in the age to come when Israel will be a light to the surviving nations and the nations will stream into it. (Micah 4:1b) This will be the harbinger of the eternal and final state to come after the Millennium where we read about the New Jerusalem that will come down to earth.
As the apostle John writes; “I saw no temple (sanctuary) in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illumined it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; and they will bring the glory and the honour of the nations into it; and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Revelation 21:22-27)
In that day the heavens and the earth will be completely new and one with the universe and with the God who created it. In that day the redeemed of Israel and by extension and inclusion the faithful Assembly (the Body of the Messiah), will be one eternal family. So then the Millennial Kingdom will be the forerunner, the foretaste and the harbinger of the final and eternal state to come. (Isaiah 65:17-25) (Revelation 21:1-4) The earthly Jerusalem of the Millennium will become one with the heavenly city of the New Jerusalem. Heaven will have truly come to earth! This is the glorious future for all of the redeemed saints of God! Now let’s continue…
(Vs 13-15) “It will come about that just as you were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you that you may become a blessing. Do not fear; let your hands be strong.’ “For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Just as I purposed to do harm to you when your fathers provoked Me to wrath,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and I have not relented, so I have again purposed in these days to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Do not fear!”
God is a covenant keeping, promise keeping God and what He has decided to do He will do. As He Himself has said; ““Remember the former things long past, For I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is no one like Me, Declaring the end from the beginning, And from ancient times things which have not been done, Saying, ‘My purpose will be established, And I will accomplish all My good pleasure’” (Isaiah 46:9-10) The long and troubled history of Israel is clearly seen. No other nation has ever suffered what the Jewish people have suffered. When they obeyed the Lord He blessed them and protected them but when they disobeyed Him His protection was removed yet He never destroyed them as a people but always had a faithful remnant.
There were blessings and curses attached to the Law of God. (Deuteronomy Chapter 28) When the Messiah our Lord Jesus died as Israel’s Passover Lamb the curse of the Law was broken when He became that curse in their place. (Galatians 3:13-14) (1 Corinthians 5:7) This blessing was also extended to the Gentile nations because the Lord Jesus tasted death for everyone both Jew and Gentile alike. (Hebrews 2:9) While the New Covenant cut in the blood of the Messiah was made with the House of Israel and with the House of Judah the Gentile believers who are grafted into the Olive Tree Israel share in the blessings of the New Covenant. (Jeremiah 31:31) (Romans 11:17-18)
When God has finished His salvation work within the Gentile nations He will save every Jew still living on earth because God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable! (Romans 11:25-29) Today in Israel there are many believers in the Lord Jesus and they are growing in number as faithful Messianic Jewish believers are at work seeking to win their fellow Jews to faith in the Messiah for salvation. While God is still going to purify His people He has purposed to show mercy to them and to do good to them and His command will be to them “do not fear!”
At present Israel is far from the Lord and its leaders are seeking alliances with other nations for protection but the time will come when Israel will be abandoned even by those with whom they have had a peace accord. In that day even strong men will grip their stomach with fear as a woman does in labour at what is coming upon Israel, but God will step into the breach and throw back their enemies and reveal their Messiah our Lord Jesus to them. Israel will enter the Time of Trouble for Jacob but be saved out of it at the very last and the Messiah our Lord Jesus shall destroy those nations that have attacked Jerusalem and invaded and divided up His Land. (Jeremiah 30:1-10) (Joel 3:1-3) (Zechariah 12:1-9; 14:3-6)
(Vs 16-17) “These are the things which you should do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates. Also let none of you devise evil in your heart against another, and do not love perjury; for all these are what I hate,’ declares the Lord.”
Israel was called to be a holy nation, one that was entirely separated to God for His purposes on earth and a bastion of truth and justice and peace and to be a unified people as a witness and a light to the pagan world. (Genesis 12:2-3) This promise made to Abraham also applies to his descendants the Israelites and by extension and inclusion faithful Gentile believers in the Messiah our Lord Jesus. However, as we know Israel as a nation have failed in this mandate from God and even though God hates the things they are doing, in these last days He is turning His unmerited favour back towards them as His people with whom he has made an everlasting covenant sealed in the blood of the Messiah. (Matthew 26:28)
In these last days He will have mercy on Israel not for their sakes but for the sake of His name and His glory to be revealed to the nations. (Ezekiel 36:22-23) God will ultimately bring the surviving remnant of Israelites to the foot of the old rugged cross where the Messiah our Lord Jesus, the Passover lamb has been sacrificed for sin. (Zechariah 13:1)
Even though God hates Israel’s sin He loves them still and His Son yearns to be reunited and reconciled with His wayward brothers and sisters in the flesh. When you consider what happened to Joseph and the evil plans perpetrated against him at the hands of his brothers, it was when they lay at his feet in complete submission to him as Second to Pharaoh that Joseph revealed himself to them. Their reunion would have been something to behold, full of repentance, joy and forgiveness.
What we see happening in the Book of Genesis with Joseph being reconciled to his brothers mirrors what will happen to the remnant in Israel when they are reconciled with their Messiah and older brother in the flesh our Lord Jesus. (Zechariah 12:10-14) By and large at present truth and right judgement may be lacking in Israel but the time will come when truth, right judgement and righteousness will be established at Jerusalem and in all the Land of Israel from the Wadi of Egypt to the River Euphrates and within all of the surviving nations. And so we see the Lord once again coming to his servant Zechariah through the Messiah and speaking to Him personally…
(Vs18-19) “Then the word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘The fast of the fourth, the fast of the fifth, the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth months will become joy, gladness, and cheerful feasts for the house of Judah; so love truth and peace.’
Fasting in the Bible is always related to prayer for a very difficult situation or circumstance that needs to be rectified and the fast shows one’s desperation to see God answer their prayers and petitions. It can also accompany repentance. These fasts are mentioned. The fast of the fourth month was to commemorate the taking of Jerusalem. (2 Kings 25:3) (Jeremiah 39:2) (Jeremiah 52:6) (Jeremiah 52:7) The fast of the fifth was in memory of the ruin of the temple. (2 Kings 25:8) (Jeremiah 52:12) (Jeremiah 52:13) The fast of the seventh was for the murder of Gedaliah. (Jeremiah 41:1-17) The fast of the tenth in commemoration of the siege of Jerusalem, which began on the tenth day of the tenth month. (2 Kings 25:1) (Jeremiah 52:4) (Ezekiel 24:1) (Ezekiel 24:2) Note also (Zechariah 7:3) (Zechariah 7:5)
The Lord now says to His people that their days of fasting in their remembrance of their past afflictions will be ended and replaced with joy and gladness and cheerful feasts. In the Messianic Kingdom all past afflictions will be forgotten and celebrations will be the order of the day throughout the Messiah’s kingdom. In that day the redeemed saints co-reigning on earth will be one flock under one shepherd. (John 10:16)
It needs to be said that spiritually speaking both Jews and Gentiles who are saved in the Messiah are already one new man in Him and one flock under one shepherd. However, in the Messianic Kingdom they will co-reign with their Lord, Saviour and Messiah and co-rule with Him over the nations. This will be the Kingdom dominion for the saints prophesied in the Book of Daniel. Kingdom Dominion comes for the saints only after the Lord Jesus has come back and not before that time. (Daniel 7:22, 26-27)
While we as God’s people are waiting for the Messiah our Lord Jesus to come back we need to love the truth and pursue peace with all men as far as it is possible and be seeking to live a holy life separated to the Lord. As the author of Hebrews writes; “Make straight paths for your feet, so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. Pursue peace with everyone, as well as holiness, without which no-one will see the Lord.” (Hebrews 12:13-14) The Lord is calling His people in Jerusalem today to turn back to the truth and experience His shalom only possible through His Holy Spirit and to seek that holiness without which no one shall see the Lord.
Religion flourishes in Israel but those who are religious are seeking to establish a righteousness by their own by works and good deeds and religious , but do not seek the righteousness that comes from God and is obtained only through faith in the Messiah and in his atoning blood and righteousness for true salvation. (Romans 3:19-30) Now let’s read on…
(Vs 20-21) “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘It will yet be that peoples will come, even the inhabitants of many cities. The inhabitants of one will go to another, saying, “Let us go at once to entreat the favour of the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts; I will also go.”
After the Lord Jesus the Messiah has returned and established His Messianic kingdom on earth there will be nations that have survived the time of Great Tribulation. These nations will be subject to the jurisdiction of the Messiah and ruled over with His rod (sceptre) of iron. (Revelation 12:5) We too who belong to Him will also co-rule with Him over the surviving nations. (Revelation 2:26-27) (Revelation 5:10) During the Millennium people will be born and will need to be taught what the Messiah did in the previous age for their salvation. Those who seek Him and His laws in the Millennial Kingdom will be enrolled in the Lamb’s Book of Life alongside those whose names are already written there who believed in Him in the previous age on earth.
We know that when the Books are opened at the Great White throne judgement at the end of the Millennium, after the final rebellion has been put down, that there will be names recorded in the Book of Life and only those whose names are not written there will go into the lake of fire. (Revelation 20:11-15) Having said this let us make no mistake that in this present age only those who receive salvation will have their names recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life. All who reject salvation in this present age and die physically will not be able to be saved and at the end of the Millennial Kingdom they will be raised physically, judged according to what they have done or failed to do and to be sentenced to the lake of Fire, because they have already been judged because of their rejection of the Lord Jesus and the salvation only found in Him alone. (John 3:18)
Those unbelievers and backslidden believers who survive the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus will stand before Him to give an account to Him why they did not walk in the Spirit, use their talents and gifts for God and support Israel. These will be banished from God’s presence to be eternally punished when they die. However, those who supported Israel will inherit eternal life after they have physically died. Their judgement will be based on what they did or did not do! One cannot truly love the Lord Jesus and not love his brothers and sisters in the flesh, the Jewish people.
With replacement theology making fast tracks into wider Christendom the die is already being cast for many within its ‘conclaves’ as it were, who profess to love the Lord Jesus but deny Israel’s right to exist and to live in the land of Israel and insist that the Church has replaced Israel. Replacement theology is a deadly theology that does not take into account God’s prophetic plan, purposes and His promises to Israel to fully restore than spiritually and nationally at the end of this present age. So then, in the Millennial Kingdom many inhabitants from the cities of the nations will go up to Jerusalem to entreat the favour of the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts and He will also go up with them as they seek to worship the Messiah in His Temple on the original Mt Zion in the City of David. (Zechariah 14:16-21) And so we read…
(Vs 22-23) “So many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favour of the Lord.’ Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘In those days ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”
When the Messiah our Lord Jesus reigns over the nations of the world from Jerusalem, sitting in the Millennial Temple on the original Mt Zion in the City of David, many dignitaries, people of every race and leaders of very powerful nations will come up to Jerusalem to seek and to plead for the Lord’s favour. These people will have survived the Second Coming of the Messiah and seen the awesome firepower that was released in the previous age on all of those nations that had rebelled against the Lord and His anointed one the Messiah our Lord Jesus. Habakkuk the prophet speaks about this awesome power when he writes; “His radiance is like the sunlight; He has rays flashing from His hand, And there is the hiding place of His power.” (Habakkuk 3:4)
The Messiah’s glory will be known even to the four corners of the earth and His reign and rest will be glorious to behold. As God says through the prophet Isaiah; “They will neither harm nor destroy on all My holy mountain, for the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the sea is full of water. On that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples. The nations will seek Him, and His place of rest will be glorious.” (Isaiah 11:9-10) In that day the Jewish people whom I prefer to call the Israelites will be the head and not the tail and will be the leading nation over all of the nations in the world.
Today the Jews are despised and rejected and maligned in the media and in the United Nations and the European Union, not to mention Israel’s immediate hostile Islamic neighbours. However, in the Messianic Kingdom we are told that ten men will grab onto the robe of an Israelite pleading with him to allow them to go up to Jerusalem with him because they know that God is with him. Can you imagine this happening? There is no doubt that the Lord is blessing Israel because of the blood covenant cut with Abraham, however, in order for Israel to come into their full inheritance both spiritually and nationally they must “pass under the rod” of the faithful shepherd who does not look on the outward appearance as men do, but looks upon the thoughts and intents of the heart. (1 Samuel 16:17)
To sum up:
Before a baby is born its mother must go through the birth pains or contractions. These contractions become more frequent and more intense as the birth of the baby gets closer. When the contractions are coming one upon another you know that the baby’s birth is imminent. Right now the nations are in turmoil as we see and hear of wars and rumours of wars and as we see nations aligning with other nations to prepare for war, not to mention the internal ethnic conflicts within nations. We see earthquakes on the increase, famine, disease and pestilence, all things mentioned by the Lord Jesus in Matthew Chapter 24. These He refers to as ‘the birth pains’ that precede the birth of the Messianic kingdom on earth. At the centre of this looming global crisis we see Israel centre stage in world affairs.
Tragically Israel still looks to the nations of the ‘Egypt’ of this world for support but in the end will be deserted by them all only to be left facing an implacable Islamic army hell-bent on Israel’s destruction. God will have allowed it to bring His people back to the foot of that old rugged cross where Israel’s Messiah bled and died as their Passover Lamb to atone for their sin and rebellion. Only after God has brought the surviving remnant of Israelites back to their Messiah will the nation fully thrive and prosper under the hand of the Lord. Israel is prospering now but it is a partial prosperity that will not be fully released until the nation has passed through God’s spiritual refining process.
As the prophet Malachi writes; “He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years.” (Malachi 3:3-4) Having said this, the prophet Zechariah clearly reveals God’s complete spiritual and national restoration of Israel at the end of this age as they transition into the Messianic kingdom prepared for them from all of eternity according to God’s good will and pleasure, because the gifts and call of God are irrevocable! (Romans 11:29)
And so we read: “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I am exceedingly jealous for Zion, yes; with great wrath I am jealous for her.’ Thus says the Lord, ‘I will return to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts will be called the Holy Mountain.’”