Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Zechariah 12-13 - Judgment and Cleansing

by Katrina

LINK: Zechariah 12-13

Zechariah 12
The phrase "In that day" is used several times in this chapter and refers to the "day of the Lord," the day of wrath and judgment that the prophets have been telling about. The Lord begins by identifying Himself as the creator of heaven and earth and the one who gives life to man. Jerusalem will be attacked by Gentiles. The city is like a cup that the enemies drink from. But it makes them drunk and sick. Jerusalem is also like a stone, immovable, and it will eventually destroy the invading enemies. The Lord will defend and save the people then destroy their enemies. Then the people will recognize Jesus for who he is. They will see him as the Messiah whom their fathers had pierced (at the crucifixion), and they will weep bitterly in repentance. They will mourn individually as well as corporately.

Zechariah 13
When the people repent and mourn for their sin, then the Lord will cleanse them. Their hearts will be purified. The land will be cleansed of idolatry. False prophets will be destroyed. They will disguise themselves to try to save themselves.

The true Shepherd will arrive. He will be struck, and the sheep will scatter. This refers to the crucifixion of Jesus when the disciples scattered. Jesus quoted Zechariah 13:7 on his way to the Garden of Gethsemane, "I will strike down the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered."

Then God will weed out all but one-third of Israel. This will be the remnant that will be refined and saved. They will finally, truly belong to God.

Sometimes God has to refine us with fire. Are you going through difficulty that God wants to use to refine you? Though the fire is painful, the refined product is worth it! Bring any sin before God and allow Him to cleanse you. "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (1 John 1:9)  Psalm 32 is a great one to read and meditate on for this.

Jesus, you are the good shepherd who truly cares for the sheep. Please lead us in your ways and teach us to follow you in all that we do. We bring our sins before you and ask for your cleansing. Make us pure and use us for your work. We trust in you and will rejoice in you! Amen.