The Future Salvation of Israel
“Zechariah’s Visions” Zechariah 1:7-8
The Future Salvation of Israel # 4
Wayne J. Edwards, Pastor
In 587 BC, because of their disloyalty and disobedience, God allowed the Jews to be exiled to Babylon for 70 years.
- In 539 BC, Cyrus, the new king of Babylon, allowed the Jews to return to Israel and within a few months, they had restored much of the Temple.
- However, when opposition arose, and the work stopped, God raised up the prophets Haggai and Zechariah to challenge the workers to finish their assignment.
- God gave Zechariah eight visions of Israel’s future.
- While each of the eight visions was unique, they all revealed the same picture of hope, with the first being a summation of them all.
- In this sermon, we will look at the horsemen among the myrtle trees, and over the next few weeks, we will look at the four horns and four craftsmen, the surveyor, the vision of Joshua the high priest, the golden lampstand and two olive trees, the flying scroll, the woman in the basket, and the four chariots.
- God gave these visions to Zechariah to describe His plans for Israel’s future.
- According to Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Revelation 12, when the Antichrist desecrates the new Temple in Jerusalem, many of the Jews who will live near Jerusalem in that day will flee to an ancient city in Jordan called Petra. Petra is an underground city carved out of a mountain of pink sandstone, and according to Isaiah 2:10, 16:3-4, 26:20, Revelation 12:6, and 12:14, this is where God will protect and provide for that final remnant of the Jews during the last 3 ½ years of the Tribulation.
- According to Ezekiel 20:33-38, this is where Jesus will reveal Himself to the Jews “face to face,” and according to Zechariah 12:10, and 13:6, the Jews “Shall look upon Me who they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and they shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is bitter for his first born.”
- In Zechariah 13:6, the prophet said, on that day, “One will say to Jesus, what are these wounds between your arms? Then He will answer, “Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.”
- When God lifts the veil from their eyes, and they see Jesus is the Messiah, the Savior sent from God, they will cry out unto God when they realize their whole nation could have been saved if their forefathers had tested the evidence rather than taking the word of the religious leaders.
- In Jeremiah 31, the prophet wrote of that day which is to come:
- “I will be their God, and they shall be My people, for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more. I will comfort them and turn their mourning into joy, and they will be satisfied with My goodness.”
- Then the Lord Jesus will return to Jerusalem by the “way of the wilderness, (Isaiah 16:1), the same route Joshua and the Israelites traveled 3500 years earlier when they entered the Promised Land, and when He stands on the Mount of Olives, the Mount will split from the East to the West, forming a great valley.
Jerusalem, a burdensome stone for all people
- Since the Jews embody God’s promise to redeem the world from the curse of sin and destroy the works of the devil, the devil’s attack on the Jews is an attack upon God, and those whom Satan uses to express such hatred of the Jews are part of the rising Antichrist movement in the world today.
- God birthed the nation of Israel through Abram, who grew up in a pagan family in a pagan land. God called Abram to leave his father’s family and his father’s faith and go to a land God would show him, that from Abram’s seed, God would make a new nation of people who would be known as God’s People, and through him, the whole world would be blessed.
- The Jewish people are the channel through which God will bring this age to an end, which means Satan’s evil works will soon be destroyed. Satan knows this, which is why he has tried so hard to remove the Jews from that land – i.e., they have to be there to fulfill biblical prophecy.
- Even though their forefathers rejected the One through whom God’s promises to them will be fulfilled, that the Jews have survived and returned to their land is a reminder to the rest of the world that in the end, God wins and Satan loses.
- However, to survive the rising onslaught of deception and delusion being unleashed on our society, Christians must hold tightly to the only source of truth we have left in this world, which is the Bible, the Holy Scriptures, for it is our study and knowledge of the Scriptures that give us the wisdom to see the outright lies of what the world calls knowledge.
- A portion of the land God promised Abraham was part of the Garden of Eden, which means that land is Holy unto the Lord.
- The Canaanite culture was immorally corrupt, not only in its deviant sexual behavior but also in their worship of idols, which included body mutilation and child sacrifice.
- God used the nation of Israel as His instruments of divine justice to remove that ungodly culture from His land, and the Jews inhabited it for more than 3700 years.
- In 1948, the UN recognized the sovereignty of the nation of Israel, and in a few months, the whole international community agreed with that position.
- God gave the title deed to current land of Israel to the Jews.
A Vision of the Angel of the Lord
- God allowed Zechariah to see eight visions in one night.
- In the first vision, Zechariah saw a “man” riding on a “red horse” that stood in the “hollow” among the “myrtle trees,” and behind him were horses: “red, sorrel, and white.”
- When a “horse” is mentioned in the Bible, it represents war, and when the color “red” is used, it refers to “blood.”
- “Myrtle Trees” are common in Israel – they produce a white, star-shaped flower that emits a sweet fragrance when touched.
- “Hollow” referred to the Kidron Valley, which is between the Mount of Olives and the City of Jerusalem.
- “Sorrel” is a mixture of red and white – “red” means blood, and “white” means victory.
- The “man” is the Angel of the Lord, who was, in fact, the pre-incarnate Son of God, the second person of the Triune God, the Seed of Eve who became Mary’s Son.
- When Jesus Christ returns to end the Battle of Armageddon, He will be riding a huge “white” stallion. So, the picture here is that of a war that will be bloody but also victorious.
- Because of their lowliness, commonness, simplicity, and beauty, and they emit a sweet fragrance when bruised; the “myrtle trees” represent the nation of Israel.
- The “hollow” describes the condition in which the Jewish people will continue to be until Jesus returns.
- The Prophet Zechariah said to God’s people: “Be comforted! You may be down in the hollow, living in a city with broken-down walls and a broken-down temple in a devastated land, but God has already prepared a group of warriors who will, at the right time and by His command, rise up and destroy those who came against you in the past, and will come against you in the future, and you have God’s Word on that, so be encouraged, and finish the work God has called you to do!”
- Today, many of God’s people are living in the hollow, looking up into the heavens and crying out, “How long, Oh Lord? How long until you make things right?”
- Psalm 30:5 – “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning!”