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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Zechariah 12:1

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.

For further study - Zechariah 12:1-14

Though we consider the book of Zechariah as one of the "minor prophets", I believe he is one of the "major Prophets", based upon his prophetic passages relative to the first coming of Jesus Christ, second only to Isaiah. In addition there is great prophetic significance in the book for the Second Coming.

As we begin our devotional reading for today, by reading the first verse of chapter 12, we are made aware of the foundation for the Lord's authority for giving prophetic truth to this ancient Jewish Prophet.

It's plain and simple, the Lord is not only a "giver of prophetic truth" but also the Creator, the One who "stretched forth the heavens and layeth the foundations of the earth and formeth the spirit of man within him".

Prophecy is unique to Christianity and the Bible for just that reason, the Creator of all things knows what will happen in the future. Creation and prophecy go hand in hand.

Next, the prophet focuses on the city of Jerusalem in the end times, verses 2-3. Verse 2 speaks of Jerusalem as a "cup of trembling".

Remember, this is "apocalyptic" literature, using a "symbol" to communicate an absolute truth. The rule for interpretation of apocalyptic literature is that another scripture passage will give the interpretation.

Proverbs 23:31 speaks of the "juice of the vine and when it is red, when it giveth it's color in the cup, when it moveth itself aright", the liquid is intoxicating and the exhortation is "to not look upon the cup".

This Zechariah passage is speaking of Jerusalem, a "cup of trembling", as being intoxicating. Those who have control over Jerusalem, and in particular the Temple Mount, to them it will become "intoxicating".

Verse 3 is speaking of how that control of the Temple Mount becomes a "heavy burden", a heavy weight too burdensome to lift. Today, those who control the Temple Mount, the "Islamic Trust", have become intoxicated with that power.

As usual I can only pick the "mountain peaks" of blessing in each passage. For example, look at verse 10, this verse has been misunderstood as it relates to its time frame. The verse does not happen after Jesus comes back, that's not until Zechariah 14:4, but instead it's happening today.

As the Jews stand praying and mourning today at the "wailing wall", or better known as the "Western Wall", they are looking directly at the location where Christ was crucified, where His hands were pierced.

The Jews, not yet realizing it, are "mourning" today for the One they pierced. Notice in verses 11-14 that this "mourning" is done with the wives and husbands separated. That's the way the religious Jews worship and pray today at the Western Wall.

As the Jews today are "looking upon Him who they have pierced" it is evident that we are living in the time Zechariah wrote about, the end times. Remember, Zechariah 14 is the Lord's return but, seven years earlier the Rapture takes place, and it could happen today.

PRAYER THOT: Thank You, Lord, for prophecy that alerts me to the nearness of the Rapture. Help me to live in light of these precious truths.