In that day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness. And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the Lord of hosts their God. 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, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem. The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah. 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.(Zechariah 12:4-8)
The Vision of the Prophets go from mountain peak to mountain peak of pre-history. Zechariah has visions of a future and glorious restoration of Jerusalem, when the city was a pile of abandoned rubble. The Wall would be guarded by God’s glory, God would inhabit it again, and the Jewish people would be cleansed and restored as the “Light of the World”, the Candlestick, through the ministry of a man called “the Branch”.
Zechariah sees the arrival of the King Messiah, but not as a powerful military conqueror, (such as Alexander the Great, whom He saw as well, 200 years before his career.). When King Messiah comes to Jerusalem, he comes lowly and meek, riding on a colt of an Ass, a lowly foal! But He brings salvation with Him and in His time he will speak peace to the angry, restive sea of the Heathen ( i.e. nations).
Then Zechariah saw another future vision, that Messiah would come as the Shepherd of a doomed flock, resisted by three evil Shepherds and eventually sold by the leadership of Israel, for thirty pieces of silver. This vision came five hundred years before the coming of Jesus or Judas. The precision of the prophecy is Keen, “Throw the thirty pieces of silver into the house of the Lord, for the potter…”. What could such a cryptic saying possibly mean? Only a small remnant would realize at the time of fulfillment, “that it was the Word of the LORD”.
The prophet saw Israel’s leaders repudiate the Messiah and in the process, disown God as King, severing the nation from beauty (favor) and Unity, until the Romans came and dismantled the entire nation for almost two thousand years.
The Prophet says, “In That Day…” the long anticipated “Day of Messiah” or “the Day of the LORD”, for now we are at the very end of the visions, and at the furthest mountain peak, two thousand years removed from the events seen in the previous vision. It is the final time of the LORD’s direct intervention, the day of the great and final display of his Majesty and Righteousness before the nations, particularly in his faithfulness and mercy for his prodigal Son, Israel.
Israel is a nation again, and Jerusalem has grown into a modern city, and a world controversy. The entire world is upset about both Jerusalem and Judea, and has erected a siege around the two entities. The nations around her have become mad, having been judged by God and their leaders forced to drink” a cup of trembling” to the very dregs.
Zechariah saw the United Nations also, because he said “All of the nations are gathered together against Judah and Jerusalem”. The United Nations, the first ever literal congress of every nation on earth, has spent about a third of its time since its existence deliberating , voting for or against , censuring, rebuking, and sanctioning Israel, Judah and the issue of Jerusalem. The largest voting bloc in the U.N. is the Organization of Islamic conference, 57 states.
In the quote above I have highlighted in bold the three words of the curse that God will put on the adversaries ; confusion, blindness and madness. The cup God makes the nations of the world to drink will cause them to be confused, it will blind them and it will make them utterly mad!
The ironic thing is that this is the same cup God caused Israel to drink, when He judged her.According to tHe curse of the Law, in Deuteronomy 28:28-29.
“The Lord will strike you with blindness,madness and confusion of heart, and you shall grope at noonday,as a blind man gropes in darkness;you shall not prosper in your ways; you will only be oppressed and plundered continually and no one will save you.”
Now that the set time to favor Israel has come, the cup she once had to drink, is to be given to those Gentile nations that have oppressed her and furthered her afflictions all these years.This is the meaning of the utter madness of the Arab nations for the last sixty years, as well as the madness that is now afflicting the rest of the world’s leaders.
The LORD will now treat the Gentile adversaries of Israel as his own enemies, and he will also empower the “governors” and people of Judah and Jerusalem to fight and resist the heathen nation as mighty warriors, even the feeblest among the Jews will be “As David” in the day the LORD reverses the Judgment upon his people.
David Baron points out that it will be the fulfillment of the “Song of Moses”, and at the time when Israel is at it’s most vulnerability,
For the Lord shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left … For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever. If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me. I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy.(Deuteronomy 32:36-42)
Now the enemies of Israel, are to be considered the open and direct enemies of the God of Israel.
This turning of God’s attitude towards his backslidden servants, is based upon a signal event, an unprecedented but long anticipated intervention by the LORD himself, at the very climax of history, which we will discuss in the next article.