Now the first part of Zechariah was written in the second year of the reign of Darius the King. It was also in the second year of the reign of Darius that Haggai, exercised his ministry. So evidently there in the second year of the reign of Darius there was a spiritual awakening among the people as God stirred up these two prophets, Haggai and Zechariah to encourage the people to again seek the Lord. To put the Lord first. To get back to work for the Lord. Now as we move into Chapter 7, we are moving up two years. So the prophecy in Chapter seven came in the fourth year of the reign of Darius or two years after the previous prophecies and the ministry of Haggai.
Now under the encouragement from Haggai and Zechariah, the people did get back to the rebuilding of the temple. And so that work of the rebuilding of the temple has now been going on for about two years and it will be another two years before it is completed because in Ezra we read that it was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king of Persia that they completed the rebuilding of the temple and they inaugurated it again with sacrifices and worship unto the Lord. So , they’re in the process of building. They’re back to work. They’re about half-way through now towards completion as we read that
It came to pass in the fourth year of King Darius, that the word of the Lord came to Zechariah in the fourth day of the ninth month, even in Chislev. Now that ninth month would be equivalent to our December, because they began numbering the months with the month of April. And when they had sent unto the house of God Sherezer, and Regem-Melech and their men to pray before the Lord.
Who the they are in the text here, is probably the people who were still in Babylon, who were still in Persia, the Jews from that area sent these men to Jerusalem to inquire from the Lord whether or not they should continue their fasting in the fifth month. So these two men came to pray before the Lord there in Jerusalem and to speak to the priests which were in the house of the Lord of hosts and to the prophets saying,
Should I weep in the fifth month separating myself as I have done these so many years.
That’s the question. Now the fifth month, they had proclaimed a fast. In their captivity and they have been observing this for the seventy years of captivity. It was in the fifth month that the temple was destroyed and burned by Nebuchadnezzar. And so in memory of the destruction of the temple, they would fast now in the fifth month. In fact, there was only one fast that was inaugurated by God in the Old Testament, under the Law and that was Yom Kippur, the Great Day of Atonement. The people were to fast that day. All of the other holidays were feasts. Much like our thanksgiving. They were times for feasting. But the only time that they would call for a fasting among the people was on the day the Great Day of Atonement. But during the period of captivity, they had added other fasts. In the fourth month they had a fast in which they were remembering when Nebuchadnezzar entered the city. The fifth month he destroyed the temple and so they fasted in memory of the destruction of the temple. In the seventh month they had another fast in which they would grieve over the untimely murder of Gedaliah who was appointed by Nebuchadnezzar as governor over the land, and there was a hope at that time, if you’ll read Jeremiah, that things would be alright, that they would be able to survive and stay there in the land. But with the murder of Gedaliah, it brought the swift destruction from Babylon and they had another fast in the tenth month and that was to commemorate or to remember the total and complete destruction. It was the commencement of the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar. So they had in four days of mourning and fasting. Now that the temple is being rebuilt. In that we were fasting and mourning over the destruction of the temple, should we continue fasting now that we are rebuilding the temple? Does that mean that we no longer fast in the fifth month? So the word of the Lord of hosts came to Zechariah verse four saying,
Speak unto all the people of the land and to the priest saying, When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and the seventh month, even those seventy years that is the seventy years they were in captivity, did you at all fast unto Me-even to Me?
It is interesting how that spiritual exercises can become so routine that they are meaningless. And we must guard against that any ritual that the church observes has a danger of becoming a meaningless ritual. We do it just by habit. We lose the meaning of it. We lose the purpose of it. There isn’t that sense of real contact with God or communion with God. We go through motions but we lose the emotion. And it’s possible in the church that much that is done within the church is ritualistic. And we go through the motions, but we don’t have the corresponding emotions in our hearts. We must guard against that. And so God is sort of rebuking them. You fasted yes, but were you really thinking about Me? Did it just become a holiday. Just routine kind of observance and the meaning of it really lost.
And when you did eat, and when you did drink at the feast days, did you not eat for yourselves and drink for yourselves?
The idea of eating and drinking on those feast days was the idea of communion with God. We are sitting down with the Lord, we are gonna eat with the Lord today. And it was a time of remembrance of the Lord and the Lord said you know you are going ahead and I wonder on thanksgiving when we are feasting, do we really think about the Lord or is it the turkey? And “Oh my she’s gonna bake her pumpkin pies.” And “I hope they have whipped cream ya know.” And we’re thinking about the delicious food were going to be feasting on or do we really think about the Lord and our thanksgiving to Him for the blessings that He has bestowed upon us. And the Lord is questioning them on this. The Lord is cross-examining them. Now the Lord said
Should you not hear the words which the Lord hath cried by the former prophets when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity and the cities thereof around about her when men inhabited the South and the plain?
Wouldn’t it have been better, rather than having these fast days, that your fathers would have just listened to the voice of the Lord and never gone into captivity? Wouldn’t have been better had they just listened to God instead of just fasting? That obeying the Lord. In Isaiah Chapter 58, Isaiah was speaking to their fathers and in verse 3 of 58, the Lord asks the people
Wherefore have ye fasted? Or the people are asking God actually. Wherefore have we fasted, and you did not see? Wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and you didn’t take knowledge of that fact. Behold in the day of your fast, you find pleasure. You exact all your labors, behold you fast for strife and for debate and to smite with the fists of wickedness. You shall not fast as you do this day to make your voice to be heard on high. You weren’t really fasting to get close to God. You were in a debate, you were trying to prove a point. There was striving. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? A day for man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head as a bulrush and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Wilt thou call this a fast and an acceptable day to the Lord? You’re going through the outward motions. You lay in the ashes, you put sackcloth under you, you lie upon it. You afflict yourself, you make yourself absolutely miserable. “Surely this ought to make God happy if I’m so miserable.”
And the Lord said is this not the fast that I have? To loose the bands of wickedness to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke. To set people free. Is it not to deal your bread to the hungry, that you may bring the poor that are cast out to thy house. When you see the naked that you cover him and that you hide not yourself from your own flesh. Then shall thy light break forth ads the morning and thy health shall spring forth speedily, and thy righteousness shall go before thee and the glory of the Lord shall be thy rearward. And then shalt thou call and the Lord shall answer, thou shall cry, and He shall say Here I am. And if you take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger and the speaking of vanity. And is you draw out thy soul to the hungry and satisfy the afflicted soul, then shall thy light rise in obscurity and thy darkness will be as the noonday and the Lord will guide thee continually and satisfy thy soul in drought and make fat thy bones, and thou shalt be like a watered garden and like a spring of water whose waters fail not.
So God is saying, “What I want is not you to try to afflict your soul in order to please me, what really pleases me is when you help the poor. When you are ministering to others and to the needs of others. That’s what pleases Me.” Not that you afflict yourself, but that you minister in the name of the Lord to the needs of the hungry, of the poor, that’s the kind of fast God said I have chosen. So here the question of fasting, and the Lord sort of challenges “Was it really a fast?” Were you really thinking of the Lord and wouldn’t it have been better to have just obeyed? Ya know it is interesting that so many times we will try to substitute sacrifice or fasting religious ritual for the thing that God really desires from us. So often we are not willing to offer to God that which he is really desiring. When Saul came back from the conquest of the Malachites in disobedience to God bringing back the best of the cattle and sheep and Samuel blind now by age, came out to meet him. And Saul greeted him with a spiritual greeting. As the Lord liveth I have done all that God commanded to do. And the prophet answered and said, If you have done all that God commanded you to do, what is this I hear I hear the lowing of cattle I hear the blessing of sheep. Oh well, minor thing. These were so good so wonderful stock, I decided to bring them back so we could offer a great sacrifice unto God. And the prophet rebuked him, and he said to obey is better than to sacrifice. To harken or to listen to God is better than the fat of rams. And he told him because he failed to submit himself to God, he failed to be ruled by God, God had disqualified him from ruling over the people. The prophet said that’s rebellion you are rebelling against God’s word. And that’s like the sin of witchcraft, obedience, that’s what God desires. Not some religious ritual of afflicting yourself. God wants us just to obey His word. And so the word of the Lord came to Zechariah came to the Lord in verse 8 saying, continuing the subject
Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, execute true judgment now this is what Isaiah was telling the people, God wants you to be just to be fair, to treat one another with a real mercy and love, and so the Lord of hosts says, execute true judgment, show mercy and compassion every man to his brother, oppress not the widow nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor, and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.
Now let me ask you, Are those demands of the Lord, onerous? Do you find them sort of repulsive to you? Do you think, oh that’s terrible that God should require that? What is He requiring? What is He asking you to do? To execute true judgment and to show mercy and compassion. Every one towards his brother. Now what’s so bad about that? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all did that? If we all sought to have true judgment, if we all exercise compassion and mercy towards each other. That would be rather, I don’t find that thing Oh God why would you ask us to so such a horrible thing as that. The law of the Lord is perfect. I don’t know what people have against the law of the Lord. Except a heart that is filled with sin that is in rebellion against God. You see this goes against my flesh, which wants revenge. I want mercy but I don’t want to show mercy. I don’t want to be cheated, but maybe if the occasion is. NO, no, no. Don’t oppress the widow, or the fatherless, or the stranger or the poor. And don’t imagine evil against your brethren your heart. Now these are not horrible demands that God made, these are wonderful. demands. These are wonderful things that God is calling the deepest finest quality in your life. He’s appealing to the higher nature. the spiritual nature of man.
but the Lord said, they refused to harken, they pulled away their shoulder, and they stopped their ears.
Won’t hear that, don’t like that. I don’t want to be merciful, I want to be suspicious of everybody. imagine evil in my heart, “ I know he’s guilty. Look at the way he’s looking.”
Yeah, they made their hearts as an adamant stone. Their hearts became hardened to the commands or to the desire of God lest they should hear the law and the words which the Lord of hosts had sent in His Spirit by the former prophets.
Wouldn’t it have been better had they listened to the word that came but they stopped their ears they turned their shoulders their hearts became as stone. They wouldn’t listen to God. And therefore because of this, there came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts.
Therefore it had come to past that as they cried and they would not hear, so they cried and I would not hear saith the Lord of hosts.
God cried to them they wouldn’t listen so God said, “all right, turn-about is fair play, you cried, I won’t listen, I won’t hear you. You don’t want to hear Me, I won’t hear you.”
But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not. And thus the land was desolate after them, that no man passed through or returned for they laid the pleasant land desolate.
Now the thing that they should have been grieving over, the thing that should have really concerned them, was the fact that their fathers had closed their ears unto God. They only were mourning over the consequences of their evil, but not their evil. And this is the case so many times with people. They grieve over the consequences of their evil, but they really don’t repent of the evil, they still sort of love the evil that they were doing, but they hate the consequences of it and when the consequences come then they are all riled, and stirred up and so forth and we want to remember the consequences and fast and so forth because the temple, well it was destroyed because your fathers wouldn’t listen to God and that’s the thing that ought to really get your heart and grip you. Is there the things of perpetrated, the destruction of Jerusalem and of the temple.
Now again the word of the Lord came to me saying, thus saith the Lord of hosts, I was jealous for Zion. God loved them. They were His people. but yet they turned to other Gods. They began to forsake Him. They wouldn’t listen when He called. They hung up on Him. And God said I was jealous for them. With a great jealousy. And I was jealous for her with great fury.
Thus saith the Lord, I am now returned to Zion and I will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem ,and Jerusalem shall be called the city of truth. and the mountain of the Lord of hosts, the holy mountain. I was jealous, great fury, but now I am returned, God said. My love and all is returned to the city to Zion.
Thus saith the Lord of hosts, there shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem. And every man with his staff in his hand for very age, and the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.
It is interesting to me that the Lord should use this condition to express and to describe a utopia almost. A place were children can play in the streets without danger. Without the danger of some pervert trying to entice them to come into his car, to get some candy. Without the danger of being shot by a stray bullet. That might be glancing off of a building or intended for someone else. Children playing in the streets, in perfect safety. You know the Lord loves children. And it is interesting that when God spared the city of Ninevah, God intimated to Jonah that the reason why He spared it was because of the sixty thousand little children that were there that didn’t know their right hand from their left hand. When the disciples thought that they were protecting Jesus, they became to chase away the parents who were bringing their children to Jesus that He might bless them. And he rebuked his disciples, He said let those little children come, don’t you forbid them, of such is the kingdom of heaven. So the Lord describing the conditions of the kingdom, the children playing in the streets thereof. And of course this particular prophecy goes beyond the immediate and it goes on into the future, where God will again, make Zion the throne of His kingdom where Jesus will reign, and where the purposes of God for the nation will ultimately come to pass in that day, that glorious day of the Lord and of His reign. Peace, children, boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.
Thus saith the Lord of hosts, If it be marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvelous in Mine eyes? Saith the Lord of hosts. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, I will save My people from the east country and from the west country.
Now this indicates that it is yet future because in reality, during the dispersion form the Babylonian captivity, and the Assyrian captivity, they were spread the north Assyria, Babylon, and all and to the south to Egypt. It was after the destruction of the temple by Titus and the Romans, that they were scattered also to the east and to the west. And so God is going to gather them and save them from the east country and from the west country
And I will bring them and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and they shall be My people and I will be their God in truth and in righteousness.
That has not yet happened. It isn’t yet in righteousness that those people are dwelling in the land. The vast majority of them are non-religious. The religious Jews makeup about only 8% of the people that are in the land. It’s mainly a secular based nation even yet. But that’s going to change and they will be His people in truth and in righteousness.
Thus saith the Lord of hosts, let your hands be strong. Now they are building, they are working on it, they’re in the project again of building the temple. Let your hands be strong
Ye that hear in these days the words by the mouth of the prophets which were in the day that the foundation of the household of the Lord of hosts was laid that the temple might be built.
When Haggai came along, and spoke to you in the name of the Lord. Now be strong you’re going at it stay with it. He’s encouraging them to continue the work, be strong in this work. For before these days, that is that you begin the rebuilding of the temple again.
Before these days, there was no hire for man nor any hire for beast. In other words, there was a lot of unemployment. A lot of people had lost their jobs. Neither was there any peace to him that went out or came in because of the affliction. It was dangerous to go out on the streets. For I set all men, everyone against his neighbor, there was strife. There was violence, there was joblessness there was affliction. There was poverty. But now the Lord said
I will not be unto the residue of this people as in the former days, saith the lord of hosts. For the seed shall be prosperous. That is your crops are going to be blessed. And the vine will give her fruit and the ground shall give her increase and the heavens will give her due and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things.
You’ve got your priorities right again, you’re working in the building of the temple a place to worship God. You are putting God back in the proper place in your lives and because of that God is going to bless you. Ya know righteousness, the Bible said exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people and there is a definite correlation here between the unemployment, between the violence in the county and the fact that they had put God out of their consciousness out of their national life. They had tried to shut god out and just sort of shove Him aside. And as a result, they had a breakdown, they had a lot of unemployment, they had poor crops, they were living at poverty level. Now notice what Haggai says in Chapter 1 verse 6 as he is talking of the conditions, when they had forsaken the temple and the building of the temple and had turned to their own interests and put their own interest above the things of God.
You have so much but you bring in little, you eat but you don’t have enough, you drink but you are not satisfied. You’re clothed but you are not warm. There is not enough to be warm. And he that earneth wages, puts them into a bag with holes.
He is saying the reason why is that you’ve just left God out. Now here is the reverse. Be strong keep with it, because now the Lord is saying the seed is going to be prosperous, the vine is going to her fruit, the ground is going to giver her increase, the heavens are gonna drop their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all things. That’s a great promise.
And it shall come to pass that as you were a curse among the heathen oh house of Judah and house of Israel. So will I save you and you shall be a blessing.
There is coming a day when the nation of Israel will be a blessing to the entire earth. Whereas they are still persecuted. There is still a lot of anti-Semitism, a lot of hatred towards the Jew, a lot of cursing of the Jew. there will come that day and God is promising them that the day will come when they will no longer be of curse but of blessing.
So fear not, let your hands be strong. Again encouraging them, let your hands be strong, stay with it. For thus saith the Lord of hosts, As I thought to punish you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath, saith the Lord of hosts and I repented not. I didn’t. I didn’t change. I was determined to punish you. So again, have I thought in these days to do well unto Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Fear ye not. These are the things that you shall do. This is what I want you to do. Now again, take a look at what God wants you to do, and see if it’s something that you find too distasteful. These are the things that ye shall do. Speak every man the truth to his neighbor. Is that so bad, telling the truth? Do you have a hard time with that? Execute the judgment of truth. Be fair. Be fair in your dealings. And peace in your gates. Now let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbor and love no false oath. For all these things are the things that I hate saith the Lord. What does He hate? He hates imaginations of evil against your neighbor and he hates a person taking a false oath, swearing by the Lord falsely. He hates that. These are the things that I hate. Now it’s wonderful when you love the things God loves and you hates the things God hates. It’s good to be in harmony with God. And love the things He loves and hate the things He hates. And your life will be right because God is right. And when I read these things I say yep that’s great that’s wonderful. I buy that, I don’t have any problem with that as far as assenting to it. My problem is doing it. I say well yes, that’s great I like that. I see the ideal, I ascent to the ideal, I desire the ideal. Problem is, in my flesh, I have no ability to attain to the ideal. That’s where the power of the Holy Spirit comes in, and through the power of the Holy Spirit I am enabled to be what I can’t be, though I would desire and want to be.
When you study the teachings of Buddha or Confucius, I find that their teachings are good, as far as the principles that they tell you that you should live by. Buddha said before Jesus, what you don’t want people to do to you, don’t do to them. Now that sounds an awful lot like the golden rule. The only difference is Buddha put it in the negative, Jesus put it in the positive. He says don’t do to people what you don’t want them to do to you.
Jesus said, do unto others, as you would like them to do unto you. Turned it and put it into the positive. But Buddha said, “your problem is your materialistic desires, and that’s where all of the strife, that’s where all of your anxiety, that’s where all of your difficulty arises because of your desire for material things. Now the life and the plane of the spirit is a life of peace and serenity. And if you can divorce yourself from your desire from your material things and you can live in a spirit realm without material desires, then you’ve entered into Nirvana and you have now a blissful, peaceful, life.” Well basically that’s true. Our problems arise out of our lust and desire for material things. That’s where our striving comes.
From whence come the wars and strivings among you James said. Come they not from your own lust, your own desires. The wars, the strivings, they come because of the desire for material things. If I was living a purely spiritual life and only desiring the spiritual things, I would be spared so much strife, so much anxiety, so much worry. Now, great thanks a lot Buddha. But how do I get rid of my desires for material things. How do I live the life of pure spirit? Well that’s for you to work out and to figure out for yourself. So he points to the ideal, but he doesn’t give you any help in living the ideal.
Now Jesus basically said the same thing that your problems really come over your worries about what you’re going to eat, what you’re going to wear. These are the things that keep the Gentiles all worried and upset, but you if you’ll just seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then God will take care of all these other things. Then He tells you, Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow. They don’t toil, they don’t spin, they don’t make their yarn, and make their cloth, and make their clothes, and yet Solomon in all of his glory was dressed as beautiful as one of those lilies out of the field. Consider the birds of the air. They don’t go out and plant their fields, and plow the soil and then come and gather the crops into the barns. But your Father, He takes care of them. Now the Lord will take care of the birds, how much more will He take care of you because you’re His children. Your Father takes care of birds. Well He surely takes care of His children too. And so Jesus is saying if you’ll just get your priorities right, put God first seek God first. These other things will be taken care of. God will take care of these other things.
Now great, thank you Jesus. But how can I? Live by that ideal. Well He says, you really can’t in your own effort or strength or power. But I’ll tell you what. You submit your life to me. I will come, I will dwell within you and I will give you power through the Holy Spirit and through the power of the Holy Spirit I will enable you to do what you can’t do in and of yourself. Great. That’s exactly what I need. The help, the strength and the power to do these things. And through the power of the Holy Spirit I can enter in to the life of the Spirit, the walk of the Spirit, being led by the Spirit. And so, the Lord is speaking to the people here of the ideal, that He desires.
And the word of the Lord of hosts, came to me saying,
Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the fast in the fourth month. Now in the fourth month they had inaugurated as I told you the fast for the destruction, or actually it was the fast for the entering of the city of Jerusalem, by the Babylonian troops took place in the fourth month. The fifth month when they destroyed the temple, in the seventh month, the murder of Gedaliah, and the fast in the tenth month which was the commencement of the destruction of Jerusalem shall be to the house of Judah these days no longer fasting no longer afflicting yourselves, no longer lying in ashes, but these days are to be days of joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts. Therefore love the truth and peace. Now I find that very acceptable to me. Days of joy and gladness, that’s what God wants for you. People have such a distorted perverted concept of God. Like the more miserable you are the happier He is. You know this is actually a prevailing kind of thing within the church. Their monks in their convents would afflict themselves. All of these fastings and these flagellation’s and everything else they think Oh, if I’m really truly miserable, then God will be happy with me.” Wrong. What the Lord said, I want you to have joy and gladness, have cheerful feasts on these days. Don’t fast, don’t afflict yourselves. Have a feast, cheerful feast, with joy and gladness. Love the truth and peace. Great. I like that king of a God. Who loves it when I’m happy, when I’m filled with joy, when I’m cheerful.
Thus saith the Lord of hosts, it shall come to pass, that there shall come people and inhabitants of many cities. This is again the future. It’s going to come to pass, it hasn’t yet. And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, shall say, let us go speedily to pray before the Lord and to seek the Lord of hosts. I’ll go also.
The day is gonna come when Jesus is reigning there from Jerusalem, over the earth. And if were here in this area, well say “come on, lets go speedily over to Jerusalem and lets visit with the Lord. ”Let’s seek the Lord.” And we’ll say “yes. We’ll go with you.” Of course we’ll be in our new bodies and we’ll be able to ya know, zip over there in a hurry. No jet lag.
Yeah many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts, in Jerusalem and pray before the Lord. Thus saith the Lord o hosts, in those days it shall come to pass that ten men shall take hold out of the languages of the nations even take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, we’ll go with you for we have heard that God is with you.
Glorious day. My prayer is that it isn’t too far off. I wish it were now. Oh how I wish that the Lord had come already and established His kingdom and was there in Jerusalem. We could say “Hey after service, it ought to be just about morning there let’s visit ya know. Let’s hear the word of the Lord today. Let’s worship before Him.”
Now Chapter 9 is the burden of the word of the Lord in the land of Hadrach. Now Hadrach was a city and an area near Damascus in Syria. In the land of Hadrach and Damascus, so Hadrach was once a city (it is no longer there) but it was once a city in an area near Damascus that was discovered by the Assyrian scrolls. And it shall be the rest thereof.
When the eyes of men as all the tribes of Israel shall be toward the Lord that day when the eyes of all men will be toward the Lord. And Hamath which again is another area there near Damascus, also shall border thereby and Tyre and Sidon, though it be very wise. Now Tyre he said, did build herself a stronghold and he dug sliver as the dust and fine gold as the mire of the streets.
Now at this particular time, Tyrus had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, that is the city of Tyrus it was on the mainland. Nebuchadnezzar, spent thirteen years in the siege of Tyrus. Before he captured the city, the people in Tyrus had pretty much moved the city out to an island that was bout a mile off shore. So that when Nebuchadnezzar finally broke through, came into the city, it was pretty well abandoned. All the wealth had been moved out to the island city. And Nebuchadnezzar had no way of conquering the island city. So at this time, Tyrus was still in its glory. Wealthy, merchant, marines, who were plying the Mediterranean with the goods and all from the eastern part of the world bringing them to the west. And Tyrus was prosperous and wealthy and he makes mention of that. They did build themselves a stronghold. That is this island fortress. They heaped up the silver as the dust, and fine gold like the mire in the streets. Now in a couple hundred years, Alexander the Great will be moving into this area and he will conquer the island city of Tyrus and he will destroy it completely and the prophecy of Ezekiel, fascinating prophecy of Ezekiel, I believe it’s Chapter 12, as he speaks of the destruction of Tyrus would be fulfilled through Alexander the Great completely. Partially fulfilled through Nebuchadnezzar and completely fulfilled through Alexander the Great.
Behold the Lord will cast her out.
Here’s the prophet declaring. Now its a wealthy city, its a strong city, but the Lord is gonna cast her out and He will smite her power in the sea. She’s out there now in the sea; it’s an island.
He will smite her power in the sea, and she shall be devoured with fire.
And that’s exactly what happened when Alexander the Great conquered it. Now the cities of the Philistines,
Ashkelon shall see it and fear; Gaza also shall see it and be very sorrowful; and Ekron, for her expectation shall be a shame and the king shall perish from Gaza and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited.
In other words, Alexander the great when he did come, he passed on through towards Egypt through the area of the coast and the Philistines and they were destroyed by Alexander the Great. But when he came back through the area, he came to Jerusalem but respected the holy city. He was very superstitious and he had a respect for spiritual things. And the priest met him at the gates, he did not violate the city of Jerusalem, but respected it. But did destroy the Philistines of the plain. And he said in verse 6
A bastard shall dwell in Ashdod, again a Philistine city, I will cut off the pride of the Philistines. And I will take away his blood out of his mouth and his abominations from between his teeth, but he that remaineth even he shall be for our God and shall be as a governor in Judah ad Ekron as a Jebusite. And I will encamp about mine house. The promise of God. You’re building the house. You’re building the house of God and God has promised you I will encamp about my house. But of course this is yet future. But it is an encouragement to them who are building the house for God.
Because of the army because of him that passeth by and because of him that returneth that is Alexander the Great who passed by and then returned, and no oppressor shall pass though them anymore. Now that’s future you see, because oppressors have passed through them since the time of Alexander the Great and the fulfillment of this prophecy. Its complete fulfillment is yet future.
For now have I seen with mine eyes. Rejoice greatly O daughter of Zion! Shout O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold thy King cometh unto thee. He is just and having salvation lowly and riding upon a donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Great prophecy. Your king is coming Rejoice! Shout for joy! Your King is coming. In Psalm 118, the psalmist said, this is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now save now. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord. And He goes on to talk about the stone which the builders rejected. The same has become the chief cornerstone. This is the work of God it is marvelous in our eyes. Interesting. He is speaking, this is the day that the Lord has made.
What day? when you wake up in the morning and the sun is coming over Saddleback. It’s a crystal clear day, the smog and everything has blown away, and you look at Saddleback and the beautiful blue skies, and you say “this is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice…” But what do you do on a foggy day like this morning? Did the Lord not make this day?
Now the psalmist isn’t talking about some beautiful morning, or any beautiful morning, he’s talking about one special day that God has made to send the Messiah. It’s obviously a messianic psalm because of the stone which the builders rejected. That’s quoted in the New Testament as Jesus was the fulfillment. But interestingly enough, “this is the day the Lord has made we will rejoice and be glad. Save now Save now. That in Hebrew is Hosanna, Hosanna.
What were they crying, the day Jesus made His entry into Jerusalem. Hosanna, Hosanna. they were actually quoting Psalm 118 and that’s why the Pharisees said, “Lord, you’d better tell them to shut up, that’s blasphemy.” And what did Jesus answer? “Tell you something fellows, get this straight, if these disciples at this moment would hold there peace, these very stone would cry out.” This is the day that the Lord has made. Rejoice greatly O daughter of Zion! Shout O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold your King cometh He is just, having Salvation but he is lowly and how did Jesus come riding into Jerusalem that day? On a donkey. But even further. In Daniel the ninth Chapter as the Lord through the angel was explaining to Daniel the future of the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem, He said there are seventy sevens that are determined upon Israel and upon the holy city. To finish transgressions, to make and end of sin, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to establish the everlasting kingdom, and to anoint the most holy place. Now understand, from the time the commandment goes forth to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem to the coming of the Messiah, the prince will be seven sevens and sixty-two sevens, or four hundred and eighty-three years. Sixty-nine sevens or four hundred and eighty-three years.
From the time the commandment goes forth to restore and rebuild Jerusalem to the Messiah, the prince. The commandment to restore and rebuild Jerusalem was given by Artaxerxes to Nehemiah on March 14, 445 B.C. 483 years later, in the Babylonian calendar, 360 year, which would come out to a 173,880 days. Would bring you in our Julian calendar to the date, April 6, 32 A.D. The very day that Jesus made the triumphant entry into Jerusalem.
So that triumphant entry into Jerusalem was really one that was preceded by some fascinating prophecies. He’s gonna be riding on a donkey. Watch it! He’s not going to be coming in a Mercedes. Riding on a donkey. Not a white Stallion. He’s lowly, riding on a donkey. Your King is coming. This is the day the Lord has made. And what did the Lord say as He looked at Jerusalem and was weeping as He sat on that little donkey? “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem. If you had only known the things that belong to your peace in this thy day, but they’re hid from your eyes and you’re gonna be dispersed.” Your gonna spread out through the world. Now notice in the psalm as he speaks about this day, he speaks about the stone which the builders rejected. Jesus made His entry but He was rejected by the builders, by the religious leaders. And before the week was over they conspired and directed the activities that brought His crucifixion. What did Daniel say about this day? He said, but the Messiah will be cut off without receiving anything for Himself and the Jews will be dispersed. Marvelous, marvelous, prophecy. God’s word certifying, proving that it was God who spake it, because it would be impossible for man to chronicle events in advance like that from three different eras, three different prophets, coming at different times, and yet the whole thing centering in and coming to pass so fully and so exactly as God declared it would. Now the Lord declares,
And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bowl shall be cut off and He shall speak peace to the heathen.
The Lord has given a message of peace to us, to the Gentiles. To the nations. The word heathen there is the same word for nations or Gentiles. And the Lord has spoken peace to us. And we, through Him, have entered into peace with God.
And His dominion shall be from seed even to seed the world, the earth and from the river, even till the ends of the earth.
Edited & Highlighted from “The Word For Today” Transcription, Pastor Chuck Smith, Tape #7369