“I am determined to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Do not fear” Zechariah 8:15
Just how determined is the Lord to do good to Jerusalem and Judah? The latter half of Zechariah’s prophecy gives us the answer. It describes some events leading up to and the Lord’s fulfilment of the covenant He made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. In Genesis 12:2, 3 we read, “I will bless you and make your name great and you shall be a blessing … and in you all the families of the world shall be blessed.” In Zechariah 8:13 we read, “So I will save you, and you shall be a blessing. Do not fear, let your hands be strong.” This prophecy is about the Lord fulfilling His covenant promises with Israel. That He says twice, “Do not fear” (vv 13 & 15) is an indication that the process of fulfilment will give ample reason to fear.
This will be a horrific time for Israel in which the Lord says that two-thirds of the people will die (13:8). Only one-third will survive the lord’s refining fire (13:9). Only for those who love truth, justice and peace and love their neighbour (8:16-17), which are indications that they love the Lord and believe His word, is there comfort and no need to fear. Instead, they will trust the Lord.
They will know that their King entered Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey (9:9) and died on a cross (12:10) for their sin, rising the third day as the Scriptures foretold. They will not fear because they believe that just as Christ was pierced for their sin they will see Him come in glory just as Zechariah’s prophecy and other prophets and Jesus have said.
They will not fear because they know that there is a day soon coming in which the feet of Jesus Christ will stand on the Mount of Olives and the mount will split in two (14:4-5) creating a large valley through which they shall escape.
They will not fear because they will know that “The Lord shall be king over all the earth” (14:9).
They will not fear because in there is soon to be a day when the peoples and nations will not come to Israel for war but “to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord” (8:22).
They will not fear because they know that “everyone who is left of all the nations which came up against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles” (14:16). This is what Peter was thinking of when he suggested building tabernacles on the Mount of Transfiguration. He was thinking of this great era when everything will be engraved with HOLINESS TO THE LORD (14:20). Maranatha!
While the Bible reveals terrible times ahead for Israel and the world those who believe God’s word see a most glorious world on the horizon over which Jesus reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords. We have no need to fear. Who is able to withstand the determination of the Lord? No one!
Either by bodily death or by the calling up of His church we will be delivered from this corrupt and evil world into Christ’s presence. “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8).