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Mourning for the Good Shepherd

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
June 23, 2020 8:00 am

Mourning for the Good Shepherd

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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June 23, 2020 8:00 am

The book of Zechariah is the fascinating account of a priest who had visions. Discover the lessons these visions teach and see how they relate to issues about religion today, such as what true religion is, what the significance of cleanliness is, and when you should fast. See also the unique picture that Zechariah gives of the Messiah as the shepherd-king. Youll be both enlightened and inspired as you study this thought-provoking book.

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Today we come to the last section of the book of Zechariah, which is an Oracle or a burden, the judgment getting chapter 12 extending through chapters 12, 13 and 14.

This article corresponds to the earlier one.

A similar length, beginning in chapter 9 and is to be distinguished from it.

In this way. Chapter 9 begins an Oracle or judgment of the Lord against Haid rack, a Gentile nation and chapter 12 begins some Oracle of the Lord, against or concerning Israel Baron, one of the great commentators on Zachariah says that the first has to do with the judgment upon the nations surrounding Israel and that it order that Israel might survive and then the second Oracle has to do with the judgment in which Israel itself is judged or purged of sin brought to repentance and faith in the Messiah established as the holy nation of God, when we read these last three chapters is perfectly evident that a careful reading that they all refer to the same period of time. Most characteristic feature of these verses is the repetition of the phrase on that day you look through it you will find it 163 chapters chapter 12 verse three on that day.

In verse four on that day.

Verse six on that day, and again in verses eight 911 find it in the 13th chapter in verses one to and for the 14th chapter in verses four, six, eight, nine, 1320 and 21 of the merger find it three verses into the first chapter and you find it throughout. And finally it's in the very last verse of the last chapter, I don't know how language could be clearer in indicating that all of the things we find here with the possible exception of one throwback sort of a parenthesis all had to do the same time. The question is, what time. And to whom do these verses in the events of these verses refer you have here a war have here at time of repentance and turning have a number of judgments and an equal large collection of blessings. What is I refer to. Obviously, it refers to something after the first coming of Christ.

Because the second half of chapter 12 talks about a people saying, for the time being, who it is but a people looking upon him whom they have pierced, coming to faith in him is obviously the Messiah. It refers looking backward to what's been done to Jesus Christ during the days of his flesh, so it refers to some.

Between his first coming in his second coming of the question is what generally there are three views some commentators would refer to Pentecost in the events that immediately follow back first preaching of the gospel, turning in large numbers in Jerusalem to Christ.

Someone referred in a more general way to the whole church age. This is the period in which people including Jews turn in faith, looking upon the one whom they pierced and then there's a view which relates to the very end times. It takes this matter of it being a Jewish repentance seriously and says there will be a day when the Jews nationally turn from sin recognize what happened nationally in the crucifixion of Christ and come to faith in the one who would lastly recognize to be their Messiah dining is proper to say that the majority opinion in the reformed campus review to that is it takes these chapters as referring almost exclusively not entirely of schooling, Jewish participation, but certainly any special role of Jews nationally. It takes these chapters as referring to the church what's happening during the church age.

All of this is being fulfilled now.

According to the majority view of the reformed commentators.

The difficulty I have with that view, among others, but a difficulty that has to do with the passage is that there's hardly a more Jewish passage in all of the Old Testament. Certainly in all Old Testament prophecy. For example, in the second half of this is portion of the talks about the turning of Jews mentioning Israel by name and Jerusalem by name, the faith in the Messiah. Speaking of lattices on that day there will be weeping and Jerusalem and he goes on to say each clan will mourn. Why the house of David with their wives in the house of Nathan with their wives in the house of Levi with their wives and so on is hard to imagine how that could be more particularly directed Israel than it is. If this is what was intended by the writer.

If this does report Israel. However, period of national repentance for Israel, then it's obviously still future because it's not something that is happened yet, and if it still future, then it is likely to be associated in my judgment with the events of the end time. This means that the first half of the chapter will be referring to that last great final battle, which is described elsewhere in Scripture. Revelation, among other books battle known as Armageddon and that the repentance we have in the second half of this will be a national charting of the Jews to faith in Christ at that time I said that the second and not the third is the majority opinion among reformed thinkers, but I have to point out in all honestly that is not a universal opinion among reformed thinkers. One of the commentaries on Zachariah, that is, help me most is been Thomas Moore's commentary on the prophets of the restoration.

Zachariah being one of them more pleasant.

Perhaps handle this exactly the way I'm going to handle it but he does see it as a time of national repentance for Israel. Now that's the way wrote the commentary been published by Banner of truth trust, among which there is nothing more reformed is interesting that in publishing that commentary the editors saw fit data in appendix to the commentary on Zachariah in which they rehash this whole matter of the application of this latter portion of the prophecy, they point out, they do so honestly and rightly, that the majority of the reformed commentators of been on the other side, and in particular they quote Thomas Chambers rate commentary the one that appears in the Langs Bible commentary as saying this has nothing to do with Israel.

It all has to do with the church and analyze all of that. Yet when they get to the end of it. I have an interesting conclusion they say while agreeing with Chambers that it's generally right to regard the church of the New Testament, Israel. We are like more that is the commentary they're adding the appendix to not satisfied that the meaning of these closing chapters of Zachariah can be fully explained in that way. Then they go on to cite some of the reformed search sources reported. Refer to George Hutchison. 17th century Scottish expositor who said the conversion of the Jews or Israel under the Messiah is not to be of some few only, but national of the body of that people. There will be real repentance among many of Thomas Boston, Scottish, evangelical and 18th-century road along the same lines, and even called Charles how much will in his great systematic theology in three volumes at one point refers to Zachariah 1212 as and I quote one of the express predictions of the Jews national conversion to faith, in whom him whom they had rejected and crucified. This, in my judgment, is the way these chapters have to be taken doesn't fit. We'd like to see in theology solution is to adjust our theology to the text rather than the text theology which is the proper way. If this refers to the final events that it refers to many, many final events.

The chapter has to be taken in that way. Charles Feinberg sums it up actual events world embracing and character which are presented in these chapters include world Confederacy against Jerusalem victory of God's people empowered of the Lord conviction of Israel nationally by the spirit of God. Presentation of Christ is the rejected Messiah in the national day of atonement the cleansing of the hearts of the nation. The purging of the land from idolatry and false prophets. Parenthetically, the crucifixion of the Messiah, the time of Jacob's trouble. The partial success of the nations invading Palestine of the siege of Jerusalem. The appearance of the Messiah for his people there rescue is coming with his saints changed renovated holy land establishment of the messianic kingdom. The punishment of the nations for their futile assault on Israel celebration of the kingdom feast, the feast of Tabernacles and the complete restoration of the people of God through a holy nation that's true, it would be hard to find a more complete treatment of the events of the end time anywhere in the Bible and certainly anywhere in the events Old Testament prophecy.

That's the way I propose to look at when we come to chapter 12 we find that it falls into three parts. There's an opening introductory statement defined in verses one to there's a description of this final battle which I regard as the battle of Armageddon. Chapters 3 through nine, and then there's this final section that has to do with repentance. Part of Israel. Let's look at the one of the time. First of all there's this thematic statement goes this way. This is the word of the Lord concerning Israel, the Lord who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him declares I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the nation the surrounding people really is a very interesting statement should be evident to you even as you read it superficially, that it refers back to Genesis because it's recapitulating the steps of God's original creation of the world. This is a summary of Genesis 1, the Lord who stretches out the heavens made the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth and the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him. These are the steps of the creation that you find in the first chapter of the Bible that significant, especially if this is talking about the last chapter of history as it were. In other words, if this is the case Zachariah is saying that the same God was present at the beginning and it was present along the way, is present at the end and he's the God with whom we had to deal I find something else interesting here. Notice as I read that that it uses not verbs presented in the past tense verbs in the present tense present participles God who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the spirit of man within him as an interesting theory. I think we have to call it a theory of theological surmise part of some reformed thinkers and others. Jonathan Edwards being among them that the world we know is sustained as it is not merely by the preserving power of God, but by what Edwards called a continuing active recreation in the sense that God didn't merely create the world once and then let it go like a big mechanical clock to work its way all down through history, gradually running down, but that he actually re-creates a moment by moment that it exists as we know it because it exists in the creative mind of God gone for a moment, would cease to create the world, the world would disappear in an instant. Perhaps that is what will happen one day because the prophecies of the very end time that we find elsewhere in the Bible speak of advantaging in an instant the heavens rolling up like a scroll zip gone that sort of thing that's the case then you have by the use of these participles very poignant point being made, namely that we exist as we exist because God is continually witness this is a God, with whom we have director well God, who identifies himself in this way God is the creator God was there at the beginning and will be there the end and was sustaining things now in the present moment, God identifies himself in this way now says what is going to do. Says he is going to use Jerusalem as a vehicle of final judgment. This is the image of the cop if I did all throughout prophets, and Isaiah, Jeremiah, among others. I'm going to make Jerusalem a cup couple judgment that sends all the surrounding peoples really June is going to be besieged is going to be a gathering of the nations against Israel, God's going to work and use Israel as the vehicle of his final judgment. That's an thematic statement of the second portion of this begins to talk about this final battle, or Armageddon Gen. Douglas MacArthur made a point saying that we are always talking about peace and men down through all the centuries of talk about peace, but warfare seems to be our greatest accomplishment and chief legacy certainly true.

The history of the human race written in blood. The earliest things we know about the race or counsel battles. The earliest art we have is military art of sculpture art we have in the world today goes back about: stated about the year 3000 BC and it's a ball relief of soldiers in full armor marching to battle the history of the race wars are scattered all throughout ancient history can tell the history of Greece without telling about the Peloponnesian war. Later, the wars inaugurated by Alexander the great. You can tell the history of Rome without a history of Rome's wars. Rome made war way of life.

Yet, in spite of the fact that Rome majored in warfare. Eventually, Rome itself was overcome by the barbarians and conflicts erupted all devastating power down through all the Middle Ages and up in the modern times before the 20th century, the most destructive of all the wars in the world was the 30 years war that ransacked Europe and ended in 1648 by early estimates three quarters of the Germanic speaking peoples died either directly through warfare or through related things such as famine and play even by more conservative estimates. Later the Encyclopaedia Britannica today. For example, giving these figures. One third of the Germanic speaking peoples died 7 million people during those 30 years, rather wars to follow that when we come to the 20th century we find the first world war. Having followed by the second, literally makes all previous warfare pale by comparison. 20 million people died in World War I yet within a generation same place by the same parties for the same reasons.

Second world war was fought in the medication 16 million people three times those in the earlier conflict lost their lives in the cost went from $340 billion is an estimate of $1.5 trillion. The cost of her fear quadrupled some years ago, U.S. News & World Report had an interesting little comment. They were talking about warfare in the world and they said that since World War II, there have been at least 12 limited wars in the world. 39 political assassinations 48 personal revolts 74 rebellions for independence 162 social revolutions, either political, economical, racial or religious. And I was in 1967. Since that time would have to increase the totals in every category.

Warfare characterizes the human race much more natural than you expect a great last final battle in warfare. Armageddon at the end of time. At any rate that's with these verses describe on that day, says God, all the nations of the Arthur going to gather together against Jerusalem, we can understand that even in political terms.

Today the oil of the area the desire to control commerce to that portion of the world. The kind of focusing of world tensions we see in the near East we could explain that tomorrow it would happen. Here we have a describe right now. The great gathering together against Jerusalem are going to have God intervening. First of all, strengthening his people to resist marvelous what he says he's going to do is going to raise up leaders among the people and they're going to be pillars of strength and even the normal people are going to become such heroes in that day that it's going to be said they were as David, the great hero King and warrior of ancient Israel not to think, however, that the deliverance is going to be by human force alone going to be by God by the strength of God because he says on that day I will set out to destroy all the nations attacked Jerusalem and increasing intensity of God's judgment against the nations of this first portion of the chapter and verse two is going to send the nations relaying that is shockproof to go to send them staggering backwards verse three. The next verse is going to injure them when they attacked Jerusalem the end. After the battle. Verse nine on that day all set out to destroy all the nations attacked Jerusalem and God's people. Well, here you have a great victory. This is the great victory of the people of God. Never in all the history of Israel, will there be a greater victory in Israel achieve in that day. Lots the Old Testament of the time of Moses and the Exodus from Egypt out of the conquests of the promised land of the command of Joshua lots under the expanded kingdom of the days of David King Solomon not in the days of the Maccabees with their great con quest not in any of those previous ages is are going to be anything to equal the great pricing defeat of the enemy and the great triumph for Israel is going to take place at this time and yet here at the height of the victory gone who assisted them to defeat their enemies now in a different sense exercises his power and brings about a defeat of them.

That is, he humbles the people revealing their sin and turns them from that faith in Jesus Christ. Here you have it in verse 10, I will pour out of the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplication happens by God spirit. Nobody ever comes to faith part, the spirit of God. They will look on me. The one they have pierced and mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for the firstborn son is really an astounding prophecy when you think about it, they will look on me one. They have pierced and mourn for him doesn't even seem to make sense if you think of God as a singular unity apart from the Trinity that look on me. That's obviously God because it's God speaking.

And yet God says me, will they have pierced, how can God be pierced. God is God. God is a spirit, infinite, eternal, unchangeable, and is being, wisdom, power, holiness, justice, goodness and truth, you can't pierce God unless God should become man take upon himself the human body dwell among us and subject himself to the hatred and wrath of mankind that happened yesterday. That is precisely what happened in the person of Jesus Christ. Only in view of the Trinity to Zachariah 1210 makes sense. They will look on me whom they have pierced and mourn for him as one mourns for an only child.

I will see you in Jesus Christ God incarnate, and they will recognize, and that day what they have done. I say that although this is a prophecy that has to do with Israel. As I believe emphasize a national repentance at the end of time. When Jesus Christ himself returns and there's more about it in the remainder of the book. This is nevertheless the same thing must happen whenever any man or woman returns from sin and find salvation, we find salvation we find by looking at ourselves now, you don't find salvation there, look to yourself. You only find the ones caused the problem, you don't find salvation in anything human where do we find we find it by looking to Jesus Christ, and who is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is the son of God incarnate Jesus Christ as the son of God incarnate to die for our salvation. One was pierced wounded for our iniquities. The chastisement of our peace was upon him is by his stripes that we've been healed. That's Jesus Christ.

Salvation comes in looking at that one and trusting him the salvation which he alone can provide. This is the way Charles Haddon Spurgeon was saved he was just a boy at the time he had intended to go to another church but it's particularly snowy morning kept him from doing it but instead to a primitive Methodist chapel that he never attended before because of the storm. The regular preacher wasn't there was a layman preaching. He stood up to preach on the textbook to the Lord Jesus Christ and be say that much to say about it yet and had taken time to prepare.

Perhaps he didn't even have the education that would allow him to explain in a profound way, but he certainly explained it for what it said.

He said, but this text says look to the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved. The first thing it says is look.

Many began to explain that that Mattie said anybody can look you don't have to be intelligence to look full. Good luck. You don't have to have a lot of money to look a poor person can look the matter who you are ready or higher low, rich or poor. Anyone can look at that's what the text says look. Notice also. He says it's is looking to me.

No use looking at yourself.

It's no use looking at your neighbors. It's no use looking to the government. It's no use looking around anywhere.

It says to may look to Jesus Christ and you look to Jesus Christ to be saved will be saved. Many pretty much exhausted what he had to say any looked up and he saw Spurgeon was sitting in the balcony young man. He said young man looked miserable. Spurgeon said it's truly wise but he wasn't used to being told that from the pulpit but in any way. The preacher continued yes miserable now and miserable and let you heed the words of my tax it says luck man luck, the Lord Jesus Christ be say it was a simple text Melissa in the proper sense it's a simple gospel is the gospel of the New Testament as well as the Old Testament of the gospel of Zachariah as well as the gospel of the epistles. They will look on me when they appears in looking in faith will be saved if you looked the Lord Jesus Christ. Starting from anything in yourself. This is the central message of Christianity are all sorts of other things are points of Christianity in which we differ, including our interpretation of the last chapters of Zachariah. But on this no true Christian differs salvation is in Christ. Salvation is by faith in Christ you not look to Christ.

If your faith is not in Christ and what is done up on the cross for your sin, you are not saved. The gospel message is for you above all look look to Jesus and find there the salvation that you desperately need.

Let us pray our father Leslie's words to us grant that we might grow in our understanding of them. But above all that we might grow in our faith in him whom you have sent to be our Savior help us to see our guilt in his crucifixion for its our sin that took Jesus to the cross. Help us to see the wickedness of our heart wickedness which if we had been in the same circumstance would've led us to shout out the Bob crucify him, crucify him, but help us.

We pray as well to see your grace though you knew how Jesus would be treated nevertheless send him your only begotten son to be our Savior and help us.

We pray to be moved by that love and drawn to him was the Savior. Amen. You have been listening to the Bible study our production of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals the alliance of confessing Evangelicals exist to promote a biblical understanding and worldview. Drawing upon the insight and wisdom of Reformation theologians from decades, even centuries gone by. We seek to provide contemporary Christian teaching that will equip believers to understand and meet the challenges and opportunities of our time and place.

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