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A Fountain Opened in Israel

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
June 24, 2020 8:00 am

A Fountain Opened in Israel

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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June 24, 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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Welcome to the Bible studio reviewing ministry of the alliance of convincing you to join featuring the Bible teaching of Dr. James Bortz for more information please contact us by calling toll-free one 804 88 18 and now the alliance is pleased to present the Bible study our repairing you to think and act biblically today were turning to the 13th chapter of Zachariah.

Next to the last chapter of this very important and next to the last book of the Old Testament.

We do we need to say that this chapter which deals with forgiveness and cleansing for Israel is very closely linked to chapter 12 comes immediately before you can see that in a number of ways. Chapter 13 begins on that day find that same phrase, just a few verses before and chapter 1211.

On that day the same verse in chapter 13 speaks of the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, you find that in verse 10 chapter immediately preceding the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

So if there were just those two things to go on, you recognize that the two chapters go together that they are speaking about one day that they concern one people. People are the Jews, and the time is indicated when we were studying chapter 12 is a time of great national repentance in the last days, but the connection is even more important, the match, the verses immediately before chapter 13 talk about repentance time of repentance for sin and looking upon the one who's been pierced.

Obviously, the Lord Jesus Christ. Chapter 13 then talks about forgiveness for sin and the cleansing from impurity.

Obviously those two go together in a close theological sequence because when there has been repentance of sin and turning to Christ crucified.

There follows from that, the forgiveness of sin in the cleansing that we need other words, what we have here in these two chapters. Taken together, is simply a principle that you find everywhere in the word of God. In Chronicles 714, for example of my people are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

Or if were to take a verse from the New Testament we have first John 19 if we confess our sin, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness on a certain way. That's the theme of the chapter that were going to deal whether that's the connection of chapters 12 and 13, 20 chapter 13 the first verse deserves to stand all by itself because it's a thematic verse introduces the idea of a fountain being opened in Israel fountain from which will come cleansing the fountain of God's blessing is something that you find elsewhere in the Old Testament. It's not a new idea though. Zachariah's treatment here the end of the Old Testament, might be a high point in the Bible's handling of the theme. Psalm 36 verse nine says, for with you is the fountain of life in your light we see light or Jeremiah says my people have committed two sins they forsaken me, the spring of living water, and they've dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water. Or, again, Ezekiel says I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your iniquity and impurities and from all your idols guided imagery that Zachariah is drawing on it is probably the case.

As I suggested that we have a high point in the treatment of this image herein, 13th chapter of Zachariah because Zachariah develops it in a way which theologically we would say speaks of forgiveness from the penalty of sin and cleansing from sins contamination in other words, it speaks of justification.

On the one hand and sanctification on the other is what he means. Presumably when he speaks of cleansing from sin and impurity and traces both back to that fountain, which is the fountain of God's eye. What is that fountain what is that stand for both in the context and also in the context of the Bible as a whole.

It can't be anything other than the fountain which is provided by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ shed for our sin. This I say is in the context because immediately before this in the previous chapter there, looking upon him whom they have pierced from the pierced Christ comes the fountain of blood which cleanses us from our sin.

I think this is what John the evangelist had in mind and had in mind at all of these dimensions when he came to write his gospel and called special attention. As you know to that issue of blood and water from the side of Christ when he was pierced by the Roman spear very interesting section of John's Gospel, John has been building up to the crucifixion of Christ. For many chapters sees describe the trial at length that he comes to the death of Christ and it seems from a literary point of view almost to be in anticlimax the way he handles that he just simply says then they crucified him when he died. At that point. Strangely enough, he begins to talk at length about something that we would think was peripheral.

He says that it was the day of the preparation and because the Jews didn't want the bodies to be left on the cross during the Sabbath.

They asked to have the legs of those were crucified broken so they die quicker person being crucified to keep himself alive longer by pushing himself up with his legs and relieving the pressure of his diaphragm when the legs were broken. It was an act of mercy. The man died sooner. This is what they ask might be done to Jesus.

John described all this. He says how the soldiers went to break the legs of the men were crucified and they broke the legs of the thieves were crucified with Jesus one on the right on in the lab when they came to Jesus.

They didn't break his legs because he was already dead and then just to make sure that he was dead.

Apparently the soldiers took a spear and thrust it into his side and John describes what happened saying that out of that wound there came forth a sudden flow of blood and water and then estimate the point even stronger and at this point were beginning to wonder why in the world is John spending so much time with what seems to us to be such an insignificant detail. He says, speaking presumably about himself. The man now who saw this is given testimony and his testimony is true and he knows that he tells the truth that he testifies to it so you also may believe that when he gets to the end of all that he gives to text from the Old Testament which these events fulfilled the first but one of his bones will be broken. Psalm 34 verse 20 in the second they will look on the one they have pierced from Zachariah 12 verse 10 of the fulfillment of the prophecies is remarkable in itself.

For this reason is the exact opposite of what you'd expect. It was natural in a Roman crucifixion for the legs to be broken. It was not natural and Roman crucifixion for a spear to be thrust into the victim side what happened to the two thieves was exactly what you'd expect to be have happened there legs were broken. There was no spear thrust with Jesus was exactly the opposite is legs were not broken but there was a spear thrust. Why says John, obviously to fulfill the prophecies of the quotes. As I said Psalm 34 verse 20 and Zechariah 1210 that's remarkable enough, but in addition all of this. John puts that great emphasis upon the flow of the blood of the water from the side of the stricken Christ that he says I've seen it and I bear witness to it, and I want you to know that I bear witness to it in order that you may believe in."

The text going on with John thinking when he does that. The very fact that he quotes from Zachariah should be a clue say when John saw that Blondin water flow from the side of the stricken Christ must've thought as any Jew would think of the symbolism of the two elements. Blood, which in all of the temple sacrifices spoke of the death of the innocent on behalf of the guilty and so provided atonement for sin and water provided the cleansing and all the purification rights of the temple forgiveness from sin and cleansing from sin.

Those two things, and when he saw that happen and he saw the spear thrust to be remembered. The text way back there in the 12th chapter of Zachariah, his mind, knowing those tax must've gone on to the text, which is the thematic text of the chapter were looking at namely, that on that day. Fountain will be open to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to cleanse them from their sin and impurity see what he saying he saying cleansing and forgiveness, from the death of the Lord Jesus Christ and from faith in him. They come from nothing else. Therefore, the death of Jesus Christ on the cross and all it signifies stands at the very focal point of history.

This is what many Christians are recognized and incorporated in our hymns. On of them says there is a fountain filled with blood drawn from the manuals they sinners plunged beneath that flood all their guilty stains. The dying thief rejoiced to see that fountain in his day, and there may I though violence he washed all my sins away ever since. By faith I saw the screen by flowing wound supply redeeming love is been my theme and shall be till I die. I asked the question of you been washed that fountain of you found forgiveness in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. If that's not happened on the rest of the chapters and for you stop right there and say yes I want the Lord Jesus Christ to be my Savior. I want that stream to be my fountain. I want to be washed from my sin, in order that I might stand before God and that final day. The second section of this chapter deals with the purification of the land to see if we have experienced a genuine forgiveness of our sin and the personal purification it's going to spill over to our environment and since these chapters are talking about a general blessing and purification of Israel.

In the latter days. The land itself is going to be affected all of Israel all the land I talks about several things. Here, but he focuses primarily on the two besetting sins of Israel back in the days of the decline of Israel in the northern kingdom before that kingdom fell to the Assyrians in 721 BC or took place in the decline of the southern kingdom before that kingdom fell to the Babylonians in 586 BC. The two problems were idolatry on the one hand, and false prophets. On the other. They always went together at times. There were lots of false prophets in Israel first Kings the story of Elijah up on the mountain challenging the false prophets of bail number 450 false prophets. On that occasion, but only one Elijah little later on the 22nd chapter of that same book there is a story of the false prophets of Samaria who were collected they are around Ahab. There were 400 and that time and only one faithful prophet.

The prophet Michalak 400, 450 land was filled with false prophets, but says Zachariah in the day of the forgiveness of the nation and the cleansing from sin.

All of the idolatry of all of the false prophecy is going to be put away believe the truth of God is going to prevail as a couple things about it, he says.

First of all he's going to banish the names of the idols from the land so that they won't even be remembered blessing that will be. We know how sin clings to us in our memory even when we renounce the sin we confess and ask for forgiveness renounce intern from the memory of the city is still there is one reason why sin is such a bad thing to get caught up in it so hard to get free know how it was with St. Augustine.

He was trying to reform himself.

He went into almost a monastic seclusion and he was there meditating upon the Bible, but he said that his he did it was still thinking about the dancing girls back in Rome he couldn't get it out of his mind the kind of life you live here.

Is God saying that these idols will be remembered no more. You know I hope that means I'm not sure it means but I hope that means that I will also carry over to us. We told the one thing God does with our sin is put it so far out of his sight that he remembers it no more. Here we remember it and is one of the problems we face not be true in eternity. I think it must be that there is.

God remembers our sin no more.

So we will remember our sin no more want to be good to be free from that second thing he says here skills taking about the purification of the land is not day. If anybody does prophesy that is not a true prophet because it will be no need for one.

Then, but a false prophet. People will be some solace for the cause of God that they'll see that that false prophet is put out of the land that even his parents will be instrumental in doing away with in Deuteronomy and says of the false prophet is to die. You have mentioned several times in the book of Deuteronomy, even the parents will participate in the execution, says Zachariah. So solace will people be in that day that God's truth be maintained and he says, and I suppose in these words cease thinking hypothetically. But I he says that in that day if there should be a prophet around he's going to be so ashamed of what is done to hide the fact is going to go back to Farmington. Barry is off its garment and say no you got it wrong if you think that I was a prophet. I never did anything like that and if they point to them and say what are those wounds on your body, and I think the explanation of that is of the false prophets in their ecstasies and fervor of prophecy would sometimes cut themselves with knives and swords. It says explicitly in the case of the 400 false prophets of bail amount caramel that that's what they did. Wounds would remain if in this case, they point to those wounds and say what are those wounds on your body, don't they show that you used to be a false prophet. The man is going to say no, no, it's not that wounds are those I was given in the house of my friends. It's a great puzzle what that last sentence means, but it's obviously evasive might mean I I had an accident when I was a child. Some commentators have interpreted that way might be an ironic allusion to the house of the idols slows. I used to think were my friends. Turns out they're not my friends at all. When a writer sees trying to get off the hook.

Zachariah says that's what's going to happen in that day because when my people turn from their sediment call upon me, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sin and heal their land.

Here is the fulfillment of that in the healing of the land that day on the last section of this third section of this chapter is really a marble. It has to do with the death of the shepherd. This is another one of those interesting flashbacks, but we haven't Zachariah whenever he seems to talk about the work of Christ. It did were not that he's thinking theologically and say that this was a chronological mistake. He's got it out of order. We saw one in chapter 9 chapter 9 he talked about the invasions of Alexander the great that he talked about the coming of Zion, skating, and then he talked about the wars of the Maccabees last two would be out of order.

If he was thinking chronologically it ought to be the coming of Alexander the wars of the Maccabees and then the coming of Christ is not thinking chronologically's thinking theologically. Therefore, having talked about the great king of Greece. He talks about the great king of Israel, the true King Jesus becoming one does the same thing here. Just talked about wounds. Wounds inflicted in the house of the false prophets.

Now he talks about the one who endured the right wounds for our salvation. He talked about false shepherds that we talked about the true shepherds. He talked about the people looking upon him whom they had pierced.

Now he talks about the piercing of that one on whom they are looking interesting thing about it is that he brings God in the picture, and in an interesting way is a Waco sword against my shepherd. This is God speaking against the man was close to me this is God speaking, declares the Lord Almighty strike the shepherd. This is God speaking in the sheep will be scattered. I will turn my hand against the little ones are two puzzles there. How can God say that the good Shepherd, not a full shepherd now, but a good Shepherd should be struck seems unjust. This seems such a puzzle to some critical scholars but without any textual warrant whatsoever. They take this portion of Zachariah 13 and move it over to the end of Zachariah 11 where they're talking about a full shepherd seems proper there according to the critical scholars you don't understand any theology in look at these things the way a child might look at a book, a very smart child, the one without any spiritual perception. I miss what's going on here, but at least I recognize there is a problem. How can God strike, not the false shepherd, but the true shepherd the good Shepherd.

There's a problem for the worst is the problem that he talks about himself in a special relationship to the shepherd is not merely my shepherd, but it's the one who is close to me. Commentators understand the implications of the Hebrew phrase there say that that doesn't simply mean my good buddy somebody I like that one was a blood relation relative a member of the family.

How can God Almighty speak that way about a mere man solution course is that he is not speaking about a mere man is speaking about the son of man, Jesus Christ, God, man, and so the solution to that problem is the solution of the incarnation and the meaning of the verse how God can strike the good Shepherd is the doctrine of the atonement is the righteous one. Jesus dies in the place of the ungodly. He is going to be struck. He is going to be pierced, but as Isaiah says is pierced for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities.

The chastisement of our peace was upon him with his stripes we are healed.

Is the message of the gospel here in Zachariah as in Isaiah and his many places in the Scripture last phrase there. I will turn my hand against the little ones is possibly a misleading translation goddess turned his hand once, and what the phrase actually says is I'm going to turn my hand back upon the little ones. I would take it as meaning that the hand of God has been displayed against the nation once in judgment but now that hand is coming back in a different way upon those who make themselves little the humble of the land is going to bless them and that day is true there is going to be a judgment. Two thirds are going to be struck down in Parrish one third is going to be left the blessing of God is going to be seen and that one third know when God speaks here of judgment. Two thirds being struck down and perishing in the scattering of the sheep. Think back to the time of Christ were Jesus himself use those words on the night of his arrest he was going to explain what was going to happen any said, haven't you read, it's there in Zachariah L. Strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered, and he was arrested that night the sheep were scattered was a scattering which historically has gone down through all the years of Jewish history up to the present time, and will continue until the final day about which this prophecy speaks scattering of Israel scattering for one reason or another in one place or another, but awaiting the day of God's final blessing and perishing as well and pointed out by many commentators on this passage that literally certain periods of history you could say two thirds of the people of parish and perhaps happen the first time when the Romans overthrew Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and some years later have a generation later under the bar capo revolts thousands upon thousands upon thousands perished in those days in the Middle Ages is the result of one persecution or another against the Jews's estimated by reliable calculations, or perhaps only 1 million Jews were left all the earth as we know to bring it on down to more contemporary times. Under the Nazi.

6 million Jews perished as a result of Hitler's hatred. Many perished and God says many more will perish here at the last time, but says God even in those times I'm going to be active there in grace and the remnant is going to be spared and I am going to take that third that final third and refine them like silver and testing like gold and the time is going to come, says God when they will call on my name and I will answer them. They'll say they are my people, and I will say they are my people, and they will say the Lord is our Lord is our God come to the end of this chapter. In your mind just has to go back to the beginning of the book of the minor prophets in the prophecy of Hosea, where virtually these identical words occur way back at the beginning before any of the minor prophets that we been studying. Yet the story of the Jewish people told in the history of Hosea, the prophet and Gomer's unfaithful wife had three children.

God name the children. The children were given symbolic names was just really meant scattered was lower llama meant, not pitied was low on the event, not my people because God said time is coming when I'm in the scatter my people to Jews because of their sin.

They're not going to be pitied and there's a whole period of history where they're not going to be called like people anymore story of the minor prophets is that history from those I had one in Zachariah or Malachi. On the other. That began to take place and the people were scattered in the judgments of those days of continued on down to our own time, but as I said God directed him in the writing that the time was coming when the names of the children would be changed in Jezreel meeting scattered would be changed. Jezreel meeting planted because God said I'm to gather them again and I'm in a bring them back and I'm in a plant them in their land that I going to take lower llama which means not pitied and change that the roof, which means pitied because I want to show pity on the people again and even Lalani not my people. I'm in the change that name and it's going to become me by people because in that day there going to be called children of the living God's way. Hosea says at the end of the second chapter verse 23 I will planter for myself in the land I will show my love to the one I called Mont my loved one.

I will say to those called, not my people. You are my people, and they will say you are my God now book Zachariah 13 nine I will say they are my people, they will say the Lord is our God, all the greatness of the love of God, all the faithfulness of our God, to the world for its love the world will prove unfaithful look to the world for grace, the world's most ungracious to God was provided all love, all grace and favor through that one was pierced for our iniquities bruised for our sin. Let us pray our father, bless these words to us we don't deserve a blessing, but your blessing, giving God these words are given to be an encouragement and a blessing to your people grant that we might be among those who are called by your name. Those who have looked on him who has been pierced grant by the work of your spirited many might be drawn to faith in him and come to that time when like the Jews in that distant day when they are blessed and gathered together again is your people. We too might look to you and say the Lord is our God and here you say yes you are my people, we pray it in the name of Christ our Lord. 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.

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