The Book of Zechariah
THE RESTORATION OF ISRAEL
1. I am going to speak tonight on one of the great themes of the book of Zechariah. In fact, it is one of the great themes of the Bible – the restoration of Israel.
2. The time of the latter rain (10:1) is spring (March and April). God’s blessings, both spiritual and material, are compared to an outpouring of rain.
3. These prophecies have not yet been fulfilled. They can only be fulfilled at the second coming of Christ, when Israel will be back in the land, restored, repentant, forgiven, and converted.
I. THE RESTORATION OF ISRAEL WILL BRING SHOWERS OF BLESSINGS (10:1).
1. I agree with the Scofield Study Bible, which says about 10:1, “Cf. Hosea 6:3; Joel 2:23-32; Zechariah 12:10. There is both a physical and spiritual meaning: Rain as of old will be restored to Palestine, but, also, there will be a mighty effusion of the Spirit upon restored Israel.”
2. Notice the Scofield Bible says, “there will be a mighty effusion of the Spirit upon restored Israel.” Not the church, but “restored Israel.”
3. The Pentecostals and charismatics say that this “latter rain” is being poured out upon them, but this does not line up with the Bible. In fact, the Pentecostal “latter rain movement” has been marked by false doctrine and confusion.
II. THE RESTORATION OF ISRAEL WILL TAKE PLACE WHEN CHRIST RETURNS (10:4-8).
1. The coming Messiah is seen here in three prophetic pictures:
(1) “The corner” (10:4), i.e., the cornerstone (cf. Isa. 28:16; Eph. 2:20). “Out of Him (Judah; cf. 10:3)…”
(2) “The nail” (10:4; cf. Isa. 22:22, 23). Isaiah 22 is referred to in Revelation 3:7. On Christ – and Christ alone – will rest the hope and trust of His people.
(3) “The battle bow” (10:4). The Messiah will be the great military leader of His people. He will put Israel’s oppressors to flight. Exodus 15:3 says, “The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.” Revelation 19:11-15 says, “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God” (cf. Zech. 14:3).
2. Joseph, like his son Ephraim, represents the northern kingdom of Israel (Zech. 10:6, 7). These Scriptures remind us that Israel and Judah will be regathered, reunited, and restored when our Lord returns (cf. Isa. 11:10-13; Jer. 33:7; Ezek. 37:15-22).
3. God will “hiss” (Zech. 10:8) for His people like a shepherd whistles for his sheep (cf. Isa. 5:26; 7:18, 19).
4. God has redeemed them (10:8), both physically (in the Exodus) and spiritually (at the cross).
5. The founding of the modern state of Israel in 1948 is a prelude to the fulfillment of this passage – “they shall increase as they have increased” (10:8).
III. THE RESTORATION OF ISRAEL MEANS THE JEWS WILL RETURN TO THEIR HOMELAND (THE “PROMISED LAND”)
1. Zechariah 10:9 describes God’s judgment upon Israel – “And I will sow them among the (Gentile) people,” Israel’s repentance – “and they shall remember Me in far countries,” and Israel’s return – “and turn again.”
2. The Jews have been scattered and dispersed “among the people…in far countries” but now they are starting to return to Israel.
3. The LORD said, “And they shall remember Me in far countries” (Zech. 10:9; cf. Ezek. 6:8, 9).
4. First there must be repentance. Then comes restoration (cf. Zech. 1:1-6).
5. Egypt and Assyria (Zech. 10:10), two ancient enemies of Israel, represent the south and the north.
6. Note that Gilead and Lebanon are referred to as being part of Israel (10:10). Their boundaries will be greatly increased and expanded during the millennial kingdom, according to the original boundaries God promised to the Israelites (cf. Genesis 15:18-21; Exodus 23:30, 31; Joshua 1:4).
7. And yet even with these expanded boundaries, Israel will be overcrowded – “and place shall not be found for them” (10:10b; cf. Isa. 49:20; 54:1-3).
8. Assyria, Israel’s haughty neighbor to the north, “shall be brought down” (Zech. 10:11; cf. Isa. 10:12; Zeph. 2:13).
9. There is no Assyria today. The Assyrians have been assimilated into Iraq and Iran, Syria, and Turkey.
The doctrine of the Trinity is clearly taught in the NT, but it is also intimated in the OT (cf. Zech. 10:12; 2:8, 9).