by Sean Mills
This week’s questions:
Read Zechariah 14
1. Zechariah’s prophecy ends by exclaiming what the ultimate Day of the LORD will be like. This concept is noted frequently in the Bible’s prophetic literature (cf. Isa 2:12 & Joel 1:15). It typically involves judgement against unbelievers (or other nations), washing away sin from God’s people and salvation for believers. Compare Zech 14:1-9 with Isa 27 and Amos 5:18-20. Describe the situation of the God’s people ‘on that day.’ Describe the situation of the enemies of God.
2. Verse twelve says, “And the LORD will send a plague on all the nations that fought against Jerusalem. Their people will become like walking corpses, their flesh rotting away.” Perhaps used in a more figurative sense here, this is not the first time God used the ‘plague’ against His people’s enemies (see Ex 7-10). Zechariah’s plague seems to set Jerusalem’s enemies against one another instead of her (vv. 13, 15). In the context of the ‘Day of the LORD’ this presents an even darker situation for God’s enemies. Are there any similarities between the way Pharaoh treated God’s people and the way the the various nations of Zechariah’s time treated them (Assyria, Babylon, Persia)? Are there parts of the world where Christians suffer for the sake of their faith today? Do you presume their enemies’ situation will be as dire as that predicted in the prophets?
3. Zechariah’s prophecy uses a common epithet to refer to God. He refers to God as ‘the LORD of Heaven’s Armies’ (lit. Yahweh of Hosts or Yahweh’s Armies) fifty-three times. His use is only rivaled by Jeremiah (fifty-six times). Scholars debate the precise meaning of the phrase but most agree that it refers to God’s power or might; a theme certainly not lost on Zechariah. How has Zechariah’s prophecy depicted God’s power and might? How has his prophecy depicted it concerning the Day of the LORD? What does His power mean to you personally? How has He been a powerful Presence in your life?