This teaching on Zechariah chapter 11-12 was given on 3rd July 2022 at Calvary Portsmouth by pastor Barry Forder.
In these incredible chapters the answer is given as to why God has not yet poured out on Israel the blessings that were foretold and promised back in chapter 10.
- “This Chapter explains why the blessings and promises of the previous chapter are in abeyance for Israel. By rejecting their true Shepherd-Messiah at his first advent, they will experience rejection themselves, climaxing in their accepting of the false shepherd in the time of their greatest woe”. – Dr Chuck Missler
Zechariah reveals that, following the Babylonian captivity, rather than repenting and turning to God, Israel’s ‘shepherd’s (their national leaders) had continued the same unjust and corrupt behavior that brought judgment on the nation before. So, in the same manner, there will be a time of woe and desolation for the Nation before the time of blessing (already foretold in this book) will begin.
God had made a covenant with Israel to keep the gentile nations restrained so long as Israel walked with God. But if they forsook that covenant God would forsake them and scatrter them among the nations of this world – but even then His grace and mercy would hear their cry, when in their anguish they repented and called out to Him. See Lev 18:24-30 / Deut 4:26-31 / Deut 28
Chapter 11 opens with the declaration that judgment was coming from the north (vs 1-3), not this time from the Babylonians, but rather from Rome.
In verse 4 however, prior to the judgment coming, God calls for the Messiah, Israel’s Shepherd, to feed the flock, even though they would reject His words.
- The Shepherd depicted by Zechariah can only be the Messiah. The reason they were called “the flock of slaughter” sprang from the fact that slaughter was their irrevocable destiny, just so long as the Jews preferred their own evil shepherds to the True One. Zechariah’s instruction here to “Feed the flock” refers to Christ himself coming into the ranks of the Chosen People to instruct and lead them in the paths of righteousness. “Last of All“* God sent his Son in the hope of averting their self-motivated dash to destruction” – James Coffman#
Verses 6-11 then proceed to lay out the coming judgment where Israel will be handed over to the gentiles.
In verse 12-13 we see the prophecy of Israel’s rejection of their Messiah at the hands of Judas, for 30 pieces of silver – the price of a slave. The tragic irony of this is that, not only did Israel reject their true Shepherd, they will embrace a false shepherd – Antichrist.
Jesus Himself said: “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive”. (John 5:43)
Verse 15-17 introduce us (again) to this false-shepherd who will come in his own name, and seek to devour the sheep! – so much so that Israel will face the greatest affliction in their history at the hands of Antichrist during the coming time of Tribulation (referred to by Jeremiah as the ‘time of Jacob’s trouble’ – Jeremiah 30:7).
Antichrist will bring together the nations of the world in an unprecedented wave of antisemitism, and Jerusalem – a city mentioned over 800 times in the Bible – will become the touch-paper that will lead to the climactic battle of Armageddon.
However, in the midst of this affliction, God will pour upon Israel the ‘the spirit of grace and of supplications’ (Ch 11 v10), and they will suddenly realise that Yeshua (Jesus) is, and always has been, their Messiah! Then it will dawn on them that they have been wrong about Jesus, horribly wrong! It will produce such an intense sorrow and national mourning from the leaders of the nation to the ordinary Jew.
We see in this a Biblical principle that should fill us with great comfort; for it doesn’t matter how far away our children, family members or friends go away from the LORD, it doesn’t matter if they reject Him altogether (as Israel did Jesus), IF they repent and turn to Him, even in the lowest and hardest of times, God is merciful and, like with the prodigal son, there is a tender welcome awaiting from the Father for all who (re)turn to Him!
May you be blessed and encouraged by this study.