“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, When they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.” — Zechariah 12:2
It’s impossible to read the Bible and not see the emphasis on Israel. If you are Jewish, then this should be quite exciting. But if you are not, you might think, “What’s the big deal? Why all this talk about Israel, Jerusalem, and the Jews?”
The answer to that question is bigger than can be explained in one devotion, but here is a short summary:
- God created the world. Man sinned. God promised a Saviour (Gen 3:15).
- Mankind continued to sin, so God started a special nation with Abraham (Gen 12:-13).
- That nation, Israel was to be a light to the whole world and would be the ones through whom the Saviour would come.
- When they rejected their Saviour, God used it to bring salvation to the whole world (Rom 11:11).
- Though during this church age, national Israel has been set aside for a time, God still has future plans for them (Rom 11:25-29).
- Everything that God has done and will do with Israel has always been for the benefit of everyone. (Gen 12:3 “in thee [Abraham] shall all families of the earth be blessed.”
So, as we read about the things God is promised to do for Israel in Zechariah, it should excited we who are non-Jews because we know that what God does for Israel is always for the benefit of the whole world.
When Christ came, He died to save the whole world. When He returns, He will bring judgment on all nations who rebel against Him and His people Israel (Zech 12:1-5). He will save Israel from their enemies (12:6-9) and from their sins (12:10-14). They will “look upon me whom they have pierced and they shall mourn for him.” (v.10). They will realise that Jesus was their Saviour and they crucified Him. They finally repent and believe which is crucial to Christ setting up His kingdom on this earth. That kingdom in Israel will benefit the whole earth.
So, as we watch Jerusalem and Israel, as we see nations surround her, as we see her enemies abound, as we see Israel back in the land, as we see Jerusalem being like a cup of trembling and a burdensome stone – let us be excited to anticipate that: Christ is coming back, Christ is going to fulfill His promises to Israel, and we who believe benefit from all that He will do in and through Israel.