Summary: The return of Messiah to earth causes the period of overhauling or restoration of all things which God has said would be restored (Acts 3:21).
ZECHARIAH 14: 8-15
THE BLESSINGS OF RESTORATION
The return of Messiah to earth causes the period of overhauling or restoration of all things which God has said would be restored (Acts 3:21). The grand finale of Christ's appearing is the establishment of His Kingdom over all the earth. The establishment of His Kingdom is preceded by supernatural convulsions of the earth which cause great physical and spiritual changes to take place in Palestine. And out of Jerusalem will flow abundant blessings of rejuvenation into all the earth.
Part of God's restoration is the establishment of the city of the Great King. Yet before Jerusalem can be exalted to her proper position as the religious and governmental capital of earth, God will need to deal with the anti-Christian hordes around Jerusalem. He will strike them severely for their villainous crimes against Him and His people.
I. The Land Restored, 14:8-11.
II. The Land Cleansed, 14:12-15.
The appearing of the exalted One will bring about great topographical changes in the whole earth but particularity in Jerusalem. Verse 8 depicts the life healing waters that will then flow out of Jerusalem. "And it will come about in that day that living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea, it will be in summer as well as in winter."
God, with whom nothing is impossible, will bring about topographical changes in the whole land which are described here and in other Scriptures. A main feature in the change is water. In a semi-arid country such as Palestine, water was always a great blessing. In earth's golden age water will flow forth abundantly from Jerusalem. The waters are literal waters which are also representative of the spiritual blessings which also will flow from Jerusalem. These blessings are characterize by holiness (Isa. 4:3-4), strength (Isa. 35:3-4), and restoration (Ezek. 36:16-37:28).
Zechariah points out three features of these waters. They are living, they are abundantly available for the whole land (or earth), and that they never fail. "Living waters" are waters that facilitate life; or that manifest signs of life by moving in fresh fullness as a running brook or river, or gurgling from a perennial spring or bubbling up in a well. Living waters which gush forth cold, fresh, and exhilarating to the taste depict the true blessings which come from God in contrast to the seeping murky flow that the broken cisterns of sin offer.
In the ancient world cities were built near rivers, but not Jerusalem. "In that day" Jerusalem and Israel will no longer lack what any earthly paradise must have, an abundant supply of fresh water (Gen. 2:10-14). The earthquake that splits the mountains and perhaps causes the river to flow, apparently will also elevate Jerusalem and it will become a watershed plateau with the flowing of the Living Waters dividing themselves between seas. [Years ago, when Sheraton Hotel Corporation was looking at the Mount of Olives as a potential building site, an environmental impact study showed that, due to a major fault running right through the Mount of Olives, they could not continue construction. The impact study not only discovered an east to west fault line, but seismologists also said a massive amount of water would break through if the quake were severe enough. [Jon Couson's Application Com. OT Vol. 2. Thomas Nelson, 2006. p 913] The western sea which they flow to is the Mediterranean. The eastern sea is the Dead Sea which shall be healed by the living water.
The reason the Dead Sea is presently so deadly, the reason it cannot support life of any kind is because, although seven million tons of water gush into it every day, there is no outlet. And, because of that, the water is stagnant. In our Christian experience, along with input there must be outflow. If we're just taking in the Word, we'll become like the Dead Sea unless we share it with others.
Water in Scripture is a symbol of purification, spiritual life, and refreshment. [It is symbolic of true spiritual life given in salvation (Jer. 2:13; Jn. 4:10; 7:38).] God is the source of the effects of this river, for He is the source of all spiritual blessings that man and nature need.
When Jesus comes back these living waters will flow all year round, never to run dry. Even the Dead Sea will undergo a change. It will be flooded with a new source of water that will flow into it and out of it (see verse 10). Wherever this new river flows it "will be for the healing of the nations." See Isaiah 33:21; Hab. 2:14; Joel 3:18; Revelations 22:1-2. [Ezekiel 47:1-12 also describes a life giving river springing from under the threshold of the sanctuary, flowing eastward with increasing depth dispensing fertility and prosperity to the entire desert region.] That's always the way it is. Wherever the work of the Spirit flows, things change. The water of life-the Spirit of the Living God-always brings healing.