Summary: The Satan led forces siege & capture Jerusalem & plunder with the intent of once & for all stamping out Christianity on earth. In this hour of their sorest need when all seems lost, "the Messiah Returns" as the pivotal event causing the dramatic reversal
ZECHARIAH 14: 1-7
THE MESSIAH'S RETURN
The ultimate goal of all history is the Lord's personal appearance and reign. But before the literal and full manifestation of His Kingdom, the earth must experience the throes of rebirth pangs called the great tribulation.
The previous chapters have been preparing the scene for the return of the Messiah in glory to establish the Kingdom in Israel. Zechariah's name means God remembers. And here within the last chapter is the climax of all Zechariah's prophetic predictions when God comes to prove that He remembers His covenants and promises and establishes His earthly Kingdom.
During the second half of the seven years, repentant Jerusalem has been refined and tested by the heat of anti-Christ forces. Apparently the Confederacy of Nations has returned with all its physical and spiritual might to crush and eradicate this the strongest and largest Christian stronghold and refuge. [Others see this invasion as the same event depicted in Zechariah 12, but with different details.] The Satan led forces siege and finally capture Jerusalem and are plundering it with the intent of once and for all stamping out Christianity on earth. In this hour of their sorest need when all seems lost, "the Messiah Returns" as the pivotal event causing the dramatic reversal from defeat to victory.
I. The Final Siege of Jerusalem, 14:1-3.
II. The Physical Return of Christ, 14:4-7.
The day of the Lord is the time when the Lord intervenes directly, physically, obviously in human history. In Hebrew culture, the day begins with the setting rather than with the rising of the sun. Therefore, although the day of the Lord begins in the darkness of the Tribulation, it ends in the glorious brightness of Jesus' Second Coming.
I. THE FINAL SIEGE OF JERUSALEM, 14:1-3.
The opening picture thus is one of apparent hopelessness and helplessness for God's people. It is against this backdrop of darkest despair that the radiant glory of Christ's return is set. Let us follow as the hand of Scripture paints the scene starting in verse 1 of chapter 14. "Behold, a day of the LORD is coming when the spoils taken from you will be divided among you."
Verse one anticipates what is spelled out more fully in thw following verses. The Lord starts with a message that will help us reason out why He brings this terrible situation to His people's door step. This situation comes about so the Lord can return the spoils of victory to His people. The spoils are called your spoils (fem sg). These spoils are what should have come to Israel because of the covenant and promises of God but were allowed to be "taken from" her because of her disobedience to God's commands throughout the centuries.
What better way to receive the spoils than have your enemy unwittingly bring them to your door as their preparations for war. That is certainly something to behold but we will behold something infinitely greater in this passage.
The event is "a day of the LORD" by idiom and by context, a day that is coming for the Lord. This day is distinctively and preeminently His, the day when Christ returns and dispossesses Satan and his henchmen from their usurpation of the earth. A day when Christ establishes His Reign of Righteousness and Peace throughout the world [Isa. 2:12; 4:1-2; 11:10; 13:9; Amos 9:11; Joel 1:15; 2:1-2; Zephaniah 1:14-18; Mal. 4:15].
The day of (or for) the Lord, begins with hardship and brutality as the nations of the world come against Israel as is again proclaimed in verse 2.
"For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished, and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city."
"For I will gather" is a reminder that the Sovereign Lord is in complete control. He is the Lord of History and He is moving it to His conclusion. Yet He does not incite these nations to hostility. He simply uses their hostility for His own purposes. God desires to have these evil and wicked men present when He returns again, (see Rev. 19:19) so they will be.
The Lord gathers the enemy in overwhelmingly superior power and their advance is unstoppable. Revelations 9:11 mentions an army of 200 million. All the nations of the world are represented in the armies because they are part of the one world government led by the Anti-Christ (the Beast of Revelation 13). Specifically, this speaks of the invasion of the Middle East by the Antichrist, (the leader of a united Europe?), when he brings his armies into Israel to consolidate the world.