Old Testament: Zechariah 10:1-11:17
Zechariah 10:1-11:17 Singing In The Rain
In Chapter 10, Zechariah sees Judah and Ephraim restored to their place in the land. Ephraim was one of Joseph’s son’s and often used to stand for the entire northern kingdom (cf. Hosea 10:6; 11:8, 12).
Rain can be a symbol of the Holy Spirit (v. 1, cf. 12:10; Isa. 32:15; 44:3; Ezek. 29:39; Hos. 6:3; Joel 2:23-32). This is implied in verse 1, though, rain would have to refer to literal rain as well. It was needed for the prosperity promised in the rest of the chapter.
The Messiah is predicted in verse 4 (cf. Isa. 28:16). Yahweh will return all the exiles from where they are scattered back into the land in the Millennium (v. 10). Assyria and Egypt are figurative of all nations where the Jews have been dispersed and they will be punished (v. 11). The Jews’ relationship with the Lord will be re-established (v. 12).
In Chapter 11, the fall of Jerusalem is portrayed in the first few verses (vv. 1-3). The false prophets lament that they have been exposed (v. 3).
Yahweh, though, pasturing the flock of Israel was going to let part of it die. Part was represented by a staff called “Favor” and the other by a staff named “Union” (v. 7). He broke the staff called Favor to indicate His break with them.
They insulted the Shepherd/Messiah by giving Him the wages of a slave (vv. 12 -13; Exod. 21:32; Matt. 27:3-7). The money was thrown over to the potter, ironically, the name of the field, the Potter’s Field, bought by the thirty pieces of silver paid to Judas for his services (Mt. 27: 7; cf. Jer. 32: 6-9). The “magnificent price” of verse 13 is a sarcastic statement.
Zechariah was told by Yahweh to play the part of a “foolish” shepherd, also picturing the work of the Antichrist in the end time (v. 15). Yahweh pronounces a “woe” on that type of leader (v. 17).
New Testament: Revelation 18:1-24
Revelation 18:1-24 No Singing In The Reign
Chapters 17 and 18 go together. Chapter 17 is the judgment on the worldwide religious system that supports the Antichrist. It is eventually eaten up by the political system seen in chapter 18 (cf. Rev. 17:16).
An radiant angel came down from Heaven to announce that the great world system, Babylon the Great, had collapsed (v. 2, cf. 1 John 2:15-16). This system is so rotten that it is described as a home for demons, unclean spirits, unclean birds and nations who have feasted on its immorality (v. 3).
A voice came from Heaven exhorting believers to stay away from this system because it will be punished double for all it was responsible for (v. 6). This system which has provided the gain for so many for so long will be destroyed in one day (v. 8a). The Lord will use plagues, pestilence and fire to judge it (v. 8b).
All of the leaders who profited from this system will mourn over its destruction which occurs in a very short time (v. 9). The merchants have lost all their customers in a brief time (“one hour,” vv. 10, 17, 19). Although all the crooks who made money off this system mourned, believers rejoiced at its destruction. After all, they wouldn’t have taken the mark of the beast and would have had trouble purchasing anything for the previous seven years in the Tribulation (v. 20) although much mentioned in verses 11 – 19 are luxury items (spec. v. 14).
A strong angel (it would take a strong angel) sunk Babylon, the city, by tying a millstone on it and dropping it into the sea (v. 21). All music went along with it (v. 22a). All iPods and boomboxes must’ve shorted out. Can you imagine this generation without their music? The lights went out (v. 23) and all the contractors immediately found themselves out of work (v. 22b). No one was getting married anymore (cf. Matt. 24:38). The word for “sorcery” (v. 23) in the Greek is pharmakeia implying people were possibly deceived by taking too many drugs. They certainly are being deceived by Satan.
The blood of the prophets and believers who had been killed in the great city is found in her ruins (v. 24).