Time To Grab The Hem of the Firstborn!

Written by Michael

January 8, 2024
In Zechariah 8, we see a picture of how Israel and Judah will be exalted in the nations on the precipice of the Millennial Reign – and how the interaction of the nations and Israel will occur during this period as the nations of the world are given choices of how they will respond to the events which lead up to this epic moment in time.

  • Verses 1-8: Then the word of the Lord of hosts came, saying, “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I am exceedingly jealous for Zion, yes, with great wrath I am jealous for her.’ Thus says the Lord, ‘I will return to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts will be called the Holy Mountain.’ Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Old men and old women will again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each man with his staff in his hand because of age. And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets.’ Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘If it is too difficult in the sight of the remnant of this people in those days, will it also be too difficult in My sight?’ declares the Lord of hosts. Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Behold, I am going to save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west; and I will bring them back and they will live in the midst of Jerusalem; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God in truth and righteousness.’

The word for zealous in ancient Hebrew comes from the idea “to become intensely red.” It has the thought of a face becoming flushed with deep emotion. This indicates God is passionately concerned for His people, Israel. Because of God’s presence, the city will be transformed into a place of truth and holiness. When God’s presence is real and embraced in our lives, we become people of Truth and Holy people, but remember, He is talking about Israel here and we can be a part of this only because we are adopted and grafted into the family through Messiah Yeshua through Believing Loyalty.

In 2 Corinthians 3:18 Paul describes this process of this transformation in this passage: “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” Because of the difficulty and hardship of returning to Jerusalem, there were probably few old people in the city, and their absence was felt. But the LORD promised that all that would change one day and young and old together would enjoy the city in safety. This was a significant promise because in Zechariah’s time, Jerusalem’s walls were ruined and the city was not safe and secure for old men and old women or boys and girls playing in its streets.

The promise of a transformed, prosperous, safe Jerusalem seemed a little too fantastic to believe when the city was half-built, and the walls wouldn’t be completed for another 60 years…yet here we see that Yahweh has transformed Jerusalem into that place – in the Millennial Reign – Proportionately, few among the exiles have returned to the Promised Land at this point. God promised a gathering from exiles to come that would far surpass the present gathering… I believe will see this influx very soon.

Many Denominational Scholars believe the gathering God promised will not just be a geographic gathering, but also a “spiritual gathering”.  If we look at this objectively, this type of interpretation diminishes context and begins to assume future events based upon a revelation only by doctrinal inspiration rather than original intent. This is a major problem in Biblical understanding in the church – because at times, we make the focus of Scripture all about ourselves in the Western Church and therefore change the roadmap of how Scripture truly applies. When we do this, becoming the focus of Scripture – erroneously – we do not comprehend we become applied to what is already going to happen as Scripture reveals itself, without a slanted narrative by certain doctrines.

  • Verses 9-17 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Let your hands be strong, you who are listening in these days to these words from the mouth of the prophets, those who spoke in the day that the foundation of the house of the Lord of hosts was laid, to the end that the temple might be built. For before those days there was no wage for man or any wage for animal; and for him who went out or came in there was no peace because of his enemies, and I set all men one against another.  But now I will not treat the remnant of this people as in the former days,’ declares the Lord of hosts. ‘For there will be peace for the seed: the vine will yield its fruit, the land will yield its produce and the heavens will give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to inherit all these things. It will come about that just as you were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you that you may become a blessing. Do not fear; let your hands be strong.’ “For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Just as I purposed to do harm to you when your fathers provoked Me to wrath,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and I have not relented, so I have again purposed in these days to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Do not fear! These are the things which you should do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates. Also, let none of you devise evil in your heart against another, and do not love perjury; for all these are what I hate,’ declares the Lord.”

This encouraging command was for those who had heard the words of the prophets on the day of the laying of the foundation for the house of the LORD of Hosts. The foundation was set more than fifteen years before. Though they faced a lack of resources and opposition, God wanted them to find strength because He was sovereignly pouring out favor on Israel. God had allowed a period of difficulty but would not allow it to last forever. He would bring prosperity and blessing to the once-afflicted nation. Though their present state was seemingly low, Yahweh wanted Israel to trust in His promise of blessing, and let the promise encourage them to be diligent.  He is truly reflected in the book of Romans as the Apostle Paul addresses this idea and language – showing that our Heavenly Father is not a tyrant but has always used circumstances to bring His people to a place of repentance. In chapter 2 verses 2-4, he says this: “ And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things. But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?” This is a commentary on the numerous times God intervenes in the lives of His children, both in direct seed of Abraham, and those of us adopted into the family – and we see this in how Zacheriah reveals the Word of the Lord to Israel and Judah here.

The language here is also similar in syntax to Deuteronomy 28 when Moses pronounces the blessings and curses, but then places it in a specific sense and situation regarding the people of Israel and Judah in the millennial reign; giving promise to what that time will look like when Messiah returns and sets up His Kingdom.

  • Verses 18-23 “Then the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying, “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘The fast of the fourth month, The fast of the fifth, The fast of the seventh, And the fast of the tenth, Shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts For the house of Judah. Therefore love truth and peace. “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Peoples shall yet come, Inhabitants of many cities; The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, “Let us continue to go and pray before the LORD, And seek the LORD of hosts. I myself will go also.” Yes, many peoples and strong nations Shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, And to pray before the LORD.’ “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the hem of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”’”

In Zechariah’s day, not many people wanted to come to a still ruined, downtrodden city like Jerusalem. God promised a redemption so great that one day the peoples shall yet come to the glorified city. (We can see today why Jerusalem is such a place of blessing, yet still contended for.) “…many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem…”: This promise will ultimately be fulfilled in the millennial kingdom of Jesus, as it is still contended for; by the West, Arab Nations, and Europe today – It was not under the Ottoman Empire, and it really wasn’t contended for very much at the beginning of the time of British Rule – NOT UNTIL Jews from around the world migrated there and began to see the Land flourish – into the time of Israel becoming a nation did high contention for Jerusalem become extremely elevated. Zechariah declares Jerusalem will be the headquarters of His kingdom, and the nations will come to seek the LORD in Jerusalem, as we see in the last verse of this chapter – “…ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the hem of a Jewish man, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” (Could this be representative of the 10 lost tribes of Israel?)

Look at where we are today! Israel is flourishing even more with how God has blessed His people and the Land, as well as how the church is awakening even more to the need to support Israel – there still needs to be a turning to Him both in the moral/ righteousness sense; and also in identifying who is Messiah, (Matthew 23:39) by Israel – but we see it happening incrementally and the roadmap of time as it has played out in the last 75 years; with the only explanation being that God is moving according to His Word, and the enemy of Israel and our souls is attempting to do everything to stop it.

We pray for Israel – for Messiah to be revealed (the Peace of Jerusalem) – and may that prayer cross the lips of every Believer, every day in 2024!





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