October 17 2021

IN THAT DAY

Zechariah 14:1-4 NLT

“Watch, for the day of the LORD is coming when your possessions will be plundered right in front of you! I will gather all the nations to fight against Jerusalem. The city will be taken, the houses looted, and the women raped. Half the population will be taken into captivity, and the rest will be left among the ruins in the city.

Then the LORD will go out to fight against those nations, as He has fought in times past. On that day his feet will stand on Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem. And the Mount of Olives will split apart, making a wide valley running from east to west. Half the mountain will move toward the north and half toward the south.”

The previous two chapters of Zechariah, twelve and thirteen, speak off of “In that day.” These statements of course refer to the “Day of the LORD – the final judgment and associated events.

Consider, if you will, the chronology of events at this moment in time.

First the LORD will gather “all nations” to fight against Jerusalem.

There are two fundamental reasons for this action of gathering all nations against Israel.

One, to judge the heathen nations and two to save Israel.

These two purposes of GOD are outlined in many areas of Scripture.

 Zephaniah 3:8 states the following:

“Therefore wait for me, says the LORD, until the day I rise up for plunder. My determination is to gather the nations, to my assembly of kingdoms, to pour on them my indignation, all my fierce anger; all the earth will be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.” (NKJV)

Here is the first purpose of GOD – to judge the heathen nations and to do it before the city of Jerusalem. That this occurs upon the hills of Jerusalem is specified in many places in the word.

Zechariah 12:2-3 KJV.

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they will be in the siege against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it will be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.”

Joel describes the exact spot where this judgment of the heathen by GOD will occur. Joel 3:1-2, 12.

“For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I will bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land.

Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about.”

A couple of points here. This happens after GOD has brought his people back, the second time, from among the heathen nations and re-settled them in His land – our present day!

Also the reasons He is to judge these nations is because they scattered His people and they divided or parted His land!

In our day Jerusalem has indeed become a burdensome stone – a millstone about the neck of all people of earth.

The result is the judgement of God – the cutting in pieces – of all people of earth gathered together against Israel.

Joel specifies the place – the valley of Jehoshaphat.

Joel 2:14 continues:

“Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.”

Joel sounds the trumpet in 2:1

“Blow the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble [humble themselves], for the day of the LORD for it is nigh at hand; a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: a great people and a strong, there has not been ever the like, neither will be any more after it, even to the years of many generations a fire devours before them; and behind them a flame burns: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing will escape them.”

This multitude of heathen armies descending upon Israel, and gathering before Jerusalem leaving utter ruin and destruction in their wake, are about to come face to face with the LORD of heavens armies.

This is the instant that Paul spoke of in Romans 11:25-27.

“blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, ‘There will come out of Zion the Deliverer, and will turn away ungodliness, from Jacob: for this is my covenant unto them, when I will take away their sins.”

In one day, all Israel will be saved. This is the second purpose of GOD concerning this gathering of nations – to save Israel. Zechariah 12:9-11 outlines what happens next.

“And it will come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they will look upon [unto] me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.”

This is the moment! This is Israel’s moment! Zechariah 13:9:

“And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tired: they will call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, it is my people: and they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’”

In verse 6 of Zechariah 13 we read:

“And one will say unto him, ‘What are these wounds in your hands?’ Then he will answer, ‘Those with which, I was wounded in the house of my friends;’”

Recall what the prophet Hosea had said in 5:15.

“I will go and return to my place, till they acknowledge their offense, and seek my face: in their affliction they will seek me earnestly.”

This is Messiah speaking concerning His rejection by His people. He has returned to His place – at the Father’s side – until they admit their guilt in rejecting Him.

It is a singular and specific sin!1

Luke 13: 35 tells us the words of Jesus.

“Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, ‘You will not see me, until the time comes when you will say, ‘Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord.’”

This is the moment! From our introductory verse in Zechariah 14:3-4:

Then the LORD will go out to fight against those nations, as He has fought in times past. On that day his feet will stand on Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem. And the Mount of Olives will split apart, making a wide valley running from east to west. Half the mountain will move toward the north and half toward the south.”

The remnant will recognize their Messiah – Jesus as He steps down upon Mount of Olives. There will result great mourning and repentance as they call out to Him for their salvation.

And under His feet Mount Olivet will cleaved in two – one part of the mountain moving toward the north and the other half moving toward the south.

This will result in a great valley running from west to east through which the remnant of Israel flee to safety.

Where is this unknown valley of Jehoshaphat?

Don’t know? Well you are correct! It is nowhere to be found anywhere on the globe nor anywhere in the Middle East.

 It is not the Kidron valley as most scholars think. That name was assigned to the Kidron by some unknown pilgrim of the 4th century – no! 

The valley of Jehoshaphat – the valley of Decision – is hidden at present beneath Mount Olivet, “set aside” to be revealed at this moment in time by the feet of Jesus!

Jehoshaphat means “Jehovah has judged.” It comes from a root word meaning “The Existing One,” “To judge.”

The “a very great valley” as it is termed in Zechariah 14:4 comes from ‘gay’ gah’ee, meaning a steep valley, a narrow gorge, taken from a root meaning “pride or a lifting up.”

This does not describe the ravine of the Kidron!

It is the place of judgment, the place of decision – both for the Jewish remnant and the Gentile hosts attacking.

Do you recall that oft times, if not every time, that a major event that occurs in the Old Testament is often a precursor to a future similar occurrence?

Go back with me if you will to the escape of Israel from Egypt.

God moved miraculously in saving His newly formed nation of Israel and brought them out from among the heather – Egypt in this case.

They arrived at the Red Sea with the heathen closely in pursuit determined to forever eradicate them. With nowhere to turn, they called out to God, and God provided a way when there seemed to be no way!

There was a valley, in place, under the waters of the Red Sea, prepared for such a time as this.

And at His word the waters were pushed apart, heaped up to the north and heaped up to the south revealing the hidden passageway.

Israel passed through on dry land and were saved while the pursuing heathen armies who followed were judged and destroyed.

So too now. At His word the mountain was pushed apart, one valley side to the north and the other to the south revealing the hidden valley of Jehoshaphat set aside for this very moment.

The Jewish remnant pass through safely while the pursuing heathen armies are judged and destroyed.

The valley of Jehoshaphat? It is beneath the Mount of Olives awaiting His feet.

And, do you recall God’s words to Israel at their moment of high distress? It is given in Exodus 14:13.

“Fear not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD . . .you will see them no more for ever.”

And so it will be for Israel after Messiah touches down on Mount Olivet.

And the result? Zechariah 14:11-13: NLT

“And Jerusalem will be filled, safe at last, never again to be cursed and destroyed. And the LORD will send a plague on all the nations that fought against Jerusalem. Their people will become like walking corpses, their flesh rotting away. Their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. On that day they will be terrified, stricken by the LORD with great panic. They will fight their neighbour hand to hand.”

And the Jewish remnant? They will flee through this valley to safety. Listen to Zechariah 14:5.

“And you will flee through this valley, for it will reach across to Azal. Yes you will flee as you did from the earthquake in the days of king Uzziah of Judah. Then, the LORD my God will come, and all his holy ones with him.”

King Uzziah was a prideful king. Recall the root word for the Valley formed is “pride” or “a lifting up.”

The remnant flee to their Messiah to find shelter under His wings, as He returns to the very spot He left, bringing all His holy ones with Him. (That’s us folks!)

The valley of Jehoshaphat the valley of decision. Recall the moment when Moses stepped down from the mountain of God bearing the ten commandments and found the people rioting. And he raised the tablets of stone and declared, “Who is on the LORD’s side let him come unto me!” And he smashed the tablets and the ground open up swallowing those who rebelled.

They had a decision as do those before the valley of Jehoshaphat – a decision of life and death. The remnant choose well, but the heathen choose poorly.

Jehoshaphat a valley of judgment – the heathen are judged and found wanting.

Today, is the day of salvation. The choosing today is quite easy – then, the decision may be much more difficult. “If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.”

God is great and greatly to be praised! Let all who read and all who hear, listen to what the Spirit says unto the churches. Amen.

1 Chuck Missler.

 

 

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