Tuesday, October 27, 2009

From enemy to worshipper.

mount of olives Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths.

Zechariah 14:16

The dramatic scene at the end of Zechariah’s prophecies has Jerusalem taken from the scorn of the world to the center of the world’s religious life. The prophet foretells of a future siege and destruction of the city that is unparalleled. Half the inhabitants are forcefully relocated from the city as it is plundered and the other half shall flee into a mountain stronghold to be protected by God. In the midst of what looks like the end for the Jewish nation, God intervenes to establish Himself as the king of all the earth.

The reality that I know is being portrayed is of the rulership of Jesus as King of Kings and Messiah. He arrives during this time, setting foot on the Mount of Olives and splitting it in two. The topography of the Holy Land is completely changed so that the city of Jerusalem rises over a vast plain. And the nations acknowledge God and come to the new world capital to worship Him.

Before this happens though, God destroys those final armies that were arrayed against Jerusalem. The description of their demise reads like something out of Raiders of the Lost Ark (Zechariah 14:12-15). Israel is exalted, God’s enemies are punished, and those nations that survive this turn to Him. And for an age, the world experiences God’s original plan, with Israel as a nation that draws the world to Him.

God’s desire is to turn His enemies into His worshippers. This is not some despotic depiction. When we synthesize this passage with other Old Testament prophecies, it is very clear that God cares about the world. He wants the nations to see His glory.

No comments: