April 28, 1995
The prophet continues on with the thought in which he is involved. This v. 1 and 2 is speaking of the previous time and the present time to which Zechariah is speaking. The Lord through Zechariah had promised temporal (and spiritual) blessings and now He tells His people to ask for them.
rain... This is interesting so let's look at it a little. First, we have a statement here, ask ye of the Lord rain... which will not stand alone. To make it stand alone would seem to say that all they have to do is ask for the blessings of heaven and zap, there they are. We hear this theme today quite regularly. This sort of a expectation is a false gospel, (as we will see in v. 2).
This promise, ask ye of the Lord rain... is obviously built upon Deut. 11:13-17. The promise is that as His covenant-people either return to or remain true to the covenant law, God will send the rain in its proper time. Thus, both the material and the spiritual blessings of the Lord God are conditional.
Zechariah's call here has been and is for the covenant-people of God to remain true to and confident in their Lord God. The result will be the answered prayer for these blessings. "God bids them ask Him to fulfill His promise," (Pusey) but we must not forget, His promises are conditional.
"But if these blessings are already promised, why do we still have to ask for them?" To this we can only answer, "Because God has ordained it to be this way," Matt. 6:8; Rom. 8:25-27. Do we desire the blessings in due season? Then we must ask of the Lord...
For us. The promises of God are for us. His blessings are available. Let's be faithful to meet the conditions, pray for the rain and patiently wait for them to come down. He is the same Lord who was ready to meet the request in Zechariah's day.
Second, rain... If the law and the prophets were the former rain, then how about the required latter rain? This is found in Acts 14:17. Christ and His spirit is the latter rain, Acts 2:16.
Thus we see that the former rain, the law and the prophets, prepared the earth. It caused the seed to spout and start to grow. Then comes the latter rain. This causes the seed to come to maturity, filling out with some ten and hundred fold.
Fourth, rain... We have another obvious reference, I Cor. 3:6-9. The planting of the seed (the word of God). The watering of that seed with the word of God and its maturing and increase. The necessary watering (rain) must be supplied by the Lord also. He uses people to give His word, but it is His spirit that must give life to that seed in the heart, and bring it to maturity and increase.
Fifth, rain... A very good application of this would be the rain which comes from the clouds. Clouds speak of storm. Rain speaks of blessings. The Lord is the only One who can get showers of blessings out of storm clouds. What to the natural eye would seem to be a storm or disastrous, He can turn into blessings abundant. This would be a teaching of Rom. 8:28, 29.
Prayer maybe won't change circumstances, but prayer can change the circumstances from disaster to blessing in our eyes.
Zechariah's prophecy here is to these people who had returned from their captivity, yet the principle is easily followed through to our day, the church.
Do we desire the blessed fruitfulness of God.
1.) Meet the conditions.
Zech. 10:2. This also is for these returned captives but the application will be obvious. Here He refers back to the time before their captivity and points out that their false prophets were to blame for their calamities of which they are just now recovering from.
"I will have compassion upon my people, and will abundantly bless them: for they have fallen into deep distress, because they have forsaken me, and been led by false predictions, (Heng.)"
Rather than their fathers seeking after God when things became difficult, they sought after their idols (Teraphim, see Hosea 3:4, also), their diviners, their dreamers. They sought help and advice everywhere except from the word of the Lord.
This is quite easy to follow.
1.) Jacob has this problem in his own household as Rachel sought to bring the Teraphim with her, Gen. 31:19, 34, 35. Jacob had to command them out of his family and bury them, Gen. 35:4.
2.) There also was a strange mixture of Jehovah worship and the Teraphim used by Micah, Judges 17:5. If that wasn't bad enough, we have the treat of murder over this image, Judges 18:14-27, and this by God's covenant-people.
3.) Samuel confronted King Saul over the Teraphim (idolatry), I Sam. 15:23.
4.) David, the man after God's own heart, harbored this strange thing in his own house, I Sam. 19:13. Evidently this Teraphim was an unauthorized (thus, apostate), way to worship Jehovah and was considered other gods.
Labon called them, my gods, Gen. 31:30, 32. (Note, v. 32, let him not live: This would be the penalty for having these false gods.) The law of God clearly condemned the Teraphim, Deut. 18:13, 14.
There is a point worth our attention here.
Rachel stole here father's Teraphim. This was, to the pagans, a powerful god used to foretell the future and even secure the future (Gen. 31:19). The pagans would carry these idols as they traveled. They held a tremendous and powerful influence all through Israel's history, from Jacob even to Zechariah after the captivity. Zechariah here is warning the covenant-people against this Teraphim.
Rachel considered this idol very important, or she would not have stolen it from her father. The context (Gen. 31) indicates that Rachel saw this idol (Terphim), as a means of securing the inheritance from her father, Laban the Syrian.
With this in mind, look on over in Gen. 35:1-4. Jacob, after his "backsliding," when he desired to renew his relationship with the Lord, had to bury all of these things, including this Teraphim.
Thus, in Jacob burying all of these idols he was renouncing any and every worldly means of protection and provision. In doing this he was renewing his dedication to Jehovah God as his one and only God. He was putting aside all mixture of the worship of Jehovah God for purity. This Teraphim was used to foretell the future. In burying it, Jacob renounced all pagan means to know or control the future. The toleration of these false gods got Jacob into a lot of difficulty, chp. 34. The toleration of the false gods of paganism will get us into just as much difficulty.
This Teraphim had caused a tremendous amount of problems for Israel and Zechariah reminds his listeners of this, 10:2. This is a reminder of their fathers refusal to listen to the warnings of the past. Therefore Jer. 27:9, harken not ye to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers which speak unto you, saying, ye shall not serve the king of Babylon.
Also, Jer. 29:8; Ezek. 21:34; 22:28, as the men of God (Jeremiah, Ezekiel), warned the people of the coming calamities for their sin, there was an army of false prophets which came upon the scene. These false prophets predicted nothing but peace, prosperity and deliverance. They mocked the true prophets, Jer. 20:7. Guess which prophets the people followed?
Hengs. makes a very good point here. "By predicting nothing but prosperity and deliverance, they counter-acted the impressions previously made by the prophets... and by this means they kept the people from repentance, without which there could be no deliverance."
*Place The gospel of Prosperity (this is a mail-out here).
Zech. 10:2. Therefore they went... There was no shepherd. Remember that Zechariah is referring back to their fathers. There was very few kings who were concerned about the people. David was the standard, and very few followed that standard. Rather the vast majority of the kings were not shepherds which loved the sheep, but wolves who used the sheep for their own advantage. Thus, they were devouring wolves.
An interesting passage which goes with this is Ezek. 34. It sounds like Zechariah is just repeating this chapter. Ezekiel lays the same charge against the false shepherds. Remember what they did. They preached a false gospel of prosperity and did not lead the people of God back to God. The result is that God scattered them to all the beasts of the field,v. 5. V. 6, none did search or seek... the Good Shepherd did and He left us a charge to do the same, Matt. 28:19, 20. V. 4, what strengthens, heals, and brings back from the lost condition? The word of God, whether the incarnate word, Jesus, or the revealed word, written. These shepherds refused to give the word of God to God's people, rather they gave the people what was most profitable for themselves, V. 2. (II Pet. 2:1-3).
The consistent thought which we need to obverse is that the Gentile nations (heathens), are always referred to as the beasts of the field. Israel (God's covenant-people) is always referred to as the sheep or the flock. This typology in places like Isa. 65:25; Ezek. 32:2.
Zech. 10:3. The context is speaking of the past, yet the application is for all times. As long as there are false shepherds this will apply. God's hot displeasure burned against those who gave His people a false security in their sin. He judged His people for their sin but He has a special hot judgment against the preachers of prosperity, plenty and pleasure. Those who give God's people security in their pleasure and carnality are in for the hot displeasure of God's wrath.
This took place when His people were carried into Babylon. This took place again in 70 A.D.. We have no reason to think that it won't take place again. He will only tolerate it so long.
The people were judged for their own sins and the Lord here promises His covenant-people deliverance. Not only deliverance from the oppressors but from the false shepherds.
A thought comes to mind. The false shepherds are in it for what is in it for them, II Pet. 2:1-3. Therefore, when it becomes a burden or starts costing them to be a shepherd, a very large majority of them will get out of it. Are we facing the prospect of a tremendous persecution against all shepherds which will divide the sheep (true shepherds), from the goats (false shepherds)?
V. 3 here speaks of Christ. He is the Lord of hosts who visited his flock, Lk. 1:68; I Pet. 2:12. He is the One who has made his flock... as his goodly horse in the battle. It is the Lord who has provided His covenant-people with mighty weapons which will pull down even the strongholds of the enemy, II Cor. 10:4.
Here is a very interesting statement, hath made them as his goodly horse in battle. Rev 19:10-19, our Lord is pictured upon a horse, making battle with His enemies. His weapon is the word of God. His every enemy is overcome with this weapon, resulting in the final defeat, cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant (of the enemy) were slain with the sword (the word of God) of him that sat upon the horse (The Kings of kings, and Lord of lords), which sword proceeded out of his mouth...
The picture in Zechariah 10:3 is that He makes His covenant-people as his goodly horse in the battle (note the word the). "A state-horse is one specially selected, such as an earthly king is accustomed to ride in battle, stately by nature and ornamented with splendid clothes and other costly trappings" (Heng.).
V. 3 with Rev 19 indicates that it is through His people using the word of God by His grace that His world-conquering power is applied and His world-wide dominion is established. He makes His covenant-people strong in battle against the forces of evil and the very gates of hell are overcome. The house of Judah is identified as this horse which the king prepares and equips, then takes into battle.
Christ is the lion of the tribe of Judah. All of those who are redeemed are in Christ, making the redeemed members of this tribe. He wages war against the enemy through them.
From this passage it looks like He is the captain, and His covenant people are compared to the horses upon which he rides into battle.
and hath made them... He is the one that calls, equips and sends His people into battle with the enemy. He must give the courage, wisdom desire, etc.. It is all of Him, for without Him nothing can be done for Him. Think of the foe we are going against. Satan himself is a powerful, supernatural being, therefore, no person with any sense will ever attempt to go against him on their own. But many do. All of our hope in this battle lies in the captain of the Lord's hosts.
Regardless of how we view Zech. 10:3, this prayer will be scripturally sound. "Lord, give us courage in the battle. Give us boldness. Give us the desire to be involved. The flesh will war against our involvement against evil. But you are the one who has overcome all of the fears which the world, flesh and the devil can provide. Give us the grace to claim that victory which you have won."
This battle involves soul-winning as well as standing against the social ills of our day. It is taking every area for the KING.
V 4. Corner... This refers back to v. 3, out of him (Judah) came forth the corner. This would seem to be a clear reference to Christ, the head of the corner. He came from Judah. Zechariah here speaking to an oppressed people who have returned from captivity. Here he presents a glorious picture of what is to come for the covenant people. Judah is the main tribe here which has returned, and only a handful of them. These indeed would be words of encouragement as they are told that corner is come from them. (Notice the past tense, the Lamb which came from Judah was slain from the foundations of the world.)
Christ is the nail. The One is fastened in a sure place, Isa. 22:23, 24. Nail in the wall is a reference to nails which were built into the walls of the houses on which household utensils were hung. Upon Christ (the nail which will not be pulled out no matter how much weight is placed upon Him), hangs everything.
The battle bow... He sends forth His word (using His covenant people). "Christ is the cornerstone; Christ is the nail fixed in the wall, whereby all vessels are supported. The word of Christ is the bow, whence the arrows rend the king's enemies." (Quoted by Pusey.) This sure seems to me to be a very strong reference to Ps. 45:5. With this let us be reminded that this strength of the word of God is manifested through people preaching His word. Rom. 10:14, 15 and I Cor. 1:27-2:5 (esp. 2:4), is quite clear on this point. His enemies are subdued (by the Holy Spirit), and they are subdued by people preaching the gospel.
How easy it is for us to forget the power of the gospel as revealed in the word of God. Check the word enemies in your Strongs Concordance. Notice that all of the usages of it in the NT are the same word. Enemy--hostile, hated. EVERY PERSON ever born fits within this enemy of God and Christ, Rom. 5:10; Ph. 3:18; Col. 1:21. This is also the enemy which is going to be subdued by the Father to the Son, Lk. 20:43; I Cor. 15:25, 26, etc., and, of course, Ps. 2 fits here.
The battle bow which shoots forth the divine arrows in none other than the king of the tribe of Judah. We find a record of this shooting forth of the arrows in Matt. 28:19, 20.
(Let us observe here that Hengs. regards this passage, vv. 4-12, as chiefly referring to the period under the Maccabees. I have a problem with that being the primary understanding of this passage because of v. 4, the coming forth of the cornerstone. V. 4 is clearly a reference to the Messiah, thus, vv. 5-12 would be built upon v. 4 in my understanding. Pusey follows that which I feel is more correct.)
every oppressor... This would seem to refer back to 9:8 (Isa. 49:17). This would speak of freeing His people from the oppressor. Of course, this also could speak of the freedom from oppression which is available in Christ.
V. 5. Again, this sure seems to be speaking of the power, boldness and victory which is in Christ of the house of Judah. In fact, through the enabling power of God, their boldness and victory will confound the riders on horses. Those who are dependent on the wisdom and might of the world are amazed at the wisdom and power of the Lord's army.
And they shall be... Those who were once oppressed are now the victor. How? Through the might of the king of Zion (as now Bible titles this page). Some passages here. I Tim. 1:7; Acts 4:13, 29, 31; Ph. 1:20; I Cor. 1:27-2:5.
This passage here (Zech. 10: 3, 4, 5), sure speaks of warfare. We are in a war, a war unto the death against Humanism in every form. The peace we are promised is an inner peace with God. We are also promised conflict with the world, flesh and the devil, conflict with evil in every form and from every quarter.
*** (Good mail-out, True Prayer that gets a hold of God is ACTION)
V. 6. the house of Judah... Those in Christ. Here is a promise of strength, salvation and restoration (as though I had not cast them off). Zechariah seems to be referring to Jer. 32:37; Ezek. 36:11, and it is all by His mercy, Titus 3:5; Ps. 44:33.
as though... The redeemed in Christ are received back into fellowship with the Father as though sin had never separated them, Heb. 8:12. He concludes with, "Just as sure as He is the Lord God, He will hear the cries of His people, Heb. 4:16.
To this hand-full of people who had returned here, this message should have held great encouragement. But, like Abraham, they were never to see it come to pass. All they could do is lay the foundation for these prophecies.
With this in mind let's pause to look at something that is very important. These prophets give these people some tremendous promises of the future greater blessing. Blessings which they would not see. Even though they had these exceeding great and precious promises, they were NOT permitted to sit back, pray and then wait for God to fulfill them. These folks were hard at work on a seemingly hopeless task. They were getting up early and staying up late. They were sweating and earning callouses on their hands. They were in constant conflict with the pagans who wanted to stop their work for the Lord. In fact, they even had to keep their arms in one hand. Any difficulty that we can think of to hinder or discourage them, they faced. Yet they remained faithful to the HARD work at hand. (They were building a wall out of stone by hand.)
Christianity that says it believe the promises of God but isn't willing to discipline itself to sacrifice, hard work, study, prayer, and separation from sin so that God can work through us, is not Christianity. For us to believe that God will supply our needs apart from these Christian disciplines is nothing but presumption.
To ask God to send us folks or lead us to folks who are interested in Him (we can reach for the Lord), then we not go, is presumption.
To ask God to speak to our civil leaders and not let them know where we stand or the Biblical principles which are involved (maybe not quote Bible to them, but at least stand on its principles), is presumption.
To expect God to use us on our job to influence others for Christ without prayer for power in us to live apart from sin and then discipline ourselves to do that, is presumption.
Prayer and concern for the lost in the community will result in going. Concern for the poor will result in programs (not government programs), to help them. Faith and confidence in the future promises of God will result in hard work, discipline and sacrifice of time, money and abilities right now.
Faith that God will use our children will result in paying the price now to train them properly in the faith. Faith that God will reach that loved one will result in living a consistently godly life before them right now.
Our enemy is very good at separating faith from action. "Prayer and fast about that to influence God to fulfill His promise." Really, I know of no promises which can be claimed by restricting our obedience to prayer and fasting. No doubt, prayer and fasting is required (Mk. 9:29), but at no time are conditions to the promises restricted to "getting more spiritual."
Zechariah's prophecies were to encourage the people in their faith, HARD WORK. They were to encourage them not to give up their sweat, sacrifice, dedication, stand against the pagans, giving, faithfulness, their DISCIPLINE and HARD WORK for the Lord. Then and only then would the Lord bring these blessings to pass, Heb. 11:13.
To try to claim the promised blessings of God apart from total dedication to His will as revealed in His word is not only presumption but foolish. To sit back and pray that God will accomplish great and marvelous things in our area and not go out into the area is to play right into the devil's hands and will leave the community in the hands of the devil.
THE SPIRIT OF GOD WILL MOVE AS WE MOVE. Only as we move in obedience to the things we can do will He move in obedience to His word and do the things we cannot do. Things like work in the hearts of people, give the desire to serve Him. (This working in the heart also includes working in the hearts of civil authority, Prov. 21:1.)
Only as His command-word is carried out by His people )to the best of the ability which His grace provides), will He move in a supernatural way to bring His promised blessings to pass, Deut. 28; Josh. 1:7, 8.
Do we try to claim the moving of the Holy Spirit in our family, on our job, in our community, in our churches, apart from the dedication (WORK) to obey His every word?
*** Pgs. 15-20 are missing from notes--
V. 7. Through the rest of the chapter, the prophets attention turns toward Ephraim. Juda had been seen as the center of God's people and the source of their blessing. Now he expands the blessing. At the time of Zechariah, Ephraim had not joined Judah in returning to build the temple, but the promise to those who were returned is that others will join.
Undoubtedly, the Jews (tribe of Judah), would have been discouraged because others hadn't joined them in their labour for God. God here promises that others will join them. They are to continue on with what He had given them to do and He would complete the good work which He had begun in them.
The application is quite apparent. We have a task to perform. It will seem that we are all alone in it. (Remember Elijah, "Lord, I'm the only one left that wants to serve you.) We have the promise of God that He who has started a good task in us will continue it, Ph. 1:6.
The Lord urges these people on in their work, showing them that He is not just a partial redeemer but altogether the redeemer of His people. The existing circumstances sure didn't hold much hope, yet the prophet is promising a grand restoration one day. (Pusey)
Also, here we have mention of a mighty man. This would be a reference to Ephraim joining Judah in the battle. V. 5, rejoice over the privilege of serving the King.
Judah had been separated from the other ten tribes. Now we see that there is going to be unity once again. Their common affliction (captivity), had softened Judah's heart toward his brethren and now they draw near with feelings of love.
V. 8. Why would Ephraim want to join in the battle? It looks like anyone with any sense would stay clear. The answer is given, I will hiss for them, and gather them. As we have already mentioned, some scholars consider this a call to return before the Maccabee revolt. Others consider this the call under Christ. I think it fits far better in its context as the call under Christ. Christ, from the tribe of Judah, having the Father call others unto Himself to join with Him in building the Kingdom of God. I Cor. 3:9 would lean this way.
Here in v. 8 we see Ephraim joining in the battle which is centered in Zion, 9:13. This would indicate that chp. 10, is talking about the Maccabee war against Greece, and this is a reference to Ephraim returning to help in this war. This will stand according to what we have here but when compared with the NT, it encompasses far more.
To me this (v. 8), says that God is gathering those from outside of Judah (Who had been separated in the past for one reason or another), to the center of His people, Judah. He is gathering them for a great battle. He has redeemed them in this calling and their numbers are increasing.
To follow this through. The Lord is gathering those from outside of Judah (Christ), to Christ. He is doing this through redemption. Their numbers are increasing and He is massing a great army.
Eph. 2:1. He, through redemption, is calling those who were once dead to the center of Himself, Christ. He is not calling to Himself a group of passivests, but an army. We are called to be on the attack against sin, evil and wickedness. We are forbidden to set back and let those around us go to the devil. We are forbidden to not take an active role in society to try to restrain evil, I Tim. 2. We have been chosen by God to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ, to endure hardness, to be engaged in warfare. We are warned against being entangled with the affairs of this life (II Tim. 2:4), but as this is taken with Matt. 6:30-34, we will find what He is talking about.
Let's not be so involved in making a living and storing up for ourselves that we forget to press the claims of King Jesus over every area of society. Our primary goal and objection is to apply God's word to everything. This is our weapon against evil and corruption. When we get so involved in our own interests that we fail to do this we are entangled with the affairs of this life, unable to please him who hath chosen us to be a soldier.
Evil is taking over because the people of God have chosen to believe that they are not soldiers involved in a warfare. This is not a defensive but an offensive war. No army can stand for long in a defensive mode. The song does, "Onward Christian soldiers," and this is our call. The belief today is, "Stand fast, Christian passivests." The messages are centered around how to be more spiritual "inside," not how to be more effective on the advance against evil and sin.
Zech. 10:8. The purpose of redemption is warfare, battle against the forces of evil. The "inside" battle must be won, of course, but this is the minor conflict. Salvation delivers us from the bondage to the fear of death which would hinder our going into battle, Heb. 2:15. A soldier which is afraid of loosing something (especially his life), isn't going to be much of a soldier on the battlefield. I sure wouldn't want to be fighting next to him.
The call of redemption is to warfare not to peace. Yes, peace with God. Peace with our fellow man, but war against evil and corruption, Matt. 5:13-16. The war against evil within ourselves is not an end in itself but it is to equip us that we might wage an effective war against the evil around us.
shall increase... This sure appears to be a corresponding passage with Ezek. 36:10, 11. The increase under the gospel.
V. 9. I will sow... No doubt this is Hosea 2:23. The sowing by God which leads to His mercy. Hos. 2:23 goes on to say that the result will be, in His mercy, He will call unto Himself people who were not His people. This obviously is the foundation of Rom. 9:26; I Pet. 2:10 and a clear reference to the gospel going world-wide.
Sow... There are two words used along this line, the other being, scatter. Scatter is always sow is not used in this context, but rather is always used in the context of multiplying. Thus, the Lord here is talking of sowing in order to multiply. The command of Matt. 28:19, 20 would be sowing.
This is what we seem to have this far. Only a handful of people of Judah had returned to rebuild the temple. It was discouraging to say the least. God, through Zechariah, promises a return of many more people. He promises them victory in warfare over Greece. He promises them a unified people here in the land they are working so hard to rebuild.
The barriers which had separated Judah from the rest would be laid aside. From this people (with Judah the focal point), over the oppressor. He will strengthen the weak and have salvation with Him. He will gather the people around Himself, then sow them with the purpose of giving a tremendous increase, (v. 8).
Of course, we know that Christ first sent the seventy. Then the twelve, then the whole of the believers. He commanded them to go everywhere, into all the world. In this sowing (in the context of multiplying), we also have the day of Pentecost (Acts 2), which had men from all the known world present. They went back to their four corners of the world with the new message of the grace of God revealed to us in the person of Jesus Christ.
Not only this but latter (Acts 8), we have a great persecution against the church which was at Jerusalem. This persecution scattered abroad the believers, except the apostles with the gospel.
Further on, we have the destruction of the city of Jerusalem and with this destruction of the city, the final destruction of the OT Hebrew economy (religion of rites, rituals, etc.). This, scattered sowed every believer in the city. They fled in obedience to our Lord's words, before this destruction took place, taking His gospel with them.
And I will sow...
1. He scattered the OT Hebrew nation as a result of their sins, among all the nations, Zech. 7:14. He used Babylon and Assyria to accomplish this. Remember, they were not only forcefully removed and resettle, but a great many were sold into slavery. God scattered them into every known nation under the sun.
2. There were many conflicts during that 500 years or so before the coming of Christ. Again, the captives from Israel would have been carried off as slaves to wherever the victors would please.
3. Because of the OT law, every male of this Hebrew race was
to appear at Jerusalem yearly at the passover. Those who still
loved God and desired to serve Him (this would require quite a
bit of dedication), kept this requirement. This gave God representatives
4. God did this with a purpose. Through this "system" of world-wide Jewish (Hebrew) settlements. He had a ready-made audience for the Hebrew gospel (Christ).
5. These settlements would have had representatives at Jerusalem in Acts 2. In addition, those who believed God and fled Jerusalem before the final siege in 70 A.D., would have fled to these settlements for refuge. Remember the apostles, Paul esp., as they traveled world-wide, they found "rest" in these settlements and found a ready made audience in their synagogues.
In other words, God used many methods to sow them among the people with the amazing gospel of grace through the Lord Jesus Christ. This showing was done in view of reaping multitudes into the cause of Christ, the Kingdom of God.
Some good passages on this would be Ezek. 37:13, 14 and 25. Jer. 3:12, 14, 15, 22; Isa. 10:21, (see my notes in Ezek. 37).
A few thoughts on this. I am sure that Israel (the twelve tribes), did not view the scattering under Assyria and Babylon with excitement. Yet God had a far greater purpose in it than what they could even imagine as He prepared the way for the gospel to go world-wide. This would be true all the way up to the final "sowing" in 70 A.D.. Now God is in the harvesting business, the OT prophets sowed, the NT saints reaped, Jn. 4:34-38.
Following this through, I'm sure He is still sowing as His people either by force or voluntarily are scattered over the face of the earth. God commanded it (Matt. 28:19, 20), and at times He will use an ungodly "Babylon" to force it. But we do know that all of these things fit within His perfect purpose and plan. There are no "it just happened that way," with Him. His divine purpose is being and will be accomplished, either with us or without us. God's divine providence will prevail.
It is obvious as we read through Zech. 10:10-12, that this passage fits within this context.
Remember... This corresponds with Deut. 30:1. This is future from Zechariah's time, could be the return between him and Christ or could be the "return" by the remnant under the gospel. To me, it would speak of the return under grace and the gospel for a couple of reasons.
1. The Holy Spirit brings to their memory, they shall remember...
2. Far countries... wherever there are people and the gospel is preached, they can return to Him.
3. Their children... would include all believers. Heb. chp. 3, is written to the holy brethren, v. 1. The fathers of v. 9 is referring to the OT Hebrew saints as the "fathers" of all NT saints, I Cor. 10:1; Ps. 95. Thus the children here in Zech. 10:9 would be any believer from incarnation on.
5. Probably the most convincing that this is speaking of the NT period of the many I wills, with v. 12 the cap-stone.
V. 10, Egypt... Assyria... Here would be a figurative term, which represents the pagan nations which oppress the people of God. The message is to Ephraim. He was sown and had a tremendous increase, vv. 8, 9. God here is calling them back to the area which formerly belonged to the ten tribes. Now it is to small for them.
We are reminded of the time when DAvid the king was brought back to Jerusalem, II Sam. 19:41-43. Judah, the center of the kingdom made the first move, yet the ten tribes claimed their ten parts in him. Zech. 10:10, Judah is the center, being Christ. Yet all of the true Israelites have a place in Him, the true Israel of God being the church, Gal. 6:16. A physical location could never hold all who have been included in this I will of Zech. 10:10.
V. 11. Ephraim... shall pass through the sea... The prophet here is telling the remnant that there will be afflictions as the Israel of old had, yet the Lord saw them safely through, Ps. 114.
Now, what do we have here? The Lord will pass through The sea with affliction just as He did with Israel of old. He is not talking here of going through another Read Sea as they did, but we are being reminded that the sea with all of its roaring waves cannot overcome His people. Here are some points to consider:
1. Isa. 43:1-7. Let the afflictions come. Let the sea close in and the waves roar. The same Holy One of Israel, our Saviour who redeemed His people from Egypt through the Red Sea is with us. The sea of trials and afflictions. The waves of the multitudes of the anti-christ crowd who seek to move against God's obedient people. They cannot do one thing apart from our God's will for His people. Let the heathen rage, God's purpose will be accomplished, Ps. 2.
2. We also have a direct reference to Isa. 2:1-5 and Micah 4:1-7. (Note the translators put a paragraph markers on v. 3 of Micah 4, diving the thought. They did not in Isa. 2, so we will use Isa. 2.
First, the law-word of the Lord will go forth from Zion, Jerusalem. Heb. 12:22 identifies Zion and this Jerusalem where the king dwells as His church. Second, notice what the law-word will accomplish, v. 4. a.) Judgment. b.) Rebuke. c.) Peace.
His law-word is His sword and means of conquering His enemies. The pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the scepter of Egypt shall depart away.
The pagans who are against God are going to be overturned and subdued under the King of kings and Lord of lords. How will He accomplish this? His law-word which proceeds out from Mt. Zion and from the New Jerusalem (the church), will do this.
Zech. 10:12. This will be accomplished by His power (grace) working through His people. His desire, power, wisdom, knowledge (all of the things mentioned in I Cor. 1:27-2:5), working through His people. His people are not going to accomplish anything. It will be all of Him working through them, honoring His law-word as it goes forth. They will know that it is Him doing the work and giving the results.
The promise here is that as His people apply His law-word to everything (Their occupation, community, society in general, politics, families, church, etc.), He will move in response to His law-word. He will give the victory as the heathen rage against Him and His people.