In our study of Zechariah chapter ten, we look at the promised victory of Israel over the demonic forces that lead the world astray.
"Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms. He gives showers of rain to all people, and plants of the field to everyone." NIV translation
Most scholars agree that this verse belongs in chapter 9. As we recall, that chapter dealt with the return of Christ and the Millennial Reign. At that time, the land of Israel will be blessed with plenty of food for everyone.
"The idols speak deceitfully, diviners see visions that lie; they tell dreams that are false, they give comfort in vain. Therefore the people wander like sheep oppressed for lack of a shepherd." NIV translation
Any victory begins with the recognition of the enemy. Here, we see God warn about diviners. This speaks of men that attempted to predict the future by examining the liver of a sacrificed animal. This is speaking of the occult and demonic inspiration. Satan imitates and even mocks the things of God. God has His prophets and the devil has his which are, in fact, false prophets. God's prophets communicate with Him directly and share His word with the people. Here, we are warned that these false prophets will feed the people lies from Satan who is the father of lies. We also see that it is the so-called leaders who receive this demonic inspiration and tell the lies. The people are compared to sheep without a shepherd. When sheep are not properly led, they do not pay attention. As they graze for food, they will wander away from the flock where they can be devoured by predators. In the case of the last days, there will be false shepherds (leaders) who, through this demonic influence, mislead people.
"'My anger burns against the shepherds, and I will punish the leaders; for the Lord almighty will care for his flock, the people of Judah, and make them like a proud horse in battle.'" NIV translation
This verse speaks to the fact that Jesus Christ (the true Shepherd) will handle these false prophets and Satan. He will protect His people and make them into a force to fight the final battle. This is speaking of the 144,000 witnesses of Revelation 7 who will share the truth with God's people during the Great Tribulation.
"From Judah will come the cornerstone, from him the tent peg, from him the battle bow, from him every ruler." NIV translation
A cornerstone ties to walls together and a tent peg holds a tent down so it is not blown away by the wind. This verse speaks of Christ as the One who will hold things together. In the last days, there will be a total rejection of God's authority to rule over His creation but this is only temporary. Jesus will return as Conqueror and Ruler of all.
"Together they will be like warriors in battle trampling their enemy into the mud of the streets. They will fight because the Lord is with them, and they will put the enemy horsemen to shame." NIV translation
The prophet reassures his people that the final victory over the demonic forces is guaranteed. That same promise is for us as Christians. When Christ returns, it will be with the armies of heaven and the battle is short (see Revelation 20).
"'I will strengthen Judah and save the tribes of Joseph. I will restore them because I have compassion on them. They will be as though I had not rejected them, and I will answer them. The Ephraimites will become like warriors, and their hearts will be glad as with wine. Their children will see it and be joyful; their hearts will rejoice in the Lord.'" NIV translation
This passage speaks of the fact that the northern and southern kingdoms will be reunited. It will happen during the Millennial Reign and it will be a time of great joy. Hearts will be glad as they have been rescued from the time of great trouble.
"'I will signal for them and gather them in. Surely I will redeem them; they will be as numerous as before. Though I scatter them among the peoples, yet in distant lands they will remember me. They and their children will survive and they will return.'" NIV translation
The word "signal" literally means whistle much like a shepherd whistles to call his sheep. The Hebrew word is often used to describe rescuing someone from captivity. This speaks of the fact that it is only through the blood of Jesus Christ that people will enter into this new kingdom.
"'I will bring them back from Egypt and gather them from Assyria. I will bring them to Gilead and Lebanon, and there will not be room enough for them.'" NIV translation
God reassures His people that He will bring them safely back no matter where they are. The work of redemption was done by Jesus on the cross. Now, they are just waiting for the Shepherd's whistle to lead them to the new land.
"'They will pass through the sea of trouble; the surging sea will be subdued and all the depths of the Nile will dry up. Assyria's pride will be brought down and Egypt's scepter will pass away.'" NIV translation
The sea of trouble speaks of the period of time known as the Great Tribulation. This period of time has an end (seven years) and, at that time, the governments of this world that are led by the demonic influences will be judged.
"'I will strengthen them in the Lord and in his name they will live securely,' declares the Lord." NIV translation
It is only by the power of God that people survive this time of trouble. After the nations and the demonic forces are dealt with, there will finally be lasting peace and security.