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Zechariah 14:16-19

Keeping the Feast

16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. 17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. 18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.

Although the armies of the nations that come against Jerusalem will be utterly destroyed by Christ, there will apparently be surviving remnants of the populations of those nations. These will be a defeated people, and every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. As the Hebrews during the Old Testament age, they will be required to go up to Jerusalem every year and worship the true King during the Feast of Tabernacles.

I do not believe that the people who will go up to worship the King, Yahweh of Hosts, are converted born again Christians. The idea is not that of worshiping one whom they look upon as their God, but as their King. Several translations simply say that they will go to Jerusalem to bow down to the King, like they would before any other conquering sovereign. Neither do we find that they are in any way a part of the church or have any spiritual relationship with God.

Neither should this passage be understood to support the dispensational view that Jesus will once again implement the Law of Moses during the millennial period. That view is almost blasphemous. "So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect." (Hebrews 9:28-10:1) The ordinances of sacrifice were not only inadequate to take away the guilt of sin but, "For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure." (Hebrews 10:4-6) God has no pleasure in those OT sacrifices, so why would he reinstate them during the millennium?

The Feast of Tabernacles is a celebration of what God has done for His people. It represents the time when the people of Israel were delivered from slavery in Egypt and escaped into the wilderness where they lived in booths or tents as free people. It is also symbolic of the time in the future when God will gather the nations around Himself. It is alternately named the Feast of In-gathering. The time of Christ's millennial reign is the fulfillment of this time and the people of every nation will be obligated to commemorate God's great works. The feast lasts eight days, the number eight generally signifying a new beginning. It represented the day when Israel would experience a new beginning in the promised land. It can also signify this new beginning at the return and millennial reign of Yahweh of hosts.

God will, however, continue His practice of punishing those who defy Him. The nations who refuse to come and bow down to their King will have no rain. This new King, whom they previously had not known, has the power to give or to withhold the rain from any nation. Egypt is mentioned here, perhaps because it was Israel's greatest enemy, because the plagues mentioned reminded the prophet of the exodus, or simply because the nation has symbolically represented sin throughout the scriptures. The nations who would defy God's will, even though He punished them with severe draught would also suffer the plagues similar to those inflicted on Egypt.

Thus, the book of Zechariah, begins to wind up its prophecy with the millennial reign of our Lord Jesus Christ. The book has many things in common with the book of Revelation. However, the most outstanding message of the book is that God will work His pleasure upon the people of the earth, and those who love Him and serve Him will always have hope in Jesus Christ, no matter how dire their present circumstances might appear to be. It is an awe inspiring plan that encompasses all of history, every nation, every individual person, every living creature, the heavenly bodies and even accounts for every hair on your head.

Those of us who know the LORD do not need to wait for the Feast of Tabernacles to bow down before Him. It is our honor and passion to have the opportunity to bow at His feet.

Before The Throne:

Give thanks today and everyday for the opportunities that God has given you to serve and to worship Him. Ask Him to help you keep your life focused on these end time promises that He has made to you. Pray that your life will be based on them. Ask Him for the faith and courage to do the things necessary to live in a way that will glorify Him in everything that you do.

For Further Study:

** that every. Zech 8:20-23; 9:7; Isa 60:6-9; 66:18-21, 23; Joel 2:32; Acts 15:17; Rom 9:23-24; 11:5, 16, 26; Rev 11:13, 15-17; ** the King. Psa 24:7-10; Isa 6:5; Jer 46:18; 48:15; 51:57; Mal 1:14; Luke 19:38; John 1:49; Phil 2:9-11; Rev 19:16; ** and to. Lev 23:33-36, 43; Num 29:12-38; Deut 16:13-16; 31:10-13; 2Chr 7:8-10; 2Chr 8:13; Ezra 3:4; Neh 8:14-18; Hos 12:9; John 7:2, 37-39;

(v.17) ** that. Psa 2:8-12; 110:5-6; Isa 45:23; 60:12; Jer 10:25; Rom 14:10-11; ** all. Gen 10:32; 12:3; 28:14; Amos 3:2; Acts 17:26-27; ** even. Deut 11:17; 28:23-24; 1Kgs 8:35; 17:1; 2Chr 6:26; 7:13; Isa 5:6; Jer 14:4, 22; Amos 4:7-8; Jas 5:17; Rev 11:6;

(v.18) ** that have no. Deut 11:10-11;

(v.19) ** punishment. John 3:19;


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