Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle.Zechariah 14:3(NASB)
There are many biblical signs pointing to the end times, but there are no biblical prophecies that have to be fulfilled before the rapture of the Church, when Christ comes to escort His bride into heaven, but we are not left uninformed! We are told about the times, and seasons! However, we're exhorted to occupy 'til Jesus comes. We are to watch for Him, recognise that the consummation of the age is very close, and be ready for His imminent return... when, in the twinkling of an eye, the dead in Christ will be raised imperishable, and all who believe on the Lord for salvation will be changed into the likeness of Christ.
Israel, on the contrary, are given many hundreds of prophecies relating to both Christ's first advent - when He was born of a virgin in Bethlehem and also His second coming, when Jesus returns to the earth, in clouds of great glory, to set up His millennial kingdom that will never end. All prophecies relating to Christ's first coming have been fulfilled, while those connected with His return are currently being set up for their eventual fulfillment during the Great Tribulation - sometimes called the 70th week of Daniel or the Time of Jacob's Trouble.
At His second advent, Jesus will come with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him. He will be riding a white horse and coming in the clouds of heaven - and on His robe and thigh will be written “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. Every eye will see Him and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. These prophecies speak of the time when national Israel will repent of their past sin - and the Gentile nations will know that God is the Lord.
Zechariah is one of many prophets that give some very stirring and specific prophecies to Israel, about the return of Christ. He warns of the day when Jerusalem will become a cup of trembling to all the surrounding nations. He describes the siege that will be laid against Judah. He speaks of the day when the Lord will destroy all the nations that attack the Holy City. Zechariah relates how God will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled.
He is speaking of a time in Israel's future history when all hope seems to have evaporated. He is prophesying of the time that Christ is about to return to earth, for Zechariah is delivering a message of great hope to God's people, as well as a warning... for he said, "THEN the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle." And today we are seeing things being set up for the coming Day of the Lord.
Having gone through terrible times of trouble and great tribulation, and despite seeing their Holy City captured, it's wealth taken, it's people enslaved, and the rebuilt temple of God desecrated by the man-of-sin, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship - Zechariah gives God's people a wonderful message of hope. God, Himself, will stand up and fight against those nations, and manifest His great power.
He will fight all those who have come against His people Israel, "on the day of slaughter". He describes the day when Christ will stand on the Mount of Olives, which will split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley, in which half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half toward the south. He tells of a unique day, known only to the Lord, when there will be neither day nor night - but living waters will flow out, from under Jerusalem, to cleanse the earth. Amidst all the wrath of God being poured out on the Godless people who refuse to believe - this prophet of doom delivers a message of hope. "Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle."
The Lord is the divine Warrior, Who stood up and fought for His people on many occasions in Old Testament times. The Lord will once again display His awesome strength to Israel, as also to the people who refuse to acknowledge Him as God. He will display His righteous judgement before the nations and will destroy Israel's enemies and FINALLY, salvation will visit His people. On that day, Israel will call on the name of the Lord, recognise their Messiah, and repent of their sin.
When God chose Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Israel to be His chosen nations, through whom the Messiah would be born, He also promised them the land of Israel and many blessings besides. When the Lord called David to shepherd His people Israel, He promised to build him a house. He promised that one of His descendants would sit on his royal throne, forever.
The Lord will chasten them for a brief time, BUT He will never go back on His promises to Israel. They will never fail, for His word is altogether sure and He can be trusted. And how we rejoice as well, for His promises to the Church are equally true and altogether righteous - for they are all "yes" and "amen" through Christ Jesus our Lord.
Heavenly Father, thank You that Your word is trustworthy and true, and that Your promises, to both Israel and the Church, stand fast forever and ever. Thank You that in Your goodness and grace You purposed to save Your rebellious people and have set out Your battle plan, in the pages of Scripture. Thank You, that despite their rebellion, You will not forsaken Your people Israel, and that a day is coming when salvation will come to that whole nation. Thank You, also, for Your many precious promises to the Church. May I be a worthy witness to Your goodness and grace, and stand fast on the Word of truth. This I ask in Jesus' precious name, AMEN.