“Awake, O sword, against my shepherd,
against the man who stands next to me,”
declares the Lord of hosts.
“Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered;
I will turn my hand against the little ones.
In the whole land, declares the Lord,
two thirds shall be cut off and perish,
and one third shall be left alive.
And I will put this third into the fire,
and refine them as one refines silver,
and test them as gold is tested.
They will call upon my name,
and I will answer them.
I will say, ‘They are my people’;
and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.'” (Zechariah 13:7-9 ESV)
On the night Jesus would be taken to trial and crucifixion, he quotes verse 7. He is the shepherd that will be struck and they are the sheep that will be scattered. The rest of this passage thus explains for us what the Jewish people and the church would go through. God’s hand will also strike Israel. This happened in severity in the late 60’s and culminated with the complete destruction of the temple in 70AD. Great persecution arose upon the church too as God refined it, weeding out the pretenders from the true believers in Christ. in so doing God will establish a people for himself.
When God refines you, what will be burned away?
Ask the Lord to sustain your faith in the day of trial, that your heart might be truly His.
McCheyne’s reading plan: 2 Ch 31, Re 17, Zech 13, Ps 144