Warfare Spirituality

Don  Carson2 Chronicles 31; Revelation 17; Zechariah 13:2-9; John 16

IN SOME WAYS ZECHARIAH 13:2-9 continues with the theme of leadership. But it has two parts, each with very distinctive emphases:

(1) In Zechariah 13:2-6 God condemns the false shepherds—a common theme, of course (e.g., Jer. 23:9ff.; Ezek. 13; 34:1-10). Moreover, it fits the immediately preceding verses. There, we saw, a fountain is opened up for the cleansing of the inhabitants of Jerusalem in general, and for the house of David in particular. But if citizens and royalty alike are purified, so also must the religious leaders be purified. “On that day” (Zech. 13:2), God declares, he will banish not only the idols but the false prophets from the land. So transformed will be the situation that the covenantal ideal will be in force (Deut. 13:6-11): if someone says “Thus says the Lord” when the Lord has not spoken, his closest family members will be the first to silence him. Those who in the past have been false prophets will be so ashamed of themselves that when they are challenged they will insist that they are farmers (Zech. 13:4-5). If there are “prophetic scars” on their bodies (doubtless from self-inflicted wounds tied to ecstatic paganism, as in 1 Kings 18:28) they will lie through their teeth and insist that the scars were the result of some brawl or other that went on “at the house of my friends” (Zech. 13:6).

The point is that in the final arrangements of things, false teaching and false prophecy will be a thing of the past. Those with ears to hear should therefore abominate all such “prophecy” already, as a mark of attentiveness to the true word of the Lord.

(2) Some have wondered if the final three verses (Zech. 13:7-9) have somehow been misplaced from the end of chapter 11, where Zechariah has devoted a lot of attention to shepherds. In fact, these verses would not have made much sense there but they are admirably suitable here. Chapter 11 ends with Zechariah representing the worthless shepherd who undergoes divine disapproval. But the shepherd in Zechariah 13:7-9 is one God approves. The connections with the preceding two sections are easier to demonstrate. In Zechariah 12:10-13:1, Yahweh himself is wounded, pierced through; and then false prophets are denounced (Zech. 13:2-9). But there is still a need for the rightshepherd. The right one is God’s shepherd, “my shepherd … the man who is close to me” (Zech. 13:7). God commands the sword to strike him (reflect on Acts 4:27-28). Elsewhere, God himself is the shepherd, and so is his servant David (Ezek. 34); so here, God himself is pierced through, and so also is his shepherd. The first result is that the sheep scatter (Zech. 13:7; see Mark 14:27Matt. 26:31); the ultimate result is the purification and faithfulness of the people of God (Zech. 13:9).

WarfareAudio & Video

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Reflections to Consider

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Warfare Publications

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Publications

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Warfare Music

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Music

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Warfare Reflection

  • Warfare Spirituality

    The Trinity function as farmers of our souls, actively caring for God’s creation: an ongoing, radical reclamation of His creation. Read More
  • You are free

    The Jesus who calmed a sea of deadly, stormy waves, whose arrival sent thousands of demons cringing and cowering to Read More
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Audio & Video

  • Storytelling

    Eugene Peterson discusses his influences as a writer, as well as how and why he created the Message translation. This Read More
  • No Longer Alone with God

    This is the first of a seven part series by Dallas Willard, a USC philosophy professor who is closely associated Read More
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Favorites

  • Baptism, Communion, Repentance: The Essential U-Turn +

    Very few people admit to making u-turns when driving. Read More
  • The Wonder of Grace +

    Grace–that which brings us delight. Read More
  • Embracing God's Mystery +

    One of the sad aspects of humanity is our jadedness, Read More
  • A Model for Coming to God-adapted from Sylvia Gunter +

    Sylvia Gunter uses Psalm 35 to show how David asked God to contend, fight, rescue, defend, vindicate Read More
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Hidden Blessings

  • The Mystery of Godliness +

    Longings after God My dear Lord, I can but tell Thee that Thou knowest I long for nothing but Thyself, Read More
  • The Mystery of Iniquity by RC Sproul +

    It has been called the Achilles' heel of the Christian faith. Of course, I'm referring to the classical problem of Read More
  • The Mystery of the Trinity: One in Essence, Three in Person by RC Sproul +

    Do the three Persons of the Trinity truly exist? In this message entitled "One in Essence, Three in Person," Dr. Read More
  • Behold, I Tell You a Mystery by Baritone Coloratura· +

    Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, Read More
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