We’re experiencing an almost incomprehensible reality today, and the events around us are changing at a dizzying pace. In a matter of a couple weeks, Israel, just like many nations, has come to a grinding halt: everyone, except those in critical services, is ordered to stay in their homes. We believe that God has been preparing believers for this time: a month ago a 40-day global fast (The Jesus Fast) was called by evangelist Lou Engle which many of us here in Israel, along with countless around the world, have joined. We are already in a posture of denying ourselves and seeking Him, and now with the current crisis, we are called to stand in the position that God has prepared for us in the face of a global pandemic.
Is God Sovereign?
Many are wondering, “What is going on here?” First of all, we know that God is sovereign; He is on His throne and nothing happens without His allowing it. The enemy cannot put together this plague behind God’s back, and God is allowing it while at the same time working multiple good objectives through it according to His perfect will. What good objectives might God be working through this crisis? I know that many of us recognize some of them, and I see several positive objectives God is working through this challenging time. In this article I would like to focus on one.
One important objective God is working through this crisis: In His mercy, God wants to wake up those who are walking in darkness without the knowledge of Him, those walking in apathy to the most basic and essential question of their lives: does God exist or not, and if He does, what does that mean for me? We know that God uses crises to wake up those who are living in apathy, who are living for an interminable future without considering their mortality and the meaning of their lives. One thing this pandemic has done is shatter the illusion that people’s day to day lives will continue without significant disruption. The pressure, worries, tasks and pleasures of day to day life keep people in the dim valley of life without the knowledge of God. In fact, the pressures and tasks of day to day life are an excellent tool which the enemy uses to keep people from being able to focus and ponder the deeper questions of their existence.
All Flesh is Grass
It is clear to see that God is working through this crisis to wake people up to the fact of how fragile their existence is, to the fact that our days on the earth are finite. More than that, God is giving everyone the time and the space to stop and ponder these questions, not for just a moment or two, but for a concerted period of time to meditate on these questions, to seek, and to ultimately find, by His grace, the truth—salvation through our Lord Yeshua the Messiah.
The Zechariah 12 Connection
Even though this chapter deals with the final battle for Jerusalem at the end of the Tribulation before our Lord appears in the sky to all, I strongly believe that God is causing a foreshadow of this prophecy to happen today. Zechariah 12: 9-14 says:
It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations [today, all the viruses!] that come against Jerusalem. “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn. In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. And the land shall mourn, every family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves; all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves
Notice how what is written in this verse places special emphasis on the idea of each and every family being together by itself. Until today, I didn’t understand how or why this would happen, however this passage describes the situation today of families being quarantined in their homes together. Not only that, this passage points out that there, in their “quarantine”, God pours out His Spirit of grace and supplication. I believe that a special grace is available right now which God is pouring out on the people of Israel, and on all nations, to receive a revelation of Yeshua the Messiah. These verses In Zechariah 12 encourage and give us hope that in this difficult time we will see significant fruit of salvations among the people of Israel, in the Muslim world, and around the whole world.
Our Calling as Priests
God is always calling us to partner with Him, and especially in this situation: during this time of separation God is calling us to stand in our roles as priests unto God (2 Peter 2:5) to intercede for our nations, to petition the Mercy Seat for the lost. It is our prayer that God would use the pressures of this pandemic to draw people to him, to soften their hearts, and to give them ears to hear and eyes to see the great salvation He has prepared for them!
0 thoughts on “The Corona Pandemic and Zechariah 12”
Joey Benami says:
Prophetic word by Joey Benami:
Because we live in a world of quick solutions, we assume we already know the nature of that which we try to solve, and when our solutions don’t solve the problem we quickly move on to the next thing so we don’t look foolish. Our folly is to focus on a course of action before we understand the nature of the issue. Prophetically speaking, this is putting a word of wisdom before a word of knowledge. In the current worldwide health crisis, many have been vocal on how the people of God should be responding, diagnosing initial responses as fear, lack of faith, and lack of courage. But have those voices spoken a course of action before understanding the nature of the issue at hand? Have they spoken a course of action without a word of knowledge? What is the spiritual nature of this worldwide virus crisis? We’re not seeking to act out of what we know, but to seek fresh and supernatural understanding and revelation, in other words, a word of knowledge.
In the US, the shut down became a reality the weekend of Saturday March 7th. That day I was to have a guest speaker, but after canceling our services and deciding to have an online service, I began to study and prepare a sermon. That’s when the Lord showed me there were three scriptures converging on the world on that day, all addressing the issue of the day. The Jewish weekly reading for that day was Exodus 30:11 and following, but because it was the third special Sabbath before Passover, Shabbat Parah, a reading was added which was Numbers 19. On top of this, we were still on Purim week with its reading of the book of Esther, so that was the third passage. Let’s comment on them briefly.
The first section of Exodus 30:11 instructs the Israelites on what to do when taking a census and why: bring a half-shekel (even today the Israeli currency is called the Shekel) for atonement so that a plague would not strike. Atonement is accomplished through sprinkling blood “for it is the blood by reason of the life that makes atonement” (Leviticus 17:11). The instruction then is about being infused with life so a plague would not strike. Two other things are prominent in that passage: first the word “to number” occurs 5 times in the span of 2 verses. The word means “visitation,” like when a supervisor comes to visit to evaluate, count, to determine if you are to be praised or corrected. The second thing is that the atonement would be a memorial of you before the Lord, which means that, at the right and prophetic time, God will begin to answer your prayers and petitions. Through this virus, God is visiting the world, and those who respond to it with actions infused with life will be remembered by the Lord. The census word in this reading literally means “to lift the head,” an expression of restoration and being brought to prominence, being lifted up as a head.
The second section of Exodus 30, 17-21, are the instructions for making the laver, which was for the priests to wash their hands and feet before going into the holy place. They were already clean, otherwise, they wouldn’t even be inside the tabernacle. This washing was for further infusion with life, living water. Twice the passage says “so that they will not die” (v. 20-21). The passage is instructing the world to respond with actions filled with life, for that would save lives, not only through literal hand-washing but through actions that come from and promote life. Numbers 19 actually emphasizes the same idea, as this is the passage that instructs the priests to sprinkle people with the waters of the red heifer, in other words, infuse them with life. This would take care of their corpse contamination, death, and allow them to enter God’s presence to worship. This is what worshipers would do when coming to Passover, that is why we read this every year just a few weeks before Passover. Now, this passage brings Passover into perspective, right in the middle of large public gatherings being curtailed. The third passage, the book of Esther, talks about that.
The story of Esther is about an enemy of the Jews planning to annihilate the Jews by convincing the king to issue a decree for such an action. This man cast Pur, or lot, hence the name Purim, or lots. He did this, the text tells us “on the thirteenth day of the first month” (Esth. 3:12), that is the day before Passover on the 14th day! Esther then called for a three day fast that was observed on the 13th, the 14th and the 15th days. Essentially, Passover was shut down that year, just like it looks it might be this year. Prayer and fasting are being called for like it was in Esther. Even the US president declared a national day of prayer on Sun March 8th. Esther goes on day 15th into the king, who receives her with favor. She offers a banquet and decides not to disclose Haman’s plot that day but the next, that is the 16th. Why? Passover is on the 14th, Israel left Egypt, but on the third day, they were trapped between the Egyptian army and the sea. God parted the waters on the third day, the 16th, and they came out of the waters as one comes up from burial in resurrection! Likewise, Yeshua died on Nissan 14th and rose again on the third day, the 16th. After the first day of banquet, on the 15th, Haman built the gallows to kill Mordechai. That evening the king could not sleep, and the story of Mordechai’s heroic acts were read to him. On the morning of the 16th, resurrection day, the king orders Haman to honor Mordechai, and immediately Haman has to go to the second banquet day when his plot is uncovered and he is killed. God visited Haman whose action were not from life, and he received death. God also visited Mordechai, whose actions were to save lives, and he was honored with life.
Three scriptures converging on the world on the same day, all giving us an understanding as to the nature of what’s happening in the world at this time, and a blueprint for the days ahead. Is there more?
Many voices have criticized churches and leaders for following government recommendations and shutting down gatherings and services, but have they understood the nature of these recommendations? I don’t mean the medical nature but the biblical nature. During this crisis, we’ve all been amazed that the world’s governments are acting together in unison in one single action, that of shutting the world down. Many have spoken ill of this. Prophetic voices, accustomed to being countercultural, have done what they know to do, go against the grain of the world. Have they proclaimed a course of action while lacking understanding of the nature of this worldwide unity of action?
Simply put, governments have acted in protection of their people. They are issuing travel bans and recommendations against large public gatherings, even at the price of severe economic repercussions. The governments and leaders who are doing this are putting people, lives, ahead of the economy. Something to be applauded, not criticized. This is the very definition of biblical justice: to issue compassionate decisions to protect the innocent. The world is being infused with life-giving measures by its leaders, to save lives in the middle of a plague. These leaders, whether they know it or not, are being the just and righteous leaders that inevitably, according to scripture, are blessed and honored for their actions. A leader among these worldwide leaders is the US president, Donald Trump. The compassion, righteousness, and justice demonstrated by him will not go unrewarded. In fact, this has only increased the rewards coming his way, as these actions are added to what he has done in favor of Israel, in recognizing Israel’s right to a greater measure of the land, including the Temple Mount, which is the Zion of our Bibles. Harvest time will come upon the world, coinciding with the biblical time of harvest, which begins in the Summer and extends into the Fall. This compassionate action, these life-filled measures will result in spiritual life, a harvest beginning with first fruits this Summer, sweeping the world, especially the US and Europe, areas in desperate need of revival. The economy will recover and prosper, and Trump will be catapulted to unprecedented levels of world leadership, politically and economically.
What should the church do, now that we understand the nature of this time and these measures? Prophets that spoke ill of these measures: receive now the Lord’s compassionate heart, so your gift is complemented by a shepherding heart. God wounds but he also heals, judgment is a strange work for Him. Pastors, get a prophetic edge, learn to receive words of knowledge so you lead people prophetically, not just culturally. Congregations, be ready to love those God will send to you in harvest, or else you will lose them. They will come to you because of the love of God in the country’s atmosphere, sustain them with the same they were won, the love of God through compassionate leadership. Finally, do not neglect your love for Israel, but rather activate it in concrete ways. Make room for the Jews in your theology, in your budget, and in your congregations, just like they made room for you Gentiles 2,000 years ago.
peggie harrington says:
I agree. I am honored to live in such a time as this. This is the move!
Peter Gray-Read says:
Yes amen… Every family by itself… Quarantined. If the majority of a nation has turned its back on God. He will let them see if their new NHS or other health service ‘god’ can save them…
Pilade Pirola says:
this prophecy of Zechariah 12.10 concerns the conversion of Israel to Jesus and not the crown virus, and will occur when all the children of Israel have returned to Israel and when a world government will be established with the Antichrist as leader, according to Isaiah 60.1-2. This epidemic is part of the prophecy made by Jesus in Luke 21.11 and is a beginning of God’s judgments, which announce the return of Jesus to establish his kingdom.
Chris Brundyn says:
Thank you for this awesome message and we trust that families will find Salvation.
Blessings for all
Jan Smith says:
Yes, I agree with what you have said. We have become so “comfortable” with living for “today” that we don’t consider that “today” will not always exist. People don’t recognize their need for salvation in Jeshua, because they are so comfortable. While I don’t believe that God caused this pandemic, He can use it to reach people’s hearts and show them true life in Him.
Lanita Jackson says:
He has been speaking to me about His grace is literal power that can heal all
Yachal Hope Cummins says:
Lord, help us hear and heed Your voice
crystal cobb says:
thank u, this is confirmation to what YahWeh thru His Ruach HaKodesh is sharing w me and most likely
many individuals. I’m thankful for the person who emailed me this information.
amen and amen. Makes great sense!
Amen. This crisis will indeed put the fear of God in the hearts of men. More people will be drawn to believe and reverence God by His grace. May His mercy continue to endure forever.
I could not agree more.