Zechariah prophesied during the time that the Persian Empire ruled. During this time Zechariah would have spoken the words of chapter 12. Times in Israel were very difficult. Only a meager number of Israelites had returned from captivity in Babylon to rebuild the temple. Most of the Jews remained in Babylon where they had established homes and businesses. Those returning to rebuild the temple had become embroiled in both internal and external difficulties and religious disputes. The rebuilding of the temple had not turned out to be a glamorous job. During this building program, the Samaritans tried to insert themselves, creating political and social unrest. People turned away from building the temple and began to concentrate on their own homes and land. The foundation of the temple had been built, but it stood untouched for eighteen years. Add to all of this a famine that ravaged the land, turning everyone’s attention to survival. It is in these crushing circumstances that Zechariah speaks God’s words saying, “The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.” Zechariah 12:1
Here is a wake-up call. These people are in the midst of hardship and adversity, and the LORD identifies Himself as the Creator of all, the One who put man’s spirit within him. And He further identifies Himself, saying, “And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications. And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.” Zechariah 12:9,10
This is stunning! If we are connecting Zechariah 12:1,9,10 we see the LORD (yood, hey, vav, hey) is identifying Himself as the Creator, the Defender of Jerusalem, the One who knows the future, the One who pours out Grace and evokes supplications. Then He says He was pierced and they will mourn for Him! Who is the Creator, the Defender, the Giver of Grace, who was pierced? There is only One – the Messiah!
The Messiah is identifying Himself as G-d!
G-d was giving these people an incredible foretelling of so many of the events that were yet to unfold. He is not trying to hide. He wants to be recognized. Who else is the Creator that was pierced?
He knows the circumstances these people were enduring, and He wants to conquer their hearts. He wants the same thing today, regardless of our circumstances, do we see who He is? Does He have our whole hearts?