“On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward.” – Zechariah 14:4
I wish today’s blog could come with a boarding pass.
Instead of meeting here, we would travel together to one of my favorite places to study God’s Word — the Holy Land. There is something so powerful and humbling about standing in a place where you know Jesus Himself once stood.
As incredible as that would be, I’m thankful we don’t have to travel internationally in order to glean something personally from Scripture today. All we need to do is dig a bit deeper into the history of a pivotal location found in this chapter of Zechariah — the Mount of Olives.
The Mount of Olives is a ridge that runs about two and a half miles from north to south on the eastern side of Jerusalem. Three of the peaks that make up this mountain range are Mount Scopus (the north peak), Mount of Olives (the center peak) and Mount of Corruption (the south peak). It is separated from the city of Jerusalem by the Kidron Valley, also known as the Valley of Decision. And it serves as an important location for a variety of biblical events.
In the New Testament, we discover that Jesus’ feet were found standing on this mount often. He rested, taught and prayed in this place. It is where He was on the night of His betrayal (John 18:1), and it is on this very mount that His disciples watched Him ascend into heaven. (Acts 1:9-12)
In our key verse, Zechariah 14:4, we learn that it is the place where His feet will one day land again: “On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward.”
I don’t want us to miss what the prophet Zechariah says will happen when the Lord’s feet hit the Mount of Olives on that day. The land will be split in two. Divided. And before we think this is simply a geography lesson, God wants us to know there is so much more going on here.
The physical ramifications brought on by Israel’s divided hearts hold powerful spiritual implications for our hearts today.
On the day Jesus returns, He will destroy the Mount of Corruption. This is the part of the mountain range where King Solomon allowed his pagan wives to build altars to worship false gods. (1 Kings 11:7) This area defiled by Solomon as he clung to his wives instead of the Lord will fall. And water will come up from the temple and flow both directions, east and west (Zechariah 14:8), moving with such force that the Mount of Corruption will be rushed with the water into the Dead Sea.
Why? Because God will always tear down anything that is detestable to Him.
How this convicts my heart.
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be in the camp of Solomon on that glorious day when Jesus returns. I don’t want to be like the children of Israel, found time and again clinging to things that do not honor Him.
I want to ask the Lord to convict me. To reveal the places where I’m holding fast to sin. To show me if there is anything in my life that dishonors Him. I know it’s not an easy or comfortable thing to do. But when we repent and press past the initial discomfort of conviction, we get to step into the glorious work of God’s restoration.
Ezekiel 47:8-9 tells us that when the Mount of Corruption is washed away into the Dead Sea, those waters will once again be teeming with life. How like Jesus! When we ask forgiveness for our sins, He washes us clean. He says that our sins will be cast into the sea to be remembered no more. He makes us new and offers eternal life to all who profess Him as Lord.
What an incredible gift it is to be His.
Let’s ask Him to help us check the landscape of our hearts. Let’s allow Him to reveal any divided affections. Any idols taking up space that belongs to Him.
The things in our life that don’t honor God will eventually be removed. We have a choice. Either we can release them, or He will remove them. May today be the day we choose release.
God, create in me a clean heart. Purify me, Lord. I know that anything in my life that dishonors You will not stand. And I don’t want to wait until the last day when those areas of compromise and sin fall and become my shame. I want to confess them now. I want to release each one into Your hands so they can be carried away into the Dead Sea. Thank You for being a God of both grace and truth. A God of conviction and restoration. I surrender anew to Your work in me today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
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