Reading through the Bible together
“In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness” (13:1). What a grateful and encouraging vision!
Chapter 13 is a continuation of the previous chapter. In (12:10) it spoke about the Messiah being pierced. So in this chapter (13:1) the expression, “In that day” refers to the day when the Messiah was crucified, rather than the “day” at the end of time. As the Messiah dies as the sacrifice of God, and as people mourn over His death, the fountain of cleansing would be opened.
From the time of old, the idol worshippers have been the opponents of those of the true God. The false prophets were a hindrance to the ministry of God’s true prophets. This will be the way until the end. Jesus Himself warns us many times in Mt. 24 of false teachers and prophets and not to be misled by them. But the Lord of Hosts is promising here that the idols and the false prophets, and the unclean spirit which has been leading them astray, will be ultimately cut off from the land. Yes, Lord, we long for that day!
In verse 4 it speaks of converted prophets. But when we look at verses 5-6, they speak of the coming Redeemer. He is to be called a servant farmer from His youth, but then it describes how He will suffer. He will be wounded between His arms, meaning on His back. In the Gospels (Mt 27:26; Mk 14:65; 15:15; Lk 22:63; and Jn 19:1, 18) it tells us how they flogged Him, and how He was mocked and slapped. Verse 6 was quoted by Ellen G. White, among the verses from Isa 53, to describe the death of Christ as the Servant of God (AA 226).
All this happened as He was visiting the house of His friends, the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, which represent the human race. As predicted in verse 7, and foretold by Jesus citing this verse in Mt 26:31, when the Shepherd was smitten, all the flock of His disciples was scattered and ran away.
He came to open the cleansing fountain for their sin and rebellion. But they were so blind by their iniquity and covetousness, that they put Him to death. There were those who had the vested right to the Temple service and the religious system of that time, but they acted as enemies of their Lord. Let us remember that none of us have a right to anything we own. We are honored but only to be His stewards and servants. God is the Lord of all things.
It is amazing to see that most of the Scriptures were written more for us living at the end-time, than for anyone else in the history, even more than the prophets’ direct audience. This may apply to the last part of this chapter as well. The Lord will let the remnant people have trials and hardships, enough for them to give up the sin-driven worldliness and a desire for self-exaltation. Then we will call on His name and long for the cleansing power of His sacrifice. That’s when we will be His people and He will be our God. As much as we want to be called His people, God yearns for us to recognize Him as our God. When that happens, we will joyously say, “Yahweh is my God!”
Kyungpook National University
Sangju, South Korea