By My Spirit
March 20, 2020
March 20, 2020
The angel who was speaking with me then returned and roused me as one awakened out of sleep. He asked me, “What do you see?” I replied, “I see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl at the top. The lampstand also has seven lamps at the top with seven spouts for each of the lamps. There are also two olive trees beside it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.” Then I asked the angel who was speaking with me, “What are these, my lord?” “Don’t you know what they are?” replied the angel who was speaking with me. I said, “No, my lord.” So he answered me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by strength or by might, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord of Armies. ‘What are you, great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain. And he will bring out the capstone accompanied by shouts of: Grace, grace to it!’” Zechariah 4:1-7
It has been said that “Nehemiah rebuilt the wall, Zerubbabel rebuilt the temple, and Ezra rebuilt the people.” Zerubbabel’s job was to rebuild the temple, and it was no easy task. There were people around the people of God who did not want the temple rebuilt. The project had been started but not finished. The work had paused, so God sent a word to his leader Zerubbabel through the prophet Zechariah: “Not by strength or by might, but by my Spirit.”
There was a mountain of debris where the temple used to be. This was the Babylonians’ third campaign against Israel. Previously they had come in and partially won but had not destroyed the city. This time, in 586 BC, they came back and brought the hammer. They destroyed everything. When they were done, they heaped up all the rubble where the temple had been. The one place that the earth had known as the presence of the Lord, where the Lord visited with His people. The Babylonians turned that holy and beautiful place, known as one of the great wonders of the world, into a pile of trash. Do you see the immense evil in that?
Zerubbabel knew that the mountain of debris had to be removed. What an overwhelming task! If we are looking at the mountain of debris, whatever is holding us back from doing the Lord’s will, it’s easy for us to get overwhelmed.
‘What are you, great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain. (v.7)
My wife Rhonda and I have had the opportunity to stand on the temple mount and it is flat. It’s cleared. Zerubbabel did His job. At the time, it looked like that mountain would never be moved. God’s promise to His people was that this mountain would become a plain. With God, clearing and construction become possible. Does it become possible by our own strength and ingenuity?
‘Not by strength or by might, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord of Armies. (v.6)
With God, big things (great mountains) can become small, and small things can become big. That mountain of debris that is in our way, keeping us from doing what God has called us to do, can become plain. But the flip side is also true: little is much when God is in it.
With God, unfinished tasks can be finished. It wasn’t too long ago that our church had no land or buildings, no place from which to base our activities to reach this neighborhood for Jesus Christ.
Then the word of the Lord came to me: “Zerubbabel’s hands have laid the foundation of this house, and his hands will complete it. Then you will know that the Lord of Armies has sent me to you. For who despises the day of small things? (vv.8-9)
This is a small church. It used to be smaller! In the grand scheme of things, this is no megachurch. But in the hands of God, this offering can be used to reach these neighbors and bring them to Him. God can use you to accomplish His will – but only through His Spirit.
Kevin is a Pastor at Blackman Baptist Church.