Dalton Jenkins / General
Zechariah (Ne. 8:4); Assurance; Comfort; Jews (return from Exile) / Zechariah 4; 2 Corinthians 12:9; Psalm 91; Isaiah 65:24
Zechariah 4:6 ESV
6 Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.
WE NEED TO SEE SPIRITUALLY
As I look in the text, one of the first things I note is that we need to see spiritually. It’s easy to forget that the goodness of God, that his hands still can reach us. When you are battered with all kinds of situations and expected to live, you’re expected to serve; you’re expected to carry on; it’s not easy. Zerubbabel understood this. As a king, how does he encourage the people? How does he speak peace, speak hope? He became affected by the circumstances that were around him.
Every single one of us, at some point in time, will need somebody to encourage us. At some point in time, every one of us needs somebody to speak hope and life into our circumstances. When you look all around you and seem hopeless, you need somebody to come alongside and say it is not all lost. There is hope for tomorrow. You need someone who can see spiritually. Being able to see spiritually means you can look beyond the current circumstances and discern the voice and instruction of the Holy Spirit.
In verse two of Zechariah chapter four, the angel said to Zechariah, what do you see? He replied I’m looking. See, we must be able to look spiritually. He didn’t see death and doom. He didn’t see broken walls and overturned tombs. No. He had to look spiritually. He had to look beyond the circumstances. And what he saw was something unique. He saw the candlestick. Consider with me for a moment what this candlestick represented in the sanctuary. He could see the original deposition of the candlestick. The prophet sees it as where it should be, projected up like usually. He saw beyond the current condition. He’s thinking about the temple of God with the candlestick, with the lights burning, signifying something is going to happen. Beside the candlestick were two olive trees. Consider the purpose of the olive trees; olive trees speak of supplies. Therefore, if you have an olive tree, you will get olive, and you can make your oil, and oil is essential. You can sell your oil, and now you have provision. I am refusing to allow my current disposition to dictate what I see and what I believe. I am looking deeper and beyond the natural. I want to see what God is showing me, hope!
When I look, and I see the devastation, I must look deeper. I must look through the eyes of the Spirit. I must hear what God says to me when he asks me, son, what do you see? I must look. What do you see? Sometimes you are at a point where you don’t know what is happening around you. You’re just backed in a corner; you just don’t know what to do. When a question is asked of you, and you cannot find the answer. God wants you to look beyond what you are experiencing physically. Just don’t rest at, I don’t know. You must go beyond that point and look again. I must look again because what I’m used to seeing, I don’t think that’s what you’re asking me about God. You’re not asking me what my physical eyes see; you’re asking me what my spiritual eyes are looking on. Look again! Tell me what you see.
It’s interesting as you dig deeper into this text that the question is not about the past. It’s not what you saw, but it’s what do you see now. It’s the reality. You must get this in your Spirit today. He’s not concerned about what you saw. He says, look and tell me what you see. For some folks, the past is not worth beholding. History is hard to grasp, to comprehend. When I look at the past, I get more depressed; I just want to be detached. So, I can’t dwell in the past. I got to look at what I see now and now; it’s something of life and hope. He spoke. I see that there’s a lampstand. I see solid gold with a bowl on top of it. And on it, seven lamps, seven pipes, seven lamps.
Just like the prophet, I must look beyond what man tells me. I got to look beyond what my eyes were telling me. I got to look beyond my current situation. I must look through the eyes of God, and I see hope, I see a future, I see brighter today. I see things are changing; I see my olive trees. I see my bowls on the right and the left, and I have hope. We need to be able to see spiritually.
WE NEED A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM GOD
Secondly, Zechariah 4:6-7 (ESV) demonstrates that we need a message of hope from God. I embrace this in my heart that it’s
6 Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.
This is a message of hope. Verse six states, this is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel. Does anyone need a word from God in your circumstances? I don’t need any fancier speeches. I don’t need any excellent lectures. I need the word of God for my life. I need the word of God in my circumstances. I am in dire situation. I’m in a straight. I don’t need you tickling ears with words that do not give hope. I don’t need fancy talk.
I need the word of God since he is the source of my hope. I need to hear that God is coming through for me. I need God’s word. This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel, a message of hope from God our Father. This word is available to you and me as we experience the darkest moments of our lives.
We’ve got to speak the word of God into the lives and circumstances of others. Speak positively into the lives of others. Listen to what God is saying. You see, the prophet cannot be quick to speak. First, he asked him, what do you see? If people are quick to talk, they primarily don’t ponder the point long enough to speak. The first thing he said to the prophet was, look, what do you see? And when he told him what he saw, he said, okay, here is what you need to tell Zerubbabel. We must be deliberating before we start speaking. We should not be too quick to talk, but we are to be praying about what God says to us and what he wants us to say? What is it that he is showing us?
The vision wasn’t for the prophet. The vision was for the king because the king needed to be encouraged. The prophet brought the message of hope. The message to Zerubbabel is that it is not by “your might that you will be successful.” In other words, Zerubbabel, don’t worry yourself. You are looking at the task, and the task seems daunting. You’re looking at the task, and it seems like you cannot do it, but don’t worry yourself, Zerubbabel.
It’s not by your might, Zerubbabel.
It’s not how strong you are, Zerubbabel.
It’s not how deep your pocket is, Zerubbabel.
It’s not by your might, Zerubbabel, but it is by the Spirit of God.
At this point, we should be shouting because when I am weak, I am strong in God, as stated in 2 Corinthians 12:9 (NKJV)
“And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, most gladly, I will rather boast in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
That means when I am discouraged and worn out; then I am encouraged and lifted because it’s not by my might; it’s not by my strength. I don’t have to develop any energy for the Spirit of God to move. He is independent of our circumstances. I just got to trust the Spirit of God to move in my life.
Today, my cry is, “Lord; I cannot do this task; only you can get it done, God. Even when I think I am capable, God, unless you do it, I will fail unless your Holy Spirit leads. Move Holy spirit! As you reminded Zerubbabel, please continue to remind me that the Lord of hosts sent the message. It is the mighty God, the everlasting father, the prince of peace that has spoken, and I believe him!”
To prophet intending to reassure the king did not immediately give the message directly. However, he showed him a picture. It is as if God was saying, “I want him to understand what I’m trying to tell him.” I’m going to speak to his enemies at the same time. I will speak to his challenges; I will say to the circumstances, the situation that gets him down. I need God to speak into my affairs. I need God to talk to my mountains. The writer asked in verse seven, who are you thou great “Mountain”? I don’t know what the “Mountain” is in your life today; let me share with you, there is a word from God. He has a word that He has sent to you. And the question is, who are you, thou “great Mountain”?
Why is God questioning this Mountain? He says, “oh great Mountain, who are you great Mountain before Zerubbabel?” The reason why God is questioning this Mountain is that the Mountain is a hindrance to his servant. In other words, whatever your mountains are, your restrictions, and your challenges, the God that we serve will require those “Mountains” to answer to Him. He’s not arguing. God is not quarreling. He’s not fussing with the “Mountain.” He’s just asking the question, who are you, great Mountain? Who are you that you’re going to stand in front of my servant Zerubbabel? You will become a plain. God said I’m going to bring you down “Mountain.” Why? Because you are a hindrance to my servant’s progress.
We need a message of hope when we are faced with our pandemics. It’s not just coronavirus that is a pandemic in our lives. There are pandemics of finances affecting our relationships and our jobs. These pandemics are haunting us night and day. We need God to speak to our mountains. God will bring low those obstacles, and He will give us hope. Don’t you worry; just leave it to the Spirit of God. Because the Bible tells me that God has given us His Spirit, he says he didn’t give you a spirit of fear but love and power and a sound mind [2 Timothy 1:7].
So, I’m not going to ignore my situation. I’m not going to ignore that I have a mountain either. I’m going to acknowledge I have a mountain, but I’m going to say to the Mountain, Mountain, get out of my way. Mountain, you got to move. Yes, the Spirit of God brings life. The Spirit of God brings liberation. The Spirit of God breaks every stronghold and sets the prisoner free [Leviticus 26:13]. Maybe you have been a prisoner of your mind. I’m here to tell you that God has come. He has set his Spirit upon you to give you liberty. Cry out to God today; Oh, Holy Spirit, oh, Holy Spirit, oh, Holy Spirit, we need your help. We need your help, Holy Spirit. Oh, God helps us.
WE NEED REASSURANCE THAT THE WORK WILL BE COMPLETED
Thirdly, in verses eight and nine, we are told that we need reassurance that the work will be completed. The Bible tells us that Zerubbabel was building the temple, and he got discouraged. He questioned himself. He stated I didn’t know if I could finish this task. This task is more than I can bear. How am I going to do this? He needed a word from God. The word came directly and said, Zerubbabel, you can do it.
As you read this blog, you might be feeling similarly to how Zerubbabel was feeling in this passage, Zechariah 4:8–9 (ESV)
8 Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying,
9 “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also complete it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you.
In other words, you have started it. And the hands of Zerubbabel will complete it. The prophet told Zerubbabel that he was coming to him as the mouthpiece of the Lord of hosts. I’m coming to encourage you. What you have started, what you have put your hand to, and you feel that you cannot complete it, I’m here to tell you that God has made a promise for you. You will get it done. We all need this kind of reassurance.
Do you need reassurance today? The Lord wants to reassure you that what you are facing is not the end. What you are facing is just the beginning. The hand of God is with you. The hand of God has surrounded you. The hand of God is protecting you. The prophet told the king that you would know that the Lord of hosts has sent me when you have finished your assignment.
He says in Zechariah 4:10, for who has despised the day of small things? This verse is a reminder that we should not underestimate small things. For these seven rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the Lord, which scan all around and throughout the whole world. The consolation today, in Zechariah 4:10, is very rich. When the prophet talks about the plumb-line, carpenters know it is essential because it holds the level. It’s an indication that some building project is going on. When laying the blocks or trying to make sure that everything connects, they set the plumb-line. They set the plumb line, and everything is leveled from the plumb-line. According to The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, the plumb-line is symbolic of an ordinary tool of the day representing God’s true and accurate judgment[iv].
The prophet says to Zerubbabel; you might not have all you think you need, but you must begin with what you have. Some people give up because they don’t have everything all at once, but that’s not what God wants from us. He wants us to trust him with whatever we have. We must trust God even if we have a little patience or modest faith like that of a grain of mustard seed. Whatever it is that you have, maybe it’s your finances. Trust God with it. Whatever you have, God is saying wholeheartedly don’t reject what you have. You are going to finish the work with what you have. You’re going to complete the task with what is in your hand.
Let us look more at the question, who has despised the day of small things? When you read the story of the children of Israel after the exile in Nehemiah and Ezra, you realize that the temple was built. The wall was erected, and the tombs were repaired. Then they got the scroll, and Ezra, the prophet, stood up on a platform and read from the scrolls. The Bible says that the people stood there and listened from morning till evening as they read the scrolls Nehemiah 8:3. The people responded and said all that the word of God says we will do. Maybe Zerubbabel didn’t even have this picture in his mind. He might not even saw the possibility of everything being restored. The temple and the platform are erected. Hundreds of thousands of people are standing in front of him, listening to the word of God being delivered. I am not sure he had this vision. God called him, and he did what he had to do, and the result is beyond imagination.
As Zerubbabel proceeded to tackle his Mountain, you and I must tackle all our mountains. We work because there is a future. There is hope. Don’t underestimate little things. It’s interesting when you consider all the big things those little things control. Look at the cruise ship and the little stern that controls it. Look at this tractor-trailer and look at the small steering wheel that controls it. A small instrument controls a giant airplane. You look at our body and the little tongue that controls it. You might be small, or you might have small things, but it doesn’t mean you can’t do big things. Little is much, and the songwriter says when God is in it.
The prophet’s message was, “don’t you worry because God is in it with you.” God is there to remind you that you have the plumb-line so keep working. The eyes of the Lord are upon you; it scans back and forth. You might feel that you’re not protected. Let me remind you that you are protected by the hand of God. You have comprehensive protection. You might not be able to see your way out, but God’s got you in His protection. He’s the one that is looking over you.
You must understand that when your circumstances overwhelm you depend on God. When your situations seem to get the better of you, you can rely on God. Our God is always looking over us; he sees us. There’s nowhere on the face of this earth you can go that God is not present. He’s always there. The Psalmist says, where should I go from the presence of the Lord? Even hell, I can’t escape him. I could make my bed in the depths of the oceans, even there he is. God is all over. He’s concerned about his people [Hebrews 4:15]. Don’t underestimate the beginning of small things.
GOD’S ANOINTING IS AVAILABLE TO YOU
The last point I want to make from Zechariah 4:11-14. We need to know that God has set forth his anointed ones to serve alongside his people. To be “called” refers to “A ceremonial action performed on persons and things to separate them from profane use and obtain on their behalf the infusion of Divine grace.”[v] It is said that the Biblical personalities were often anointed in “recognition of the Lord’s divine calling upon their lives; the anointing was a physical recognition of their roles (or office), such as king, prophet, or priest.” You might think you are alone but listen to what he said about the olive stands. He asked what the meaning of the olive trees? Explain it to me. In Zechariah 4:12, he begins to talk about it. He says, then I answered and said to him, what are these two olive branches that dip into the receptacles of the two gold pipes with the golden oil drain? He says this means something. The olive branch that connects to the bowl seems to be pouring golden oil into this thing. It’s not just pouring oil, and it’s pouring golden oil. I mean, this is such a rich passage.
Zechariah 4:13 said that the angel answered and said, do you not know what are these? And he said, no, my Lord. The angel asked, don’t you know? In other words, the angel was thinking; you’re the prophet. He said these are two anointed ones who stand beside the Lord on the earth. God has sent his anointed ones. It reminded me of the scripture that says; he will give his angels charge over you as stated in Psalm 91:11-12. You are not alone. Everyone might have given up on you. You might be standing alone but remember the God of Heaven’s Army is on your side. Remember that Jesus promised us that He would send us the Holy Spirit, who is our Helper. In His high priestly prayer in John 17, he prayed that God would keep us. There is help for all of us. When you face life’s most pandemic situations, God is right there to help you.
In conclusion, we have examined the message of the Spirit that was given to Zerubbabel. Faced with the task of completing the restoration of the walls and the city Zerubbabel was facing discouragement. Every leader knows what it is like to face their task and to have to deal with apathy. If you are going to look beyond the discouragement and more ahead, you must begin to see through the eyes of the Spirit. We Must Deal with the apathy of those who we will lead and work alongside. It is always true that God never changes. No circumstances can impact the nature of God. Our eyes must see beyond the natural and see in the spiritual realm. All of us need real companions, and we need a message of hope from God. We all need reassurance that the work we are assigned will be completed. We are not alone; the power and anointing of God are available to assist us with our assignment.
[i] Hwang, J. (2016). Zechariah, Book of. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
[ii] Hwang, J. (2016). Zechariah, Book of. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
[iii] https://covidusa.net. 10/01/21
[iv] Silva, M., & Tenney, M. C. (2009). In The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, M-P (Revised, Full-Color Edition, Vol. 4, p. 918). Grand Rapids, MI: The Zondervan Corporation.
[v] Smith, R. L. (1984). Micah–Malachi (Vol. 32, p. 166). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.