1The angel who talked with me came again, and wakened me, as one is wakened from sleep. 2He said to me, "What do you see?" And I said, "I see a lampstand all of gold, with a bowl on the top of it; there are seven lamps on it, with seven lips on each of the lamps that are on the top of it. 3And by it there are two olive trees, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left." 4I said to the angel who talked with me, "What are these, my lord?" 5Then the angel who talked with me answered me, "Do you not know what these are?" I said, "No, my lord." 6He 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. 7What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain; and he shall bring out the top stone amid shouts of 'Grace, grace to it!'"
8Moreover 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.10For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel.
"These seven are the eyes of the LORD, which range through the whole earth." 11Then I said to him, "What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?" 12And a second time I said to him, "What are these two branches of the olive trees, which pour out the oil through the two golden pipes?" 13He said to me, "Do you not know what these are?" I said, "No, my lord." 14Then he said, "These are the two anointed ones who stand by the Lord of the whole earth."
Zechariah 4:6 is one of the most beloved verses from the Old Testament. Zerubbabel was a governor of a Persian province, grandson of Je Hoia Chin [who, along with Je Hoia Kim, were the two Asian Jewish kings of Judah]. As such, Zerubbabel was part of the royal line of David. Wherever Zerubbabel is mentioned in the OT, he is always mentioned together with Joshua, the high priest. This Kingly-Priestly pairing prophesies about the future Messianic King-Priest.
With the return of the Jewish exiles back to Jerusalem, Zerubbabel has been tasked by the Lord to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem.
That is the context for "the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel." The task at hand -- the near impossible project of rebuilding the Temple -- will be accomplished by a power beyond military, economic, or political might or power. The temple's rebuilding will only be accomplished by dependence on the Spirit of God.
The moral of the story is quite straightforward, if we desire to see how this passage might apply to us. Whatever task the Lord assigns to us, He will supply the power of the Spirit to accomplish it. This simple but profound promise is based on the truth that God does not assign things to us so that we fail. God assigns things to us with the knowledge that whatever the divine assignment there will be divine power to see it completed.
This is not a guarantee that things will come easy. Most likely, things will come with great challenges (if the project is big, like rebuilding the Temple). The guarantee is that the challenges will be overcome in the power of the Spirit. And faith in the mountain-moving power of the Holy Spirit will, in time, accomplish whatever has been assigned to you.
What are those things you believe the Lord has assigned for you to accomplish? If you are able to name them, let's take them to the Lord in prayer.
Let's pray: O Lord, much like Zerubbabel we come before you wondering how our calling and how our particular assignments will be done and done well. Help us to recall today that all true assignments from you come with the promise of your help in the power of the Spirit. So, we present before you the following things we sense we need to get done, things that come from you: ______________________________ . Help us to find our strength and hope in you and your Spirit as we close, echoing Zechariah 4:7, "Grace, grace to it [our work]." In your name, amen.