Zechariah – God holds the future
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.
The last three books in the Hebrew Old Testament, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, are written to the people who returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple after the Babylonian captivity. Haggai and Zechariah ministered around the same time, coming onto the scene when the rebuilding had slowed to a crawl because of opposition, building their own houses, and primarily because it just wasn’t a priority for them.
Haggai encouraged people to put God first in their lives, being obedient to the purpose God had called them back to Jerusalem, to rebuild the temple.
Zechariah motivated them from another perspective, the future. Their work on the temple today was a part of Gods plan for the future of Israel and the world. It was important work because “Behold, your King is coming to you!”
God gave Zechariah a glimpse into the future, of Christ’s Incarnation and His Second Coming, to help people, including you and me, know that our labor today is not in vain, everything He calls us to be and do is a part of a larger masterpiece He is creating which will culminate in His eternal kingdom – God holds the future!
When Zechariah began, the temple project had been stalled for over ten years. One of his early messages was, basically, telling them they’d been going about it all wrong. They were trying to do the work in their own strength and that will never work, so God gave them a key – He said,
“Not by might, and not by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord.” Zechariah 4:6
The synergy between God and man is how God is glorified through our lives. He didn’t make the temple ‘appear’, He did it through the work of the laborers and craftsmen, each person who participated. And the same is true for each aspect of our lives from every relationship to all of our work, if it is going to be good and right and truly bring Him glory, then He has to be the Lead, God the Holy Spirit must guide and direct.
Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain. Psalm 127:1
Then Lord said, “Don’t despise these days of small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line is Zerubbabel’s hand.” Zechariah 4:10
At one point the temple was just a pile of rubble. After a lot of heavy lifting it became a building site. The foundation gave it a form, but it was still a long way from being a temple for the Lord.
I think my life is a lot like that hole in the ground. A lot of rubble has been removed, the Lord washed me clean of my sin, guilt and shame, clearing the way for a new and better me. And a foundation is being laid in my soul through God’s Word, but it seems like I still have a long ways to go till my life resembles any kind of temple for the Lord.
How about you?
Don’t be frustrated that you’re not where you want to be. Thank God that you’re not where you used to be. Just keep moving forward. God is happy to see the work begin. He has the plumb line* in His hand, building you right, keeping your walls straight and true. And you’ll get there.
God assured the people that Zerubabel would place the final stone and he did! In the same way, “He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;” Philippians 1:6
Be encouraged, dear one, the things you do today, your conversations, your kindness, your obedience to Christ’s commands, all have eternal significance in God’s plan, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28).
Jesus is coming back, Zechariah assures us He will and everything he said about Christ’s first coming happened to the most intricate detail. His second coming is just as certain.
Let His Spirit lead you, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:17)
*Ephesians 4:13 “till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”