6 So 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 Almighty. (Zechariah 4:6 NIV)

In 586 B.C. the Babylonians, under the leadership of Nebuchadnezzar, invaded Jerusalem, looted and then destroyed the temple, and carted off the best and brightest of its citizens back to Babylon. It was a dark, dark day for the people of God.

With the passage of time a new power arose, the Persians, and Cyrus, the King of Persia, issued an edict allowing the Jews to go back to their homeland. The Bible tells us that it was God who “stirred up” Cyrus’ heart to rebuild God’s temple and send His people back home (2 Chronicles 36:23).

The first wave of Jews to head back to Jerusalem in 536 B.C. were under the leadership of Zerubbabel, who would lead the people in their efforts to rebuild the temple. Once they were back in Jerusalem they began to rebuild. It didn’t take long for the people who had remembered Solomon’s Temple to become discouraged. The new temple was nothing like the splendor of Solomon’s Temple. Team spirit waned to say the least. Then, opposition from the outside slowed the work as the enemies of God’s people did not want the Temple rebuilt. We read in Ezra 4:24 that because of political pressure from surrounding neighbors, the work on the Temple stopped for 10 years.

God used the prophets Haggai and Zechariah to stir the people from their fear and lethargy. The prophets reminded the people that God had sent them to rebuild His house, but instead they had built fancy houses for themselves. Finally, the Lord sent His messenger the prophet Zechariah to Zerubbabel who reminded him,

6 So 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 Almighty. (Zechariah 4:6 NIV)

Discouragement and apathy from within, threats of violence from without, all of these were nothing more than opportunities to trust God as they went about doing His work. It would not the force of an army that insure the completion of the Temple, but it would be the people’s reliance upon the ever-present help of the Spirit of Almighty God.

We can learn from God’s Word to Zerubbabel. How many times has God given you a task and it didn’t go the way you thought it should? Or, you didn’t feel adequate or competent or qualified? Or, people didn’t appreciate you? Or,…? The result? You ended up throwing in the towel. You didn’t finish what the Lord had given you to do. You need to know today that “it is not by might, nor by power, but His Spirit” that you can see it through. So, when God prompts you, calls you, or enlists you into His service—lay your hands to the plow and know that it is His power that is at work in your faithfulness to do what He’s given you to do.

 

 

52 Weeks 52 Verses: Week 39
Zechariah 4:6
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