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. – Zech. 4:6 NIV
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Two years into the reign of Darius as king of Babylon, with Joshua as High Priest and Zerubbabel as the governor, Zechariah was prophesying to the Israelites in Judah. He had warned them to avoid the errors of their fore-fathers by ensuring that they obeyed every instruction of the Lord so as to avoid His anger. He told them of the plan of God to restore them and expand the boundaries of Jerusalem more than they could ever imagine – Zech. 1:1 – 2:13.
Meanwhile, Satan was on his usual task which is to frustrate ant task that was aimed at glorifying God by man whilst at the same time, standing as the accuser of the brethren before the throne of God. He seemed as always, very strategic, as he took aim at the two arrow heads of the re-building project, which were Joshua the High Priest and Zerubbabel the governor of Judea. However, his first attempt aimed at Joshua, the High Priest, to present him as spiritually unworthy of leading this task of re-building the temple failed as a result of the intervention of the angel of God, who defended Joshua with the record of his commitments to the course of the Almighty God. Although he accepted that Joshua was guilty of all that Satan had accused him of, he proved that his hotness for the Lord was sufficient reason for all his wrongs to be wiped out and for him to be declared fit and holy for the task. This argument was accepted and the negatives of Joshua the High Priest was forgiven as signified by the replacement of his filthy garments with fine clothes – Zech. 3:1-10.
It was probably the turn of Zerubbabel and may be due to the absence of any major negative act on his part or the fact that Satan felt he too could be declared sinless, he chose to work on the belief of Zerubbabel in himself as being capable to start and complete the project. Seeing the enormous task ahead with regards to re-building the temple and the resources (physical and spiritual) required, he must have had serious doubts about the chances of successfully completing the project or his own chances of successfully leading the project to completion. The Almighty God seeing the doubt setting into the thoughts of Zerubbabel intervened by sending his angel to Zechariah, to deliver a message of confidence building for Zerubbabel. The message which came in form of a vision and was interpreted by the angel, revealed the spiritual backing that both of them (Zerubbabel and Joshua) have to ensure the successful completion of the project.
Zechariah was shown a solid gold lampstand with a bowl at the top and seven lights on it with seven channels to the lights. He also saw two olive trees positioned on each side of the bowl – Zech. 3:2-3. The angel started the interpretation of the vision by encouraging them not to despise the days of little beginnings – Zech. 4:10. The angel went further to let Zechariah know that the seven candle stands in the vision symbolized the seven eyes of the Almighty God implying that God was constantly watching over both of them and so no harm can come to them – Zech. 4:9. The olive trees, he explained, were indicative of the anointing on both of them which empowers them for success on the project (Zech. 4:11-14) whilst the two golden branches pouring out oil represented the two anointed to serve the Lord of all the earth. They were both equally deployed on this project of temple re-building – Zech. 4:12-14.
With this massive spiritual support, they both need to realise that the success of the project was not dependent on their physical ability but about the spiritual arsenal being deployed by the Lord in their favour. God in the scripture today reminded them that it was not about their power or their might, but by His Spirit – Zech. 4:6.
In making that declaration, the Almighty God revealed that they both, considered the project as a mountain which happens to be the way most Christians see the challenges of their life. To describe a challenge as a mountain is to say it is unmovable, probably insurmountable and so firmly rooted that nothing can shake it, before even considering moving it. The scripture today reveals that such problems may not move before the natural ability of men but they sure do move before the supernatural ability of the omnipotent God. So why do you still consider that challenge so huge that you have lost hope of ever overcoming it? Why do you think giving up at this stage of the battle is the choice that you have? That either means you are not really a Christian that you call yourself or you do not even know the ability of the God that you serve. As a Christian, you are not expected to operate in your abilities again as your battles should automatically become His. He is always happy to fight your battle because becoming victorious in those battles will never be by your power or by your might. It will be only by His Holy Spirit. Hand it over to him and collect victory in exchange. May God grant us all victory over all the battles of our lives in Jesus name. Amen.