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Thursday’s Thought-February 23rd

written by Shelly McGraw

Days 50-56
Revelation 8:1-6; 9:13-21; 10; 11:15-19; 12:7-12; Zechariah 4:6

 

It’s so easy to get caught up in putting our faith and trust in our human abilities, strength, and intellect when God calls us to act.

However, in this weeks reading of Zechariah chapter 4, God is giving us the message that we need to rely on His might and power and not our own.


Rebuilding the temple of the Lord.


1 Then the angel who talked with me returned and woke me up, like someone awakened from sleep. 2 He asked me, “What do you see?”

I answered, “I see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl at the top and seven lamps on it, with seven channels to the lamps. 3 Also there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.”

4 I asked the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?”

5 He answered, “Do you not know what these are?”

“No, my lord,” I replied.

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 4:1-6

The angel in this passage is the Christ, the Lord Almighty, speaking to the prophet-priest, Zechariah.

The chapter as a whole is speaking about how Zerubbabel and Joshua (with the Jews under their leadership) will finish the temple and re-establish the Jewish state. Zerubbabel was a descendent of King David and faced impossible obstacles to rebuilding the temple.

He was also a political leader who set up a city in Jerusalem and laid down a foundation for the temple with a group of exiled Jews.

 2 Then Joshua son of Jozadak and his fellow priests and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and his associates began to build the altar of the God of Israel to sacrifice burnt offerings on it, in accordance with what is written in the Law of Moses the man of God.

 3 Despite their fear of the peoples around them, they built the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it to the Lord, both the morning and evening sacrifices. ~Ezra 3:2-3

In spite of their fear of persecution, Zerubbabel, Joshua, and the group of Jews obeyed God’s instructions to once again build an alter on the land that would become the foundation of the rebuilt temple.


Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit.


The Lord tells Zerubbabel that the rebuilding of the temple and the city would not happen because of his political or human power, or might, but, “by My Spirit.”

It is also important to note that the Lord wasn’t telling him his work was useless or wouldn’t yield fruit. Relying on God’s Spirit isn’t an excuse for laziness.

7 “What are you, mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’”

8 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 9 “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it. Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you.

10 “Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel?” ~ Zechariah 4:7-10

Zerubbabel’s hard work and faithfulness to obey the Lord became a witness to the people. He demonstrated that remaining steadfast to God’s instructions, results in completing God’s Will-not because of our hands but because of God’s Spirit working through our hands. 

What an important lesson for us to learn from Zerubbabel’s commitment to God’s calling, no matter how impossible our circumstances may seem.

And, what a comfort it is to know the Lord Almighty honors even the “small things” we do to serve Him. Praise God!

Dear Lord, our mighty Savior,

I praise You for using me to do Your Will and thank You for forgiving my failure to always obey what You call me to do. Help my weary heart and mind to focus on Your might and power, through Your Spirit, and to remain persistent and faithful to advance Your Kingdom, standing against the forces of evil. Any victory I experience will be because of Your Will, Your might, and Your power. Help me never to forget this.

Amen.   

If you would like to join us in reading through the New Testament during the rest of 2017, go to the YouVersion Bible app found on iTunes and click on the OWNit365 reading plan.

 

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