The city of Jerusalem had been in ruins for more than 125 years... Imagine New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and you get a glimpse of what the city was probably like... Absolute DEVASTATION.
After the first wave of exiles returned to Jerusalem, a guy by the name of Zerubbabel was given the assignment of rebuilding the temple. Let's just call him "Z." (He was probably in the city 14 years ahead of Nehemiah...)
The task must have seemed overwhelming. So God dispatched a prophet with another "Z" name - Zechariah, to encourage and challenge builder "Z" to "not tap out."
When "Z" and his team looked at their task, they felt dwarfed by the scope and size of the project. They felt weak, incompetent, anemic and discouraged. After all, they were basically nothing more than a rag tag group of unemployed exiles...
On top of that, they were regularly harassed by their trash talking enemies... People who lived in and around the city who didn't want to see God worshiped or the temple rebuilt in the city. Their goal was to demoralize "Z" and the builders before they ever got started.
The more "Z" and his team looked at their own abilities, capital and expertise, the more they were ready to "tap out," give up and go home. That's when Zechariah tapped "Z" on the shoulder and basically said, "Not so fast, my friend..."
Here's the message God gave Zechariah to give to Zerubbabel... Maybe this is a message God wants to give those of YOU who are looking at the scope and size of a project you're working on or some problems you're facing... Right now, you feel completely overwhelmed by the tasks looking you in the eye or the problems you're up against.
Here's God's word to "Z" and God's word to YOU.
Zechariah 4:6-10, So he said to me, "A message came to Zerubbabel from the Lord. He said, 'Your strength will not get my temple rebuilt. Your power will not do it either. Only the power of my Spirit will do it,' says the LORD who rules over all. 7 "So nothing can stop Zerubbabel from completing the temple. Even a mountain of problems will be smoothed out by him. When the temple is finished, he will put its most important stone in place. Then the people will shout, 'Grace, grace to it!'"
Zechariah 4:8-10 (NLT), Then another message came to me from the LORD: 9 "Zerubbabel is the one who laid the foundation of this Temple, and he will complete it. Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me. 10 Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin..."
I love this prophetic word... Zechariah basically says, "Z, don't worry about how small or insignificant you and your team feel... I'm going to see to it that you lay the first stone and you lay the last stone... It's not going to be because of your charisma, ability, attitude, insight, expertise, power, strength or ability, it's all going to happen because of MY SPIRIT working IN you and THROUGH you..."
My goal today? To lean on GOD'S SPIRIT and HIS STRENGTH. To not despise these small beginnings, but trust God to do what only He can do.