God will COMPLETE the ‘GOOD’ WORK that He has STARTED: Moreover the word of the Lord came to me, saying: "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; His hands shall also finish it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you. For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the Lord, which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth." (Zech. 4:8-10)
Zerubbabel, the Governor of Judah, was faced with the colossal task of completing the reconstruction of the temple in Jerusalem. It was obvious that he could not fulfill his responsibilities by his own strength and power, so God promised (through His prophet Zechariah) to empower Zerubbabel through the enabling power of the Holy Spirit (see v. 6).
God’s promise concerning Zerubbabel was significant: the task that he began he would also complete. Zerubbabel laid the foundation of rebuilding God’s temple; his hands shall also finish it to completion. The mountain probably represented the obstacles and opposition facing Zerubbabel as he attempted to rebuild the temple. Even though there would be mountain-like opposition, they would be leveled by God. As a result, the temple construction would be completed, and would bring forth exclamations of “Grace, grace!” to its beauty. This prophecy was literally fulfilled in the sixth year of Darius’ reign, four years after this prophecy came and fourteen years after the building first began (Ezra 3:11–13; 6:15–18).
God’s temple may have been as nothing in their eyes, and the past ten years may have seemed totally wasted; but they had been the forerunners of great things to come. Those who have despised the day of small things (that is, those who mocked the possibility of God’s doing some great thing) would see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel (that is, would see the day when Zerubbabel would finish the temple structure). Jehovah God has been in the start of the temple reconstruction; He has been in the delay of the temple reconstruction; and He has been in the resumption of the temple reconstruction. It is a confirmed fact that God was behind and in control of everything that happened with regard to the temple reconstruction project!
There are five lessons that we can learn from God’s role in the temple reconstruction project that Zerubbabel had undertaken:
- God’s Spirit is the empowering agent of His activity, and human brute force is not the way that God accomplishes His work (v. 6).
- Without God’s help we can do nothing substantial in our lives (v. 6; Ps. 127:1; John 15:5b).
- Grace can move the biggest mountains we face, reducing them to easily traveled plains (v. 7).
- Little is much if God is in it, and small things can be just as much an evidence of God’s work as great accomplishments (vv. 9–10).
- Nothing that we are called upon to do in the will of God is unimportant or insignificant (v. 10), and we should not judge God’s work by human standards.
Today, we have been entrusted with a colossal task of preaching the gospel and making disciples of all the people in this world (Matt. 28:19-20; Mark 16:15) just like Zerubbabel was tasked with rebuilding the temple. On our own strength and power we are inadequate for this task, so Jesus has gifted us with the power of the Holy Spirit to strengthen us to be witnesses of the gospel (Acts 1:8). Even though our work appears small and insignificant, let us note that God will complete the good work that He has begun in us until the day of Jesus Christ, just as Apostle Paul writes to the Philippian church believers: