September 20 (Daily reading: Zechariah 1-4, NIV) Two months after Haggai’s prophecy, Zechariah wrote about the visions that God had revealed to him. He was a prophet and a priest who returned to Jerusalem with the exiles. He reinforced the words of Haggai concerning the rebuilding of the temple. “Therefore, this is what the LORD says: ‘I will return to Jerusalem with mercy, and there my house will be rebuilt” (1:16).
One of the visions was of a golden candlestick, which was apparently continuously fed by oil from two olive trees. This vision was given as an assurance to Zerubbabel that God would equip him with His Spirit for the task. He had begun the rebuilding of the temple, and by the power of the Spirit of God, he would complete it. We have already seen in Haggai 2:20-23 that God had a personal word for Zerubbabel. As the governor of Judah and as a descendant of Abraham and David (Mt. 1:13), he represented the throne of David. His role in rebuilding the temple was crucial in God’s plan for His people and for the coming of the Messiah. God’s power through His Spirit would be available to Zerubbabel for the completion of the task assigned to him. “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty’” (4:6). It is not by man’s power but by God’s Spirit that His work will be done.
This truth is given in many biblical passages. I will cite only a couple: “David said to the Philistine, ‘You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel’” (2 Sam. 17:45). “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God” (Ps. 20:7).
– Al Gary