Sunday, 31 May 2015

The Lord Rebuilds - Zechariah 4

In these chapters we see God is active, working through the ordinary leaders of the day. Each week also seems like Christmas, with links to verses we read each year (e.g. Is 11:2 last week). Here we have another figure, Zerubbabel, who we find in a Christmas verse that we don't often read - Mt 1:12 genealogy of Jesus.

The line of King David actually needed 3 people/roles at any one time: a King, a High Priest, and the Prophetic Voice. In this age of temple rebuilding it is the same: Zerubbabel has the kingly role, Joshua is the High Priest, and Zechariah (and Haggai) provide the prophetic voice. The chapters encourage them, God is at work through them, but also point ahead to God doing even more through a new branch from the original line. There will be a coming-chosen-special-God-anointed-one, or 'Messiah' for short ... who we know is Jesus Christ. In Jesus King/Priest/Prophet all converge.

The vision has various objects - this time a 7 lamp thing, olive trees and golden oil. Zechariah asks about them, but is not given a reply. He actually asks several times, but really just gets more vision-content-download. Zechariah is sensible in calmly persisting in his enquiry.

We need to do the same ... since God show us things partially or things we don't fully understand. Sometimes we need to share stuff - and here we kind of need 3X revelation: the message content itself, whether we are supposed to share it, and when/how/to-whom. Again quietly persist in seeking God about this, so that we can learn to have confidence to gently offer these things.

Remember also that most prophecy is not always big visions. Even Christians who have had such things, might only experience this two or three times in their lifetime. A healthy product of regularly spending time close to God is sharing in natural conversation with others what the Spirit would say, perhaps without us even knowing it!

The seven lamps relate to the seven eyes of the Lord - the ability for God to see all around the world. The vision gives assurance that Zerubbabel and Joshua will rebuild ... which in fact they did. So how did they do it? The answer is in v6 - not by any great military power or financial resources, but a work of God's Spirit. This is a stark contrast to King Solomon (who did have power and resources) who had been at the head of the derailment process.

Do we realise our role too as people of the Spirit? After Zerubbabel and Joshua eventually came Jesus, and the outpouring of the Spirit, in which we now walk. Yet do we wait or hold fire, hoping to amass resources or feel stronger first? Do we first want a better building, a doubling of numbers etc. etc.?

Or are we prepared to follow our calling and attempt it in the Spirit's ability. Remember that God equips the called, not the other way round!

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