Zachariah 4:6 "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty.”
I’ve been thinking about this one verse for a couple weeks now. You know, when you get something in the back of your mind and it just won’t go away. I didn’t even remember where the verse was from, so I had to look it up.
I guess I’ve been more uneasy about life changing than I thought and apparently God was trying to get through to me. I can hear God saying now…"he’s a nice boy, but he’s not very bright…." There was something important in this verse for me that I just didn’t get until a couple days ago.
Some background: Zachariah was a prophet right after the exile in Babylon. He was really concerned about the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. Zerubbabel was leading the charge to do the rebuilding and this chapter in Zachariah is a prophesy saying Zerubbabel will actually finish the rebuilding effort.
Smack in the middle of this is verse 6 where it looks like to me that Zerubbabel needs some encouragement. Don’t we all?
At fist glance this seems pretty simple, but it was richer to ancient ears that our modern ones because “might” and “power” sound a lot the same to us. The word “might” is actually translated “army” in a lot of other places like when the Egyptian army was chasing the Israelites as they were fleeing captivity. “Might” is a collective of strength. All of us together. God says, “It’s not all of you together that will get things done, but it’s by My Spirit.” The word “power” is individual. The same word was used to describe Samson’s strength. So again God is saying: “It’s not by your individual strength, but by My Spirit that things get done.”
This speaks to me because my tendency is to take over when things get stressful or are rapidly changing. The verse in my head these past few weeks has let me know that God is still in charge. It’s not by the strength of the people gathered around me and it’s not by my own strength that God’s will is accomplished. It’s by His Spirit within me and around me that “holy construction” happens in my life.
What a relief!
Pops Blair, 2007