Hope for a New Day
Key Verse: “Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.”
AS THE PROPHET HAGGAI grew older, his successor arrived on the scene to continue giving God’s message concerning the rebuilding of the Lord’s Temple. Zechariah was a young man when he returned to Jerusalem from Babylonian captivity under the current governor, Zerubbabel. In our Key Verse, combined with the words of verse 9, we hear God’s statement that the Temple would be completed by Zerubbabel, but not by his might, nor that of the Persian monarch, nor by any other earthly power. Zechariah’s words were clear that by the spirit of God himself the work would be finished.
Zechariah’s first prophetic words to Israel concerned their fathers’ evil ways, which had led to God’s displeasure and punishment. (Zech. 1:1-6) Those words, however, are followed by words of comfort to Jerusalem and a promise to finish the house they had started: “Therefore thus saith the Lord; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the Lord of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem. Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem.”—vss. 16,17
Zerubbabel was a prince amongst the people and of the line of David. He did finish rebuilding the Temple as God had said, but it was not literally greater than the former house, as Haggai had prophesied. (Hag. 2:9) Clearly God was speaking of an antitypical house which would be greater, and that house is revealed to us as the Christ, head and body, the spiritual temple of God. In Zechariah 4:1-4, the context of our Key Verse, we have described a candlestick and two olive trees. Reference to these is also found in Revelation 11:4. These Scriptures further point to a greater spiritual temple which will eventually bring the promised new day of Messiah’s kingdom.
We also note Haggai’s prophetic statement concerning the overturning of “the throne of kingdoms” (Hag. 2:22), followed by these words: “In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, … and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the Lord of hosts.” (vs. 23) The presentation of a signet ring indicated great power and authority for the one who wore it. During the present age, it is only to the footstep followers of Jesus that the “signet” promise of sonship is given, which contains hope for a new day and of being part of the finished spiritual temple to those faithful unto death. “As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.”—Rom. 8:14-17
The Spirit of God was indeed the instrument used through Zerubbabel. Likewise, his Spirit will operate to bless all in his kingdom, as all the holy prophets foretold: “It shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh.” (Joel 2:28) What a privilege for us to see this hope for a new day!