“… 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” (Zechariah 4:6).
In this one sentence, God explained all of the book of Zechariah. God had disclosed the meanings of visions and prophecies. He had reviewed the past, explained the present and lifted the curtain on the future.
He told Judah how that although, the nation was disheveled, worn down and discouraged, there was victory ahead for her. But it wouldn’t be obtained by her army or reputation, but by His Spirit.
This was what the Lord had been trying to get them to acknowledge all along. For 70 years, the people had fasted and prayed regularly for the temple to be rebuilt. But it got to be just a habit — no faith, no expectations. If there was any faith, it was in their own selves and in their own works — not in God who did all things.
Israel had always gloried in her own accomplishments. Can you just see them walking around patting themselves on their backs, saying, “We fasted and that’s why we’re seeing the temple rebuilt.”
Of course, it didn’t take long for them to become discouraged again. But Haggai and Zechariah — an old man and a young man — had a word from the Lord. Have you noticed that God doesn’t choose people for their age or experience? He chooses those who will allow themselves to be used for his glory.
Now that the temple was being constructed, their faith would turn to glorifying God — feast days instead of fast days. Just a little note here: When a person prays and really believes God has heard his prayer, there is rejoicing and praise because faith in God declares the answer, even before there is other evidence.
And in the declaration of glorious things in the future, God gives an outline of the events surrounding the coming of the Messiah — both as the Savior and as king in the end time. There can be no mistaking the intent, since the identification is repeated in the new Testament. In Zechariah’s glimpse of the coming Christ, he lists each incident: builder of the House of God, universal reign as King and Priest, triumphal entry, betrayal for 30 pieces of silver, deity, hands pierced, atoning death, and a smitten shepherd.
The fasting and praying was to keep God sanctified (set apart and hallowed) in the eyes of the people, but it was his Spirit that would accomplish the ultimate task — that of salvation to the world.
The same Spirit that was needed to rebuild the temple in the days of Zechariah, was the Spirit that launched the building of Christ’s church after Jesus ascended to the Father, and is still necessary to reaching people with the Gospel of salvation in Jesus Christ today.
The Great Commission will not be accomplished by creative programs, leading personalities or even by our own works — “… but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.”