After the Babylonian exile, Cyrus allowed the Jews
back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple under
Zerubbabel. The construction had been stopped by
opposition but resumed under Zechariah and Haggai.
Haggai encouraged the returned exiles to rebuild,
and Zechariah to repent and renew their covenant
with God. Zechariah had visions; in the fifth, he saw
a solid gold lampstand. Two olive trees provided the lamp
stand with oil (Zechariah 4:1–3). The message is in verse 6:
“Not by might, nor by power,
But by my Spirit, says the Lord.”
(Zechariah 4:6).
Rebuilding the temple would be accomplished not by human might nor
power but only by God’s Spirit.

The words translated “might” in Zechariah 4:6, are associated with
human resources, financial means, and wealth. The term “power”
implies force. “Not by might nor by power”—means “Not by their
own abilities, resources, or determination”—would God’s people build
the temple and send God’s light into the world.

In the Old Testament, God’s Spirit is represented by oil (Isaiah 61:1–3;
1 Samuel 16:13). The oil supply in Zechariah’s vision is the Holy Spirit’s
power, which would help Zerubbabel finish the temple (i.e., the large
lampstand). The lampstand’s light signified that God’s people, would
shine forth light and glorify God on earth.

Throughout the Bible, God’s people are called to shine the light of
God’s glory into all the world (Isaiah 60:1–3; Matthew 5:14–16). It is
the great commission of every believer (Matthew 28:19–20). Just as
Zerubbabel depended on God’s Spirit to accomplish the work, so do
we today. God’s people have no innate ability to shine God’s love. Only
by God’s Spirit can their work and worship become a broadcasting
light. (Acts 1:8; John 16:7–15).

Nothing, not even “a mighty mountain”, would stand in Zerubbabel’s
way; it would become a level plain before him! And when Zerubbabel
sets the final stone, the people would shout: ‘May God bless
it!’” (Zechariah 4:4–7, NLT).

Zerubbabel need not be discouraged by human limitations or afraid of
earthly obstacles, and neither should we today (Romans 8:31; cf. Haggai
2:5; Isaiah 41:10). When God calls us to a purpose, His Spirit fills and
equips us to complete it (Acts 2:17–18; John 3:34; Ephesians 1:18–20).
Human weakness is no obstacle because God’s power is perfected in it:
“For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10; see also
Hebrews 11:34).

Our God-given work is guaranteed to be successful, not by human
might or power, but by the guidance and empowering of God’s Holy
Spirit poured into our lives like the oil that fueled Zechariah’s

As we each build our own personal lives, and as we rebuild
God’s church in Lubbock, we can expect opposition; not
against flesh and blood (i.e., brothers and sisters) but from
hosts in heavenly places (Ephesians 6:12). But through this old
story, God is giving this Pastor and His people an encouraging
and inspiring message:

By My Spirit,
I will Rebuild!”

May it be so, amen and amen!
With Love,
Pastor Sam