Sunday, 20 September 2015

The Day of Small Things

 “Who despises the day of small things?” Men will rejoice when they see the plumb-line in the hand of Zerubbabel  (Zechariah 4:10)

There were three stages in the re-construction of God’s ancient people after their restoration from terrible exile.  Stage 1 was the re-building of the Temple in Jerusalem under the governor, Zerubbabel.  Stage 2 came with the arrival of Ezra, and the establishing of the laws for the renewed community.  Stage 3 took place with the re-building of Jerusalem’s walls.

It was all a massive undertaking – but it had to begin small!  People would look at Zerubbabel, as he held the plumb-line for the first, tiny stage in the rebuilding of the great Temple – simply holding a piece of string, to ensure that the wall would be straight!  The operation would end with the seven lights of the Temple’s lamp lit – to represent ‘the eyes of the Lord which range throughout the earth’ (v. 11).  Yes, it’s the whole world that God ultimately has in view!

Zechariah is saying, ‘Lift your eyes above this small, local, limited scene!  For his part, the prophet can see ahead to the universal shining out of the Light of God (v. 2).  He also sees two olive trees, representing the future anointed ‘witnesses’ who will serve the Lord of all the earth (v. 14: compare Revelation 11: 3-6); they represent the future voice of the world  Church!  Zechariah further is made aware of the empowering Spirit (‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit’- v. 6).

So, Christian worker, if at present all you can see is the equivalent of a plumb-line in what you’re doing, take heart – and remember Zerubbabel!