The 47th day – Not by might nor by power, but by the Spirit of God
So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” — Zechariah 4:6
In 538 BC, the Babylonians had been replaced by the Persians as the world’s superpower. The Persian King Cyrus released the Jewish remnant from their captivity in exile. Led by Zerubbabel and Joshua, 50,000 Jews returned from Babylon to the land and for two years worked on rebuilding the Temple.
Initially they worked with enthusiasm but opposition brought the work of rebuilding the Temple to a standstill. For over fifteen years the two leaders were discouraged at the inactivity of God’s people, until two prophets – Zechariah and Haggai – came and spoke words of encouragement.
Here Zechariah tells Zerubbabel that the new Temple will be built but that this will be achieved not by human power but by the Spirit of God. Thereafter God’s Spirit stirred the people to work and the Second Temple was completed in 516BC.
The Holy Spirit has mighty power. When people absolutely rely on the Spirit, it will lead them to do great things. In 1 Corinthians chapter 12, it says the gifts of the Spirit, a message of wisdom, a message of knowledge, faith, healing, miraculous powers, prophecy, distinguishing between spirits, speaking in tongues, interpretation of tongues. Jesus die for us so that we may have the Holy Spirit and we may do even greater things than Jesus.
So here when God told Zerubbabel that the temple would be rebuilt by the power of the same Spirit, isn’t this an encouragement which is big enough to cast out all the anxiety? I believe the answer is Yes. Today we have all the promises that given through Jesus. The encouragement which motivated the people of Israel to rebuild the temple is there with us everyday because we have the same spirit living inside of us. I am encouraged when I thought of this. Are you?