Saturday, August 30, 2008

Haggai and Zechariah

I have to share this. Listened to a sermon I downloaded and was really touched by it. Anyway, this is what the minister David Paroz from Sandgate says (the gist of it anyway):

The books of Haggai and Zechariah give the reader two different perspectives of the same thing: the building of the table. Haggai talks to God but also gives us what's happening historically on the ground. Joshua, the high priest, is having a tough time. Zerubabel is having a tough time. Troubles, antagonists, money issues, apathy. No wonder Joshua is stressed.

But Zechariah sees what's happening in the court of heaven.

What Zechariah saw about the temple has led to a very popular verse among Christians: "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord."

Let's look at the vision:
Zechariah 4

1And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep.

2And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof:

3And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.

4So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord?

5Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.

6Then 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.

7Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.

8Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

9The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you.

10For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.

11Then answered I, and said unto him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof?

12And I answered again, and said unto him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves?

13And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.

14Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the LORD of the whole earth.


Imagine all the stress and the activity on earth. But then look at this vision. Look how the oil flows, look how it flows without any human help. The holy spirit works...not by might, nor by power, but by God's spirit. God works and we shouldn't stress. Things are working...God's holy spirit is working.

I like the image of heaven's work that we see in the vision.The Bible often gives us scenes of the heavenly court. We see that it's a place of serenity, a place of busyness. It's a lawroom too. With two lawyers. Satan is the adversary accusing folks of sin. The Comforter is the Advocate announcing grace and Jesus is mediating. It's a place of warfare too, but the war is settled. Whether it's the book of Job, the book of Isaiah, the book of Kings or the Book of Revelations what it shows is that god is in charge. We must abide in the vine and let the vine and the oil of the holy spirit do the work.
-C
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