November 28, 2021
“So he answered me, ‘This is the Word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by strength or by might, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts. What are you, great mountain?”
“So he answered me, ‘This is the Word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: Not by strength or by might, but by My Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts. What are you, great mountain? Before Zerubbabel, you will become a plain. And he will bring out the capstone accompanied by shouts of: Grace, grace to it!’ Then the Word of the Lord came to me: Zerubbabel’s hands have laid the foundation of this house, and his hands will complete it. Then you will know that the Lord of Hosts has sent me to you. For who scorns the day of small things? These seven eyes of the Lord, which scan throughout the earth, will rejoice when they see a plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.” Zechariah 4:6-10
When I was in college, I ran cross-country and long-distance track. I had a guilty pleasure back in those days. I used to laugh when the young runners would compete in their first college races. They would always start out in first place, but most of them would be rounding out the last place by the race’s end. That is because they had not developed a significant mileage “base,” which is essential for enduring long races at fast paces. Long-distance runners cannot have sprinters’ strategies. Otherwise, they burn out too fast.
As briefly mentioned in yesterday’s devotional, Zerubbabel was the uncrowned heir of David’s line. It was his job to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. Another son of David’s, Solomon, had built the original Temple. Yet another known as the “Son of David,” Jesus, would come later and, indeed, He has gone ahead of us, not just to build another Temple, but to prepare a whole New Jerusalem for those who faithfully believe in Him. Zerubbabel was a building contractor. As such, he had a long-distance runner’s mindset. To finish his task, it took a step-by-faithful-step strategy.
If you have ever been on a large-scale construction site toward the end of construction, you have probably noticed it was pretty impressive. But construction is unimpressive for the first 2/3 of the build. That is because any good contractor knows the importance of building a proper foundation. Wise contractors don’t get over-excited about getting the walls & roof built. They level the ground, wait for it to settle, then they steamroll it, grate it, wait…then pour the foundation. After that, everything seems to go quite quickly.
The same is true with our spiritual growth. Often, we are too concerned with producing the “fruit” of evangelism that we neglect to lay a strong Biblical foundation. We ask, ‘Where’s the fruit?” but whoever asks about the foundation? That is why many talented young believers have successful ministry experiences and then quickly crash & burn. Sadly, the whole Messianic community suffers unnecessarily simply because people would rather be sprinters than long-distance runners!
God tells us that we should not scorn the day of “small things.” There is power in doing simple things diligently: Bible study, prayer, seeking His will above ours. You may not be a huge “fruit producer” initially. But foundational disciplines are “root builders,” growing seeds of readiness & righteousness. The Lord, in His timing, provides the might & strength needed for spiritual success, according to His will, which we have learned from reading His Word and experiencing His faithfulness when we obey Him.