Zechariah 4 … Consider Him Who Levels Mountains

Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain; and he will bring forth the top stone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”’” (4:6-7).

The rebuilding of the temple was critical to the Jews’ way of life with God. It was the place of worship, the place of atonement. And the call to rebuild the temple was God’s call to come under His reign as His chosen people. And it was a mountainous task.

But God had Leveled Mountains in the most amazing way by stirring up the spirit of a pagan king to order a proclamation for the rebuilding of His temple in Jerusalem.

Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying:
“Thus says Cyrus king of Persia, ‘The
Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah, (Ezra 1:1-2).

And while the temple had been destroyed by the Babylonians, it was not the rebuilding that would prove to be the colossal impediment.

As the Lord asks this rhetorical question, it’s almost as if we can hear Him say, who do you think you are, great mountain; do you think you having any chance at stopping the work of God?

“‘What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain…'” (4:7).

What was this great mountain the Lord addressed? We learn from the book of Ezra, that Zerubbabel faced a Mountain from the enemy’s resistance against God’s people and the work. The people of the land discouraged the Jews in their work, and when that didn’t work, they hired counselors to convince the king to stop the rebuilding by his decree. And so it was stopped for almost two decades, until the second year of Darius.

Then the people of the land discouraged the people of Judah, and frightened them from building, and hired counselors against them to frustrate their counsel all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia…23 Then as soon as the copy of King Artaxerxes’ document was read before Rehum and Shimshai the scribe and their colleagues, they went in haste to Jerusalem to the Jews and stopped them by force of arms.24 Then work on the house of God in Jerusalem ceased, and it was stopped until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia, (Ezra 4:4-5, 23-24).

But there were also Mountains within that Zerubbabel faced, as God’s people had become complacent and self-indulgent. And rather than being about God’s work, their energy was invested in their own comfort and ease.

“Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘This people says, “The time has not come, even the time for the house of the Lord to be rebuilt.”’” Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate?” (Haggai 1:1-3).

Zechariah contains many apocalyptic elements, and for our pursuit in seeing Him increase in these prophecies, some background to understand some of the symbolism presented in this chapter will be helpful.

From NIV Study Bible:

4:1-14. The fifth vision. The Jews are encouraged to rebuild the temple by being reminded of their divine resources. The light from the lampstand in the tabernacle/temple represents the reflection of God’s glory in the consecration and holy service of God’s people… made possible only by the power of God’s Spirit (see v. 6; symbolized by the oil, v. 12)…

two olive trees ( v.3)…stand for the priestly and royal offices and symbolize continuing supply of oil.

This enabling power will equip and sustain Zerubbabel in the rebuilding of the temple (vv. 6-10)… The two olive branches (v.12) stand for Joshua the priest (ch. 3) and Zerubbabel from the royal house of David (ch.4)…And in the performance of their offices, Zerubbabel and Joshua (as representatives of the royal and priestly mediatorial offices) will [be the channel of] the Spirit’s enablement to God’s people… the two anointed ones. Zerubbabel from the royal line of David and Joshua the priest. The oil used in anointing symbolizes the Holy Spirit (v.6). The combination of ruler and priest points ultimately to the Messiah King-Priest.

Then I said to him, “What are these two olive trees on the right of the lampstand and on its left?” 12 And I answered the second time and said to him, “What are the two olive branches which are beside the two golden pipes, which empty the golden oil from themselves?” 13 So he answered me, saying, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.” 14 Then he said, “These are the two anointed ones who are standing by the Lord of the whole earth,” (4:11-14).

In this fifth vision, the angel interprets the only hope Zerubbabel would find to complete the work of rebuilding the temple. It would be by Him Who Levels Mountains.

Consider Him Who Levels Mountains

  • He Levels Mountains… we don’t; it is only by His Spirit that Mountains are Leveled.
    • Then he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts,” (4:6).
  • He Levels Mountains… as we rely on Him to complete His work that results in praise for His unmerited favor.
    • “‘What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain; and he will bring forth the top stone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”’” (4:7).
  • He Levels Mountains… as He confirms the Truth of His Word through the Work of His Spirit.
    • Also the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house, and his hands will finish it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you,” (4:8-9).
  • He Levels Mountains… as we take even a small step of faith.
    • “For who has despised the day of small things?…” (4:10).
  • He Levels Mountains… and He rejoices as He sees our faith.
    • “For who has despised the day of small things? But these seven will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel—they are the eyes of the LORD roaming throughout the earth,” (4:10).

How do we respond to Him Who Levels Mountains?

We find ourselves living in times beset with Mountainous trials and tribulations. But we really shouldn’t be surprised. Jesus told us to expect it. But He also told us that He Levels Mountains from without; for He has overcome the world.

“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world,” (John 16:33).

But there are also Mountains we face that loom within; those Mountains of fear, discouragement, and uncertainty. And Jesus told us He also Levels Mountains that are within, if we pray and ask and believe that He will

“Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. 24 Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you,” (Mark 11:23-24).

This beautiful book of Zechariah, with its symbolism that can be somewhat challenging to understand, is straightforward in this: His Prophecy reveals the Messiah King-Priest, our Savior Jesus Christ, Who Builds Us Up in the Hope of His Return when He Will Dwell in the Midst of His People.

So let us heed His Word, recorded for us that we would be about His work to make the most of our time in these days of evil and trouble, as we wait in hope until that day.

Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil, (Ephesians 5:15-16).

When we face Mountains that threaten to stand in the way of His work in our lives, looming to block our view of His promises, let us find comfort in this: we are not called to move Mountains. We are called to trust in the power of His Spirit to Level Mountains before us.

“‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts,” (4:6-7).

When we face the Mountains of trouble and tribulation in this world, let us trust the might and power of His Spirit to Level Mountains as we believe that He is working it all together for our good that we would be conformed to the image of His Son.

 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. 29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren, (Romans 8:28).

When we face the Mountains of fear, discouragement and uncertainty that challenge our mental well-being, let us trust that as we turn to Him in prayer with thanksgiving, He will be faithful to Level the Mountain of anxiety by His peace.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus, (Philippians 4:6-7).

Facing Mountains. It’s a call to faith. And without faith, we can’t possibly please Him.

And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him, (Hebrews 11:6).

But often we don’t feel as though our faith can measure up to face the Mountains and accomplish His work, let alone bring Him pleasure in the process. And today we were reminded, don’t despise small beginnings. Because when God sees the beginning of small things, He is glad!

“For who has despised the day of small things? But these seven will be glad when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel—these are the eyes of the Lord which range to and fro throughout the earth,” (4:10).

And Jesus told us we don’t need to have mountains of faith as He also spoke of small beginnings; small beginnings no larger than a mustard seed of faith is all He requires. For our faith is not to be in our faith, but in Him Who Levels Mountains by His Spirit to accomplish the impossible.

“…for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you,” (Matthew 17:20).

The day is coming when every obstacle, from without and within, will melt before the Presence of Him Who Levels Mountains.

For behold, the Lord is coming forth from His place.
He will come down and tread on the high places of the earth.
The mountains will melt under Him
And the valleys will be split,
Like wax before the fire,
Like water poured down a steep place,
(Micah 1:3-4).

Until that day, let us commit to believe that His Spirit is able in every trouble and tribulation, every fear and uncertainty, every doubt and discouragement to keep us in His perfect Peace as we keep our mind on Him Who Levels Mountains.

“The steadfast of mind You will keep in perfect peace,
Because he trusts in You,”
(Isaiah 26:3).

Let’s Grow Together!

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