Author Muriel Anderson credits four words with launching her career as a writer: Of course you can! “I was to have had a father,” she said, “who was good at shouting of course you can at just the right moments.”
That was the message of Zechariah. According to the book of Ezra, the exiles returning to Jerusalem after the captivity began rebuilding the temple, but gave up in discouragement.
The project was abandoned for years. Then the post-exilic prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, came preaching, saying, in effect: “Of course you can rebuild this temple.”
The people of Jerusalem spurred on by these prophets, resumed and completed the work.
Much of Zechariah’s encouragement involved his emphasis on the Messiah. No other Old Testament book gives more information about Christ:
- His humble appearances and humanity,
- His rejection and suffering,
- His betrayal for thirty pieces of silver,
- His priesthood and kingship,
- His glorious return to earth, and
- His ultimate victory and reign.
The chapters of Zechariah are:
- The first six chapters of Zechariah present visions of God in control of the world.
- Chapters 7 and 8 deal with the responsibilities of God’s people.
- The last five chapters are a series of prophetic visions of the future and the culmination of God’s program in human history.
When it comes to fulfilling the will of God, the message of Zechariah is: “Of course you can.” As chapter 4:6 says:
“…Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.”
Rebuilding the post-exilic temple was nothing less than a vital and visual preparatory step for the coming Messiah and the ultimate Day of the Lord.
“Then 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.
Who 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” (Zech 4:6-7).
Never be discouraged when the work seems small or slow, for God’s Spirit uses little events and unknown people in powerful ways.