Zechariah 4:1-14 "And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep,  And 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:  And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.  So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord?  Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my 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.  Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,  The 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.  For 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.  Then 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?  And 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?  And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.  Then said he, These are the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth."
I must confess that when I look at this text, I have no earthly idea where to start. The text is so immense, yet God said to speak it, for He has a message here for you today. So let's begin the speaking by exegeting the text, then we'll see where the Spirit of God leads.
First let's look at Zechariah. The name "Zechariah" was a common enough name in the Old Testament, used of at least twenty nine different people. It is speculated that Zechariah was both a prophet as well as a priest, though this is just speculation. Little is mentioned of Zechariah other than who his father was, and that God called him to be a prophet. He had no great name, no great fame, no great wealth, no great position. He was just a man willing to do whatever God told him to do. To this unimportant man, to this mediocre man God gave a series of EIGHT visions, all night visions, that he was to share with Israel.
Zechariah Means "The Lord Remembers"
Israel had been in captivity under Persia, and God moved the heart of King Cyrus to release Israel so she could return to the land and rebuild the Temple. The Jews returned, laid the foundation and started building, but they were tormented by the Samaritans. The persecution that they went through caused the building project to cease for almost fourteen years. The people had seen no growth in the Temple for so long that they became apathetic to the work. They were happy with "business as usual", they were comfortable, and they really didn't want to rock the boat.
Man may forget, but the Lord remembers. God wanted His Temple rebuilt, demanded that His people rebuild, and wanted them to get on with the work. God gave Zechariah this fifth vision to encourage Joshua and Zerubbabel that He remembered, and would stand by them in their leadership of Israel. He wanted them to realize how important that rebuilding the Temple was. If the Temple was not rebuilt, Israel would fall into spiritual ruin. If the Temple was not rebuilt, Israel would die out and Messiah would not come.
Zechariah 4:2-3 "And 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 (NERAH = A SMALL BOWL LIKE OBJECT THAT CONTAINS OIL AND A WICK) thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof:  And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.
God started by showing Zechariah the promise that He makes to the leaders of Israel, Joshua and Zerubbabel. God shows us a golden candlestick, with a bowl on top, with seven lamps and seven "pipes". This type of candle is not the wax candle you're used to seeing, but was a lamp stand, a MENORAH. This menorah was hollow and filled with oil, and each lamp had seven "pipes" or places for seven wicks. Seven times seven lights come out of this menorah, and the lamps all had an abundant supply of oil. Throughout Scripture oil is used to signify God the Holy Spirit, and as there was more than enough oil to run these 49 lights this showed Zechariah that there was more than enough power in God to get this job done. The two leaders (the olive trees) stood next to this light, this power representation of the Shekinah Power of God, the Power of God the Holy Spirit. The "trees" or leaders were well lit by this Light, were empowered by this Light, and as long as they stayed in that Light would accomplish all that God set forth for them to do.
Zechariah 4:6-7 "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."
Zechariah didn't understand the vision of the menorah anymore than you did when you first read it, but now God makes it plain. The oil filled lamp represents the Spirit of God, the glow from the 49 lights represents the Spirit at work, and the two trees represents God's people, chosen by Him, doing the work of God in the light and power of the Holy Spirit. Zerubbabel and Joshua had to understand the source of their power. Zerubbabel had been appointed governor of Israel by Cyrus, but this appointment wouldn't sustain him nor allow him to accomplish his mission. Joshua was a brilliant military commander, but this brilliance would not give Him the power to accomplish this mission. No, human abilities would have no effect. What would be effective? To trust God, trust in His power, trust that He would see them through.
Not By Might (CHAYIL = The Force of an Army)
Why do so few Christians attain victory in their Christian walks? Why are so many Christians mediocre in their way of life? Jesus Christ won the victory for us at the Cross, and then gave us that victory. Listen to this verse:
1 John 5:4-5 "For whosoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.  Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?"
We are overcomers, Christians, not defeated whipped pups! We have this as a promise from God that we can overcome the World, defeat the World, destroy the World and the power of the World in our lives. Israel thought they were defeated, and I imagine that Joshua and Zerubbabel felt a little defeated themselves. For fourteen years Samaria had defeated Israel in rebuilding the Temple. They harassed Israel, mocked Israel, discouraged Israel. They kept telling the Israelites, "You're no good, you can't build this Temple", and you know what - after a while the Israelites began to believe it themselves.
On the day that our Lord Jesus was crucified, Satan must have had a party. The disciples who swore they'd never leave Him ran like cowards and hid in the bushes. With each spike driven into His precious Body the fallen of Hell rejoiced, and when Jesus cried out "It Is Finished" I can imagine Satan crowing "Look, God, we won. We're victorious! The King is dead, long live the new king". Yet three days later Jesus walked out of that Tomb whole, complete, resurrected, and Satan knew that he had lost.
Jesus said, "Believe on Me and you'll have the victory". Believing in Jesus isn't just the one time you went to the Altar and said, "Lord, I accept Jesus as my Savior". No, believing in Jesus is more than that. Believing on Jesus is taking Him into your heart, loving Him, living your life by Him. Not by CHAYIL, by the might of armies. Believing in Jesus means trusting Him, not just with your soul but with all of your life. Reaching out while trusting Him, trying your wings while trusting Him. No preacher who ever preached came to that position naturally and willingly. No teacher who ever taught came to that position without a sense of butterflies in the stomach. No servant who has ever worked for God has ever felt qualified for the work at hand, but reached out in faith and "believed in Jesus Christ", believed the promise of victory in Him.
You can only achieve power in God when you "give up" and put your life in His hands. This doesn't mean to quit your job, to sit down on the couch and then say "Here I is, Lawd, feed me!". No, it is a life of relying on God no matter where you are.
When the little shepherd David heard Goliath cursing God, he decided he would stand up and be counted. Saul was glad to have David go out to meet Goliath. You see, if David did it, then Saul and his household could be lazy and safe. Saul was so appreciative that he even gave David his armor, but David refused to wear it. You see, that armor is just another humanistic ploy to "help God out in a tight spot", and David wasn't having it. Instead, David said:
1 Samuel 17:47 "And all this assembly shall know that the LORD saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the LORD'S, and he will give you into our hands."
The battle is the Lord's, the battle is Jesus'. Your job is to reach out and try, trusting in Him, just as Joshua and Zerubbabel were to trust in Him. Believers, do not be like the baby bird that clings to the tree limb for fear of falling. Jump off that branch, trust God, and He will be the wind beneath your wings.
Nor By Power
(KOACH = Own Abilities, Hardiness, or Wealth)
How big is your God? Is He big enough to take care of you, or do you need to add your own power to the mix?
Hebrews 11:22 "By faith Joseph, when he died, made mention of the departing of the children of Israel; and gave commandment concerning his bones."
Genesis 50:24-25 "And Joseph said unto his brethren, I die: and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of this land unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. And Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, God will surely visit you, and ye shall carry up my bones from hence."
Joseph was a great man who trusted in God. When his brothers threw him into a pit and debated on whether they should kill him or not, Joseph waited on God. When his brothers deceitfully sold him into Egyptian slavery, Joseph trusted in God. When Joseph held position as a lowly slave he kept trusting God, and in the midst of the trials of life he knew that God would always give him the victory. When Pharaoh called Joseph out, and gave him the second highest authority in the land Joseph never abused this authority. He trusted God, stored grain, and led Egypt through one of the worst famines in its history.
When Joseph's brothers came before him hat in hand to beg grain, Joseph could have focused on the injustices that they did to him. Many of you may have been tempted to return destruction in kind for those who have persecuted you. Lord knows, I certainly know the feeling. Many would have said Joseph was justified in throwing his brothers in prison just as they did to him. But Joseph's mind was on, not the injustices that he had suffered, but on God. He said:
Genesis 50:20 "But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive."
Joseph was a man who had found balance, who knew what it was to trust God with his very life. As he approached death, he didn't fear that death but knew that he was only passing to the One whom he had entrusted his life to. Joseph ordered that he not be buried after death, but that he be placed in a coffin and kept above ground.
You see, Joseph knew that the Israelites were just passing through Egypt. He knew that Israel would go through the fire, that they would be discouraged, that they would forget the promises God made to the nation (Genesis 13.14-15; 26.3; 35.12). So Joseph made them promise that he wouldn't be buried, but kept above ground.
He told them when Israel left Egypt, and they would, that they were to take his bones with them to the Promised Land. For four hundred years the Israelites had no Scripture from the Lord, no Bible to lean on, but they had a testament. Every day a child of Israel would look at the coffin of Joseph and say, "Momma, what's that? Daddy, what's that?" And that momma or daddy would say, "That's the coffin of our father Joseph. One day we're leaving this land, and when we do we're taking that coffin with us. We're going because God said so. We're going because Joseph believed in God".
And so it was. When Israel left Egypt, they carried the bones of Joseph with them (Exodus 13.19). When Joshua led the children of Israel into the Promised Land, the first thing they did when they entered that land was to bury the bones of Joseph (Joshua 24.32). The testament had served its purpose, and Israel walked victorious because of it.
Is your God as big as Joseph's God? Do you take Him at His word, or have that nagging desire to question Him? Jesus took care of you at salvation, and He is more than able to take care of you in this life. God wants to care for you, to labor through you, if you'll only let Him.
But By My Spirit, Saith
The Lord of Hosts (TSABA' = Armies)
God wants you to know, Okapilco, that He has the armies of Heaven standing by to assist you in your mission. If you will bow your knee, soften your heart, and be willing to serve in the capacity that He has called you, then we will make a difference for Christ where we are. But just like David and Joseph, you must be willing. You must be willing to look for your place in the Body, a place of service, then serve as God has called you to do. You must be willing to heed that sweet call of the precious Spirit of God and let Him control your hands, your feet, your heart. Listen:
Zechariah 4:10 "For 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."
There will always be those who say "this is a day of small things". When Joshua and Zerubbabel moved to complete the Temple, Israel initially mocked them. "The Temple is a small thing, you are a small party, this is of no use". Perhaps you have said the same thing about Okapilco. "We're out in the woods, this is a small Church, we have a small mission, we are comfortable - leave it alone". Do not despise the small things. God took a small shepherd boy and made him King, then brought Messiah through him. God took an insignificant man and raised him up to be second only to the King of Egypt. God will take this assembly and do great and mighty works through it for Jesus' sake, if we will only get with His program.