Zechariah 4:1–7 (NKJV)
4:1 Now the angel who talked with me came back and wakened me, as a man who is wakened out of his sleep. 2 And he said to me, “What do you see?”
So I said, “I am looking, and there is a lampstand of solid gold with a bowl on top of it, and on the stand seven lamps with seven pipes to the seven lamps. 3 Two olive trees are by it, one at the right of the bowl and the other at its left.” 4 So I answered and spoke to the angel who talked with me, saying, “What are these, my lord?”
5 Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?”
And I said, “No, my lord.”
This opening passage of the chapter begins a fifth vision of Zechariah concerning a lampstand. Although similar to the lampstand in the temple, its construction is slightly different, as is the source of its oil. The olive trees seem to supply the lamp nearly perpetually. While the vision stops here momentarily, it is picked up again in verse 11. Zechariah is asked if he knows what these are, and he answers in the negative. While some scholars say that the next four verses are perhaps out of place, I believe they have somewhat of a related message for Zerubbabel, the leader of the effort to rebuild the temple after the exile.
6 So he answered and said to me:
“This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel:
‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’
Says the Lord of hosts.
7 ‘Who are you, O great mountain?
Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain!
And he shall bring forth the capstone
With shouts of “Grace, grace to it!” ’ ”
The vision of the lampstand and its plenteous supply of oil signifies the Spirit of God and the people of God. The lampstand could be the nation of Israel, and the oil the presence of God’s Spirit. The message to Zerubbabel is given to Zechariah here that the job of rebuilding the temple will not be accomplished by the might or power of men. Instead, the work will be accomplished through the Spirit of God. The task has opponents and detractors, and could seem quite daunting when looking at those enemies. However, God’s Spirit is mighty and sovereign, insuring that His work will come to pass.
What is a mountain in the path of the faith-filled, Spirit-empowered man or woman of God? Bring the capstone of the temple, for the work will be completed. Therefore, whatever opposition your ministry may face today, know that God’s Spirit will carry through that project, task, or purpose for which God has called you. No one can stop the work of God if His eternal Spirit is in the midst!