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How many times in history have great things for God been accomplished that started out so small that shortsighted people looked down at the endeavor or who prognosticated that it would never amount to anything? Many great accomplishments for God have had small beginnings. After the liberation from Babylonian exile, Zerubbabel, in 537 B.C., led a Jewish remnant back to Jerusalem and Judah. Under his leadership as governor appointed by Cyrus, Zerubbabel returned with a group of expatriated Jews to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple which had been destroyed by the Babylonians. Those around looked with scorn at the work that was being done. In Ezra 4:4-5 we read that “the people of the land tried to discourage the people of Judah. They troubled them in building, and hired counselors against them to frustrate their purpose.” As a result, many shortsighted Jews balked at those basic efforts and "despised the day of small things." But understand with God there are no small things. We find that the Angel of the Lord came to Zerubbabel in Zechariah 4 encouraging him to get busy and complete the work to which he was called. You and I need to learn from their example and apply some of these basic principles seen in the lives of Zerubbabel and his co-workers.
I. The Work is the Lord’s
A. With limited resources and an overabundance of obstacles Zerubbabel was faced with a seemingly impossible task. But God made it clear that He was in control of the situation.
B. Zechariah 4:6 “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.”
C. George MacDonald said, "In whatever man does without God, he must fail miserably or succeed more miserably" - Warren W. Wiersbe, The Integrity Crisis, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991, p. 42.
D. Someone has said “Trowel and hammer, saw and plane are instruments of vanity unless the Lord be the Master builder.”
E. Psalm 127:1 “Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.”
F. The task seemed impossible; but our God delights in the impossible. God delights in moving mountains.
G. Zechariah 4:7 “'Who are you, O Great Mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain!”
H. What "mountains" are confronting you? What impossible tasks are in your path today?
• Disease or Sickness
• Financial woes
• Marital or Family problems
• Anxiety or Depression
These may seem impossible situations but listen to the words of Christ, ““With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”(Matthew 19:26)
I. God is ready to assume full responsibility for the life wholly yielded to Him. - Andrew Murray
II. The Work must begin with the right foundation
A. Zechariah 4:9a “"The hands of Zerubbabel Have laid the foundation of this temple…”
B. In rebuilding God's ruined temple, one of the first things Zerubbabel did, with the help of God's people, was lay a foundation. After the foundation was laid they could then begin upon that foundation.
C. Whether it is a life, a family, or a church that you are building you need to have the right foundation.
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