Summary: The Angel of the Lord came to Zerubbabel and encouraged him to get busy and complete the work to which he was called. This message is a look at some of basic principles for getting busy doing God's work.
Let’s Get Busy for God
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.
D. The Leaning Tower of Pisa built in the twelfth century is a freestanding bell tower in Italy. Scientists travel yearly to observe and measure the building’s slow descent. The 183-foot tower leans more than 12 feet. Entrance to the tower has been closed to the public since 1990 and its bells removed to keep further leaning and collapse. The building can never be made perfectly straight, like it was intended to be--at least, not without tearing it down and starting it all over again. What is quite significant is that the word “pisa” means “marshy land,” which gives some clue as to why the tower began to lean even before it was completed. Also—its foundation is only 10 feet deep! Source unknown
E. Luke 6:47-49 “Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.”
F. The foundation matters. We cannot start wrong and expect to finish right.