Summary: this is a look at the vision of Zechariah-where is shown two olive trees connected to an oil lamp, as the angel explains its significance. We are shown the source of power for the Christian Life in this ancient prophetic vision.
Plug Into Power!
Introduce the cast of characters and the scenario:
Ezra (Scribe), Nehemia (Engineer), Haggai (rugged outspoken prophet), Zechariah (Prophetic Priest) Joshua (High Priest) , Zerubbabel (Governor of Judah).
Zechariah 4:1-10 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 lamp-stand 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." (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.
Essence of the Lesson:
The Holy Spirit is the perpetual power source for God’s People, enabling them to conquer insurmountable obstacles!
One New Year’s Day, in the Tournament of Roses parade, a beautiful float suddenly sputtered and quit. It was out of gas. The whole parade was held up until someone could get a can of gas. The amusing thing was this float represented the Standard Oil Company. With its vast oil resources, its truck was out of gas!
Isn’t it nice to have “cheap” gas again? Yesterday morning I got up early to take one of our vehicles to the tire store to be the first person in the door. I had an appointment and really wanted to get it done quickly. I drove to the tire store and one of the young guys who works there was going to drive me back home so he could take my van. We both got in and as I left the tire store, I realized I was below empty on gas! I had scooted out of the house right out of bed and I didn’t bring a check book, credit card or cash. When I gave the van gas it gave that familiar sputter that says “you’re almost out of gas you idiot!” The glowing “E” glared at me, mocking me for my lack of planning.
The kid who was riding with me laughed when I told him-and said “hey if I run out of gas I’ll call someone.” But-I knew I couldn’t do that to him. I remembered it was on empty yesterday afternoon and I had meant to get gas-but forgot.
Suddenly, I remembered-I have a whole dollar in my pocket! But wait, that won’t do much good. I looked in the console of the van and saw two quarters. A dollar fifty! A quick calculation told me that I could get almost a gallon, and my Toyota van would be able to do 18 or 19 miles on that! The tire store is two miles from the house. My energy crisis was solved!
Today I want to speak to you about our source of energy for life-your spiritual energy. Are you in crisis? Is your “E” light on-have you forgotten to fill up along the way?
Men have dreamed for centuries of perpetual motion machines-devices which could continuously tap bottomless energy resources which will never run dry and be continuously replenished. Leonardo Da Vinci argued against yet dreamed of it, classical music has been written about it. Even today engineers dream of the theory and scam artists peddle stock in a free energy company across the Internet.
But the sad truth of reality is that we are all experiencing an energy crisis. We’re all running slower and slower. We rebound and rebuild at a decreasing rate. The entire universe is subject to the law of maximum entropy. We’re expanding at a decreasing rate. Even the speed of light is slowing measurably. Perpetual motion and free energy in the physical world that we know, is not going to happen.
Ultimately, it means that all history is Holy History-we are not cycling through or working out our karma as Eastern religion would tell us. We are proceeding to a culmination of history. God’s timer on His creation is winding down, and His purpose is being accomplished!
As we come to Zechariah Chapter 4, the prophetic vision shows us an unlimited supply of energy available to God’s People, as they face the tests and trials of accomplishing His Holy Purpose! If we are tapped into the power source, the Lord will empower us to face the impossible, the insurmountable!