Summary: Exposition of Zech. 4
You’ve Got the Power
What would it be like to live without power?
You could ask the Amish, who choose to live without electricity in their homes. Some of them even refuse to use gas powered engines. I really admire people like that. I have no desire to follow in their footsteps, but I do admire them.
Some of you recall when electricity first came to this part of the country. You remember what life was like before light bulbs, and electric refrigerators, and air conditioners. You hear people say, “I don’t think I could make it without my air-conditioner” and you say, “Oh yeah, you could.” That’s because you have lived without electrical power for many years.
You can live without power. But why would you want to?
Some Christian seem to live powerless lives. They have electricity in their homes, and drive gas powered cars. But they seem to live with no spiritual power from God working in them. They live as if they have no power to resist temptation, no power to defeat worry or discouragement, no power to face the hard challenges of life. Instead of God’s strength, they feel their own weakness. Instead of enjoying victory, they seem hopelessly defeated.
But the Bible says that if Jesus Christ lives in you, all Heaven’s power is available to you. But you have to put that power to work. Tonight from Zechariah 4, I want to help you do that. I want to show you 3 truths about how to put God’s power to work in your life:
I. YOU PLUG INTO HIS POWER BY HIS SPIRIT (v. 1-6)
This is the prophet’s 5th vision from God to the Jewish exiles rebuilding the Temple. It’s mainly addressed to Zerubbabel, their ruler. God tells him the power you need to do this work only comes from My Spirit.
It’s not clear in vs. 1 whether Zechariah is literally asleep or just in a daze when the angel wakes him up, but as soon as he’s fully awake, the angel asks What do you see, Zechariah?
I see a lampstand of solid gold. Its seven branches are fed oil from a bowl at the top, which apparently is fed by two olive trees on either side of the lampstand. This reminds him of the golden lampstand (Heb. Menorah) that stood in the Tabernacle and the original Temple.
That’s what Zechariah sees but he’s not sure what it means. So he asks the angel, who seems to think Zechariah already knows the answer. But he explains it all to him in vs. 6 (read) Now does that clear everything up for you? Do you understand this vision now?
No? Don’t be alarmed. Numerous speculations have been made about the interpretation. Most of them don’t agree. Some say the angel doesn’t really interpret the vision; others say you have to skip some verses before he actually explains what Zechariah sees. I’m no scholar, but I believe the key to understanding this vision is to relate it to the context of the prophecy.
First of all, remember this message is addressed to Zerubbabel, the leader of the Jewish exiles. God wants to encourage him as he leads these people in rebuilding the Temple. He does that here by telling Zerubbabel this work cannot be done by mere human power or ingenuity. He will need God’s power to do this work, and that means He will need God’s Spirit.
In this context, I think it’s reasonable to assume the lampstand represents the Temple. The oil of the lampstand is a familiar Biblical symbol of the Holy Spirit. What the angel is saying to Zerubbabel is just as the lamp must have oil flowing in it to shine its light, so you must be plugged into My Spirit if you want My Power working in your life. You only plug into God’s power by His Spirit. Jesus told His disciples before He ascended:
Acts 1:8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you…
To be plugged into God’s power means you have the Spirit working in your life. How do you do that? First of all, you must receive the Spirit. This happens when you get saved.
Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.
If you are a Christian, the Holy Spirit already lives in you. You don’t have to pray Him in, or beg Him to come in—He’s already there. His power is already in you. Like electricity you cannot see or touch, the power of the Spirit is already a part of your life if you’re a Christian. He wants to work in you and through you, but in order for that to happen, you also must