"HOW THE WORK OF THE LORD IS DONE"
I. THE TASK BEFORE THEM; THE REBUILDING OF THE TEMPLE.
A. They had just returned from 70 years of captivity in Babylon.
1. Jerusalem is wasted.
2. The once glorious Temple of Solomon is a heap of rubbish.
B. The task seemed impossible.
1. When Solomon built the temple, he employed 150,000 men. He had 3,000 foremen on the job.
2. Only 50,000 people had returned from Babylon, including the aged, women and children.
3. Solomon had an unlimited treasury.
4. They had only meager funds.
C. The task seemed impossible.
1. Many so discouraged they gave up and concentrated on their own houses.
2. The work on the temple finally ceased.
3. Zerubbabel, one of the men in charge, had given up.
II. ZECHARIAH'S VISION.
A. The lampstand with the seven cups.
1. Similar to the lampstand that stood in the Holy Place of the Tabernacle, and later the Temple.
2. It was a symbol that God wanted His people to be a light to the world.
B. Two olive trees on either side of the lampstand with pipes connected to the seven oil cups of the lamp.
1. One of the daily tasks of the priests was to pour oil into these cups.
2. The lamp was never to go out
3. Man always is using his inventive mind to get out of as much work as possible.
C. Here Zechariah envisioned this Rube Goldberg contraption.
III. GOD'S MESSAGE TO THE DISCOURAGED ZERUBBABEL, "NOT BY MIGHT, NOR BY POWER, BUT BY MY SPIRIT, SAITH THE LORD OF HOSTS."
A. Many times God's word has isolated application.
1. Naaman told to dip seven times in Jordan to cure his leprosy.
2. This is not a universal leprosy cure.
B. Many times God's Word states a universal principal of God that holds true at all times.
1. Such is the case here.
2. There is only one truly effective way to accomplish the work of God: "Not by might..."
C. How the church needs to hear this message
1. Oft times, more time and energy is spent organizing a program than is spent on the program itself. Much more than is spent in prayer.
2. Pastors take courses in Leadership Dynamics so they can better motivate and manipulate people.
3. The church is trying with all its might to do the work of God.
4. Churches hire professional fund raisers. The letters sent out with self-addressed envelopes enclosed, are psychological masterpieces.
a. How can that poor little widow hoard her entire social security check when Brother Clobberts is in such desperate financial straits.
b. She doesn't realize how high taxes are on an $850,000 winter house in Palm Desert, Prop. 13 notwithstanding. "Not by might..."
D. How we need to hear this message today.
1. Those areas in my life where I have experienced such defeat.
a. I have tried so hard, with all my might.
b. Someone asks us, "But have you tried --," and before they can finish we say yes, because we have tried everything.
2. God, by His Spirit, can do for us what we could never do.