OUT OF THE RUBBLE
“So he 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 Almighty.”
Daniel was probably the most famous of the people who were taken into exile when the Babylonians conquered Judah. Next in line would be his friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. But there was another really important captive by the name of Zerubbabel. In the first year of the rule of the Persian king Cyrus, Zerubbabel was allowed to lead a group of exiles back to Jerusalem for the purpose of re-building the temple of God. You remember that it was left in total ruins; so Zerubbabel’s task was even more difficult than Solomon’s. Solomon had the finest materials and the most skilled of craftsmen at his disposal. Zerubbabel had nothing but a pile of rubble with which to build. This is why God’s word to Zerubbabel:“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” is so significant.
The word’s “might” and “power” are pretty specific words in the Hebrew. Might refers to: “an army, men of valor, strength of arms”. Power refers to: “human strength, natural ability.” The truth is that not even the strongest and most dedicated army can withstand the enemies of God’s work; only the power of God Himself is adequate to that task. You can be sure of this: anything the Lord calls us to do is going to be a battle, but the battle belongs to the Lord. And when it comes to crafting and assembling a temple fit for the worship and ministry of our Lord – it doesn’t happen because we exercise our human strength or our natural ability. Again, only the presence and the gifting of God can make us able. Only His wisdom and power and grace can make something worthy out of the rubble of shattered lives and broken hearts. But that is what church building is! We – the Church – are the temple of the living God. And that temple is not a building that can be built with hands.
Whether we are talking about the physical task to which Zerubbabel was called or the spiritual task to which you and I are called; the truth remains the same: Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.
--- Pastor Keith Andrews