Zechariah 4:1 And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep,
2 And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof:
Zec 4:3 And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.
Zec 4:4 So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord?
Zec 4:5 Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
Zec 4:6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.
Zechariah was raised up by the LORD to prophesy during a difficult time in Israel. They were allowed back into their homeland after suffering through 70 years in captivity. They had not learned much as a nation during those 70 years. There were a few, like Daniel and Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah who went into captivity as God-fearing men. Ezekiel would also fit into that camp. The majority of the Jews were lost when they went into captivity. Many of them would have died in captivity. Many Jews were born during that 70 year period. They would have gone back to Jerusalem, but they did not know what had been there at one time.
Zechariah was given visions to help him to set before the people what they needed to be taught. In chapter 4 Zechariah was given vision number 7. In this vision he saw a golden candlestick and two olive trees. The candlestick was of gold. It was made of 7 pipes. This candlestick, also known today as a Menorah, had one central bowl to which the 7 pipes were connected. The bowl was the reservoir that supplied the fuel for the lamps to burn.
The two olive trees were there to supply the olive oil needed to fuel the candlestick.
Zechariah did not understand the significance of this vision. He saw the candlestick and he saw the olive trees, but what was the point of this?
In verse 6 the LORD declared that He had a message for Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel was the political side of the leadership equation. In the past God first appointed the high priest and then later gave the nation a king. His design was that they should serve Him as their king, but they rejected that. The king and the high priest were to work together to lead the nation in the right way. Over time, both the kings and the priests were corrupted and that was the downfall of the nation.
Joshua was the high priest and Zerubbabel was the political arm that was appointed by God to be the leader in that capacity. Zerubbabel needed to understand how God does things. Zerubbabel did not need a powerful army to accomplish God’s purposes. Zerubbabel needed to trust in the true God.
Thus the LORD stated that the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the walls was not going to happen by the power of man. It was not their might that was going to win the day. We know that when we read the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. The people faced massive obstacles to getting the work done. They were not physically or militarily prepared to handle the task successfully. God would prove Himself strong on the behalf of those who would put their trust in Him.
At this present time, Israel is continuing to face a massive challenge. They have enemies in the south and in the north. The Iranians are backing much of the conflict. Russia and China are against Israel as well. The U.S., through its inept leadership has allowed for Hamas to amass weapons that were made in the U.S. The U.S. gov’t. has stated publicly that they will back Israel with whatever it takes. However, the U.S. has also backed away from necessary embargoes against Iran.
President Biden made a speech to the nation late this week and he stated that Israel has the right to defend itself. He stated that Hamas and Russia were the two major enemies. He failed to mention Iran. Iran funds Hamas and Hezbollah. He is scared of Iran and cannot expose them because he has invested millions and billions into that corrupt country.
Canada has proven itself to be unable to show support for Israel. They speak smooth words, but they demonstrate that they are not on Israel’s side. 33 federal politicians have signed a letter demanding that Trudeau get involved in bringing a ceasefire to the region. We do not need Trudeau meddling in the affairs of the Middle East. Everything he and his party does is a disaster. Hamas is a terrorist organization that needs to be stopped. However, Israel needs to understand that it will never stop the philosophy that is fuelling Hamas and Hezbollah and Iran, with weapons. Israel needs to understand that the root problem is their own rebellion against God.
Currently we see that Israel is delaying its ground invasion into Gaza. Questions have been asked about why this delay. The news is stating that the U.S. and European Union wants Israel to delay the ground invasion until more hostages have been released. If this goes to its normal conclusion, Israel will end up giving up some freedoms in order to get the hostages out safely. There is no guarantee they will be released safely. This is again the problem that Israel faces. They cannot fight this war on their own. They do not have the resources they need to be successful. Since they have rejected God’s leadership, they are dependent upon other nations. The problem is that the other nations are also ungodly nations and they cannot think clearly. Since Israel has come back into their land after WWII, they have negotiated away peace on many occasions. Yet, Israel still has not learned the importance of true Biblical repentance toward God and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour and Messiah. The Bible tells us that it will be a while yet before the nation of Israel does this.
We need to understand that God is not forcing them to delay this necessary repentance. God is showing us how stubborn human beings can be. There are many Gentiles that are just as stubborn as the Jews are. Most Gentiles live their entire lives in defiance of God’s truth and they die and go to hell. We are no different than most Jews.
Israel has an abundance of Biblical history that it can look at and see how God operates. They can look at the blessings that God has provided for them. They can also see how those blessings were eroded away when Israel insisted on rejecting God. The Bible makes it clear that you cannot truly claim to love God if you will not bow before Him.
Deuteronomy 6:5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Deuteronomy 11:1 Therefore thou shalt love the LORD thy God, and keep his charge, and his statutes, and his judgments, and his commandments, alway.
If a person claims to love the LORD, there can be no “buts”. We know that no person will always love the LORD as they should. God is merciful and He is willing to forgive the repentant saint. He does not give man what he deserves.
Israel is back in their land, in part. They have prospered to a degree in their land. God has given them much opportunity to see His hand of blessing even since 1948. However, as was witnessed with the ungodly party they had just two weeks ago, Israel is not interested in knowing the true God. They want to live in wickedness. After they struggle long enough, they will, as a nation, turn to God. The Bible says that.
Ezekiel 37:12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.
13 And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,
14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.
In order to know true success, human effort must be directed by God’s Spirit. That is what Zechariah 4:7 tells us and that is what Ezekiel 37 tells us and that is what the entire Bible tells us. Israel will struggle as a nation until they turn to God in repentance.
Gentiles do not make up a nation. We are many nations. The same principle applies. No person can ever know true success unless they are born again and walking humbly with the Lord. God must be in charge.
In every generation, there are a few people, whether Jew or Gentile, that turn to God in repentance and are saved. The Bible records this as fact over hundreds of years. It is still true today. It is not that more could not be saved. It is the stubborn self-will of man that interferes with God’s will to save. We must keep in mind that God does not force Himself upon anyone. He certainly could, but He wants man to see the blessing that comes from knowing Him. Those who humble themselves and turn to God in repentance and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation will be saved and can have His peace.