The prophecy of Zechariah is colourful, intriguing, and magnetically Messianic. It deserves close inspection, close comparison with the New Testament, and circumspection in conclusions drawn. Rich symbolism can lead to ridiculous speculation in the interpretation of prophecy. Rather than look for sensational events, calendar dates, and spectacular visible occurrences in this and similar writings, such as Daniel and Revelation, the reader should anchor research in figurative biblical literature in the area of Christology - what is the text indicating about the magnificent Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ, his lofty status and lowly service in providing salvation for those anxious to find it.
Key biblical themes are treated in Zechariah’s graphic instruction. His pictorial preaching and use of imagery bring out the profundity and beauty of God’s saving design through Jesus Christ. It is the creation of the divinely unequaled ingenuity. If our minds were to brood over Scripture we would all find it breathtaking.
Compacted in this brief passage we discover an array of arresting truths...
*God’s surprising providence: Zechariah cautions us in our easily arrived at assumptions. Man is readily impressed by appearances. Brightness and largeness bedazzle and mesmerise us. We need to probe more deeply for the factor of quality in anything we survey; we cannot measure the strength and success of the divine purpose by what we sense and see. The angel, the envoy of encouragement, reminds us that all things are presently in the making. The end will disclose the magnitude of the divine mission on earth, and the consummation of his course of secret and steady action will bring joy to his people (v10). Whether men despise the day of apparent small things in a spirit of ridicule, or whether they mourn the day of seemingly small achievements or none, God is working incessantly and tiny things will eventually tower over us.
*Divine revelation is always an awakening: Our distance from God and dullness of understanding always demand the presentation of a sharp shock to human minds. We would never dream of God’s wondrous disclosures as to himself, his wisdom, and will. He astounds us with his truth. With his intimations of his nature and mind insight is always a gift. His intentions and actions require his own explanations, and these he freely gives (v1). His words inevitably evoke our enquiry and by his Spirit he stimulates investigation in which he acts as our guide and mentor.
*The word of the Lord is supreme in its power and wisdom: We are lifeless and uncomprehending without it - adrift in a sea of inherited and self-invented illusion. God’s speech in Holy Scripture conveys comprehension. His dual explanation (Word and Spirit) is supernatural. The angel arrives before Zechariah as divinely commissioned messenger and in this role he represents the Holy Spirit who effectually addresses heart and mind. The Spirit is the power of perception into the word, of progress in the word, and performance of the word. How marvellous is the progress of God’s orchestration of his word. He inspires it, intimates it, and instils it (v6).
*The Lord counters all opposition to his people in their obedience to the word: We find opposition within and without. Our drooping spirits often defeat us. Distractions divert us. Destroyers assail us. The internal and external enemies who seek to foil the word of the Lord constitute a high mountain that the Lord will eventually level. For Zechariah the reconstruction of the temple was a stalled project. For ourselves in this generation the resurgence of truth and holiness in the Church seems distinctly unlikely. We are in a day of small things and huge opposition. But the word of the Lord informs us that no hindrance to the kingdom can prevail. Every obstacle however huge, however formidable, firmly fixed and established, however daunting, can succeed in preventing the triumph of God. His omnipotence reigns and all combative competition will crumble.
*The kingdom of God will will continue and gain completion: Hostile forces face annihilation and all their threats and attacks will accomplish nothing except their utter extinction as effective forces. Great powers arrayed against God will be ground to powder. Resistance and the routing of the enemy is assured and all resources and accomplishments are the Lord’s through his human agents (v9).
*Absolutely all is of grace: Grace is the greatest word of the Bible when you examine its context and content. It encapsulates all that the Triune God intends and achieves on our behalf. His fabled might and majesty display themselves in mercy - the mercy embodied in the Messiah. This is the apex of Biblical revelation. The glorious secret and subject of divine disclosure is Jesus Christ. He is the foundation of our saving faith and the finisher of our faith inasmuch he initiates our rescue and brings it to perfect fulfilment (Hebrews 12:2 - “the perfecter of our faith”, “source and finisher” - Amplified Version).
The excellence of the Lord Jesus is captured in Zechariah’s reference to the capstone, the last stone to be cemented into a completed structure (v7). Zerubbabel’s hands are illustrative of the saving hands of the Lord Jesus. Finalization of the divine enterprise of human redemption will be achieved by the Messiah - “this temple”. Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” The Jews replied, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?” But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken. (John 2: 19-22).
The final touch in the project of human restoration is that of Jesus the Christ. He is the expression and end of God’s grand design for the recovery of our race. What a colossal assignment he has kindly undertaken. The “plumb line” that proves his competence and endurance in his task is the gospel vindicated by assessment of history and the massive record of conversions to God. Believers rejoice exuberantly in him (v10).
As the Lord’s folk we are never to despise the day of small things - the days of small significance and the things that scarcely count in our estimation. All circumstances of whatever dimension are used of the Lord in his sovereign might. We are not to yield to hopelessness, nor to be overcome by our weaknesses and failing. We should never be cowed from any cause.
The sole and successful power of our faith-life is of God through his Spirit. His power is all-conquering, all-enabling, and incontestably supreme. And the predicted moment of triumph is Jesus Christ’s.
And he shall bring forth the capstone
With shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”
Zechariah 4: 7b