THE HEAVENLY ANCHOR
Then he said to me,
“This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel saying,
‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts.
"What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will becomea plain; and he will bring forth the top stone with shouts of “Grace, grace to it!”’”
In light of this week’s parsha, we focus on the Haftorah passage from Zechariah. Parallel to Numbers 8בְּהַעֲלֹתְךָ. B’Ha’alosecha (when you step up…) and the instructions of care lighting the menorahs, content in this Haftorah passage denotes a vision of encouragement. We see a pastoral tone throughout the book of Zechariah. Post-exilic Israel needed an encourager, one to fill them with hope. Zechariah 4 begins with the declaration that an angel returned, awakened him and said” what seest thou?” Hertz, in his commentary notes “the Prophet’s thoughts now turn to Zerubbabel, and the need to encourage him and his work.
Zerubbabel was given the lofty task of rebuilding the Temple. If you have taken on the job of remodeling your home, building a home or headed up a building project for your synagogue, you know the tzuris, the anguish, that accompanies such an endeavor. Author Hertz would further enforce the lesson that “God alone is the source of all Light, as well as power, to rulers and people alike.” (Hertz, p.622) Zechariah continues to make note that in front of him, he sees a solid gold menorah with seven lamps and seven pipes…
As we read these first six verses in Zechariah chapter 4, we should be encouraged inwardly of God’s divine presence and help. We need encouragement. We need inner strength. Before I became a believer, I adopted the concept of Transactional analysis. “I’m okay, you’re okay.” I endeavored to give warm fuzzies instead of cold pricklies. I soon realized that the world dished out cold pricklies and I had no ability within myself to give a warm fuzzy, a kind word. Jesus showed up through the verse of Isaiah 53:6 and I found TRUE NORTH.
Life at times is challenging. Inner anxiety can demonstrate itself outwardly through sleeplessness, nervous energy, overeating, anger –––we all are human and we all struggle. We are stretched personally, vocationally, ministerially, emotionally and spiritually. Encouragement can come from friends, spouses and family members. Yet, often there is an encouragement that can only come from God.
“Give him a shot of hope!” God directs Zechariah, the prophet, to impart hope to Zerubbabel. Look at the Menorah. There are seven lamps and seven pipes on these lamps – an abundance. The vision contains the fact that olive trees are on either side of this menorah. Trees are living; trees are plentiful; trees are always giving. Trees take in carbon dioxide and give back oxygen. Oxygen is needed to live. These olive trees are always giving. The olive oil produced here is just not ordinary oil. The olives were choice growth, mandated to assure the utmost purity for Temple use. Oil, שמן (shemen in Hebrew) was used for light as well as anointing. Aaron was anointed with oil for service “Then he poured some of the anointing oil on Aaron's head and anointed him, to consecrate him”(Lev. 8:12). David was anointed “Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon David from that day forward. And Samuel arose and went to Ramah” (1 Sam. 16:13). God instructed Moses "You shall speak to the sons of Israel, saying, 'This shall be a holy anointing oil to Me throughout your generations. 'It shall not be poured on anyone's body, nor shall you make any like it in the same proportions; it is holy, and it shall be holy to you.” (Exodus 30:31-32)
This pure oil was used to light the Menorah in the Holiest structure in the known world. The Temple. God used Zechariah to encourage Zerubbabel to keep on keeping on. There will be continual supply, there will be continual help, there will be continual direction. Yet, NOT by might or power, but By My RUACH. The LORD’s empowerment is endless, rich, plentiful and abundant forever. The mountain before you, (Zerubbabel) _______________ (insert YOUR name) will become a plain, and God will cap everything with two words, GRACE GRACE. Zechariah is God’s mouthpiece, not only to Zerubbabel, but to us.
The word for hope in Hebrew is תִּקְוָהTikvah. However, unlike earthly hope, the word here denotes an anchor and is anchored FROM ABOVE. Hebrews 6:19 encourages us “this hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil.”
Perhaps God has given you a vision, or placed a call on your life, or has spoken a promise to you. Yet here you are, it seems as though God has forgotten you. Rejoice, and I say again, rejoice. You are hewn from Abraham's quarry. Your cord, your tikvah, your hope is anchored in heaven. If God considered Abraham's faith as righteousness, if God considered the builder Zerubbabel, then God will reward your faith, too.