by 鍾卓權牧師 (Rev. Bernie Chung)
God let the Prophet Zechariah see eight visions all in one night. The first vision was about a man mounted on a red horse. It was explained that God would protect Judah and judge the nations because they went too far to punish Judah, God's people. The second was the vision of the four horns and the four craftsmen, signifying God's judgment will come to the ferocious enemies surrounding Judah. The third vision was about a man holding a measuring line, predicting the future glory of Jerusalem because God will be among His people. The fourth vision revealed Joshua who changed his filthy clothes and put on the robe of righteousness and the holy crown of the High Priest. Chapter 4 of Zechariah tells the fifth vision. Interestingly the angel and Prophet Zechariah revealed the meaning of the vision through an answer and question exchange. The angel woke Zechariah up and asked what he saw. Zechariah replied that he saw a solid gold lampstand and two olive trees, one on the left and one on the right. Zechariah asked the angel what these images meant. The angel did not answer directly, but said: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.” Zerubbabel was the governor and a descendant of King David.
At that time, High Priest Joshua and Governor Zerubbabel were carrying out the reconstruction of the temple. But within five months, they stopped the work because they were discouraged by various obstacles and problems. The word of the Lord came again to Zechariah and said, "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it. Then you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent me to you” (Zechariah 4:9 NIV). The Lord continued to exhort Zerubbabel not to take lightly the matter at hand, but to conserve time and work hard. God gave Zerubbabel the formula to successfully complete the task God has entrusted to him.
Jehovah was happy to see Zerubbabel picking up construction tools, such as plummet; because it meant the rebuilding of the temple will continue. When Zechariah asked the angel about the two olive trees (one on each side of the lamp stand), and the two golden pipes that poured out golden oil the angel jokingly replied: "Do you not know what this means?" Zechariah said, "Lord, I don't know." The angel finally revealed at the very end that the two olive trees represent the two anointed persons who stood beside the Lord of the whole world. One was Joshua the High Priest and the other was Zerubbabel the governor. Thus the fourth and fifth visions directed Zechariah’s attention on these two leaders, both chosen and favored by Jehovah. By God's Spirit the successful completion of the temple reconstruction was assured.
The High Priest Joshua and Governor Zerubbabel can be said to signify the anointed Messiah, Jesus Christ the eternal High Priest and King Almighty. In our everyday life, the Holy Spirit is like the golden oil poured out from the pipes of the gold lampstand. The oil helps to light up the seven lamps on the lamp stand. The shining light illuminates God's Words of Truth so people will no longer walk in the dark, but will traverse on the path of light and righteousness. Salvation will come even to those with calloused hearts, dull ears, and blurred eyes. May those who have turned away from God humbly accept Christ as their personal savior, receive our Lord's salvation grace and enter into God's Kingdom. Thank you for being our gracious Father. Amen!