Tuesday, January 19, 2010


His heart was heavy and his shoulders strained as if he were carrying a large sack filled with rocks. Prophet Zechariah felt inadequate for the many revelations and signs he carried for Yahweh. God had begun to reveal beyond Zechariah’s immediate concern which was the temple rebuilding climaxing towards the glorious future of Jerusalem. Indeed, the prophet had again placed his hope on Jerusalem where the remnants returned with a dazed vision. He would agree with his contemporary, Prophet Haggai, that the temple would be the first present vital sign of the restoration of the Israelites after seventy years in captivity. The people needed to see the temple rebuilt albeit one brick at a time. And repair their broken dreams, one vision at a time.

"Shout and be glad, O Daughter of Zion. For I am coming, and I will live among you. The LORD will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem,” the prophet heard the declaration of God. Those words made a deep impact on Zechariah and much relieved him of the uncertainty of the times. The man of God understood that even the earth was under God’s palm let alone Jerusalem. When Zechariah and the remnant saw ruins and deep seated problems facing Jerusalem, God saw fit to raise the city to its ultimate stature. The prophet was delighted at the anointing of both Joshua the high priest and Zerubabbel, the governor. He knew that the cleansing of Joshua and the empowerment of Zerubabbel would set the stage for a revival in the city of God. God would be back with a bang! And Zechariah knelt and praised God as soon as he heard those words from the LORD Almighty, "Just as I had determined to bring disaster upon you and showed no pity when your fathers angered me, so now I have determined to do good again to Jerusalem and Judah. Do not be afraid.”

The prophet smiled as he witnessed the blessings of God not only in the rebuilding of the temple but in every area of the life of the remnant. He felt so flattered when the soothing voice of God came, “I will defend my house against marauding forces. Never again will an oppressor overrun my people, for now I am keeping watch.” Yet in all those things, Zechariah’s mind would wander beyond his time as far as God’s prophecies could carry him. He had the privilege to preview the gentle Messiah sitting on a lowly donkey yet his rule would encompass the whole earth, from the Rivers to the ends of the earth. His people would be set free and become strong but only through the blood of the covenant.

The excitement got hold of the prophet as he could sense his adrenalin rushed through his entire body like being shaken by an earthquake. Not only was Zechariah so touched by God’s mercy, he was completely mesmerised by the vision for this nation. Yes, nations might try to fight and take control of Jerusalem but the grip of God would be too strong for them to pry open. In fact, God revealed to Zechariah the final day when nations would be defeated at the hands of the God-empowered Israelites. “On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem,” the LORD thundered. And Jerusalem would become the dwelling place of the Messiah, ruling with absolute righteousness and holiness.

Zechariah stood at the entrance of the temple building, almost completed and there he remembered the prophecy of Yahweh, "Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come, and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say, 'Let us go at once to entreat the LORD and seek the LORD Almighty. I myself am going.' And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the LORD Almighty and to entreat him. In those days, ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, 'Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.'"

“Yes and Amen,” he cried with joy!

What would Prophet Zechariah say to us if he were still alive today?

1. Your future in God is fully secure.
2. Let us not despise small beginnings as God can multiply them a hundred fold.
3. When God is for you, who can be against you.
4. The Messiah is not only a Saviour but King of all kings, Ruler of the Universe.
5. Jerusalem will ultimately be the Ruling Center for Jesus Christ, King of all kings!

Thursday, January 7, 2010


The abandoned construction of the temple stood like a sore thumb. The whole surrounding area covered with thick weeds, and shrubs protruding everywhere. Yet, the returning remnants had returned to normalcy in life, their hearts far removed from the vision set forth by Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah who led the exiles back to their homeland. Prophet Haggai knelt there speechless at the place where once the great Temple of Solomon stood. Tears began to drop freely as he witnessed the eroding faith of the remnants where God had put his hope on. In the still of the evening, God spoke, “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come for the Lord’s house to be built.’”

The prophet knew that only the reconstructed temple could reinstate their former aspiration to be a great nation under the Mighty Yahweh. Haggai had not forgotten the promised made to Abraham and to David. But the remnants in Jerusalem had to do a lot of ‘de-babylonizing’ to gear up. Some had chosen to stay in Babylon as they were thriving commercially. Those returnees were reluctant to see the importance of the place of worship over their livelihood. Furthermore, there had been some hostile opposition to the rebuilding.

Prophet Haggai gathered the people and pleaded with them. He knew this could be a do or die situation, nationally or spiritually. With tears in his eyes, he pleaded, "Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?"

The prophet spoke sternly the Word of God, "Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”

The rebuke woke them up. Finally they knew why they could only survive and not thrive in their own land. The voice of the prophet was heeded. The leaders of the remnant, Zerubbabel, the governor and Joshua, the high priest renewed their commitment to lead the people to rebuild the temple. Prophet Haggai jumped with joy at the rejuvenated people and cried loudly God’s Word, “Yahweh declares, ‘I am with you.’”

As they zealously built the temple, God knew the hearts of the people, especially those who had seen the previous glorious temple before it was destroyed. God saw through those tears and heartbrokenness and said through his servant Haggai, “Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing? In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and the desired of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory. The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house. And in this place I will grant peace!”

Their work in this rebuilding must not be seen as insignificant! Nothing that was done for God’s glory would be wasted and be treated as trivial! The people might be building a smaller temple but God was able to ‘mightify’ it! Even the Messiah, the desired of all nations would one day step into this temple!

Haggai once again visited the temple in its vibrant rebuilding, looked up to the skies and smiled widely. He had made an appointment with Zerubbabel to meet him there. When both of these great men met, they embraced.

“God said, ‘I will shake the heavens and the earth. I will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms. I will overthrow chariots and their drivers; horses and their riders will fall, each by the sword of his brother. On that day I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you.’" Prophet Haggai whispered to the Governor, a descendant of King David himself.

What would Prophet Haggai say to us if he were still alive today?

1. Be careful of losing the essential things (God, church, ministry) by focusing on the urgent (material things).
2. Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.
3. Do not see whatever we do for God as insignificant as God has the power to multiply a hundred fold.
4. Do not only have initiative but also ‘finishtiative’!
5. God would never forget His promises!