While attending a ladies bible study this past fall, I was given a verse by one of the attendees. In her words, “I believe God wants you to hold on to this word: Do not despise the day of small things.” She then proceeded to warn me not to take this verse lightly. And so I prayed. I searched. I found.
Why this verse? It really had little to do with what we were studying and much less with what I had shared with the group that night. But I wasn’t about to take for granted that which may have been a word from the Lord. I prayed: Lord, reveal to me two things 1) the meaning of this verse and 2) how it applies to me.
Zechariah 4:10 is the exact verse. “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand. (The seven lamps represent the eyes of the LORD that search all around the world.) ” NLT
We find ourselves in the book of Zechariah, where the people of God had returned to
Judea from exile. The returning Jews had laid the foundation for a new temple yet soon abandoned it. As a result, it lay in ruins, neglected and the people overcome by discouragement. The Lord loved His people and so, He raised Zechariah the prophet to call His people to repentance, spiritual renewal and to return to a right relationship with Him. This was the time of small beginnings.
For the Lord rejoices to see the work begin?
Rejoice = Samach (Hebrew) = to brighten up, cheer up, be made glad, make joyful.
See = Ra’ah (Hb) = advise self, appear, approve, behold, consider, enjoy, be near, look after, see after, perceive, give attention to, discern, distinguish, provide, regard.
A plumb line, a cord of tin or lead weight attached to one end, is used in construction to ensure that a wall is vertical.
Seven signifies completeness or perfection. God sees all that takes place on earth; He controls the fates of people and nations.
The past two years have surely felt as if I was in exile. I can’t explain it in words, nor can I fully describe what I felt, but it was much like a person who left a familiar place and migrated to a new location and is now returning to their homeland. Much was taken from me. However, looking back from where I am at today, I see that it was the very hand of God that stripped from me all my “riches”.
The sovereign hands that took away people, ministries, jobs, financial support, and more is now giving back to me. Though I haven’t wandered off, worshipped other gods, nor have I damned His name, there are areas in my life that lay in ruins, neglected and discouraged. He has called me to repentance, spiritual renewal and to return to a right relationship with Him. He doesn’t leave me alone to do this work. He has faithfully placed Zechariah-type people in my path. He has given me His Word, which is my armor and protection (Psalm 91:4). I have His love which covers a multitude of sin in my life (Proverbs 10:12) and casts out all fear (1 John 4:18). And as a few verses before reminds me, it is not by my strength, nor by my might that this work will be done in my life, but by His Spirit (Zechariah 4:6).
How precious to know that God, Creator God, Savior God, Holy God wants to do a work in my life. He yearns to do a work in your life too. I desire for my 2012 verse to encourage you as well. Those areas that lay in ruin, neglected, abandoned, discouraged, sin-filled, broken, bleeding, barren, ill, poor, paralyzed, or even refused are all areas that God longs for. When we surrender them to Him, He rejoices over them, He sees that the work is done upright (plumb line) and brought to perfect completion (seven lamps). For who can make straight what God has made crooked? When God is Lord over every area of your life, He will make you whole, a glorious work! And if like myself, you find yourself in the midst of a “small beginning” or a “new work”, do not despise these days nor be afraid but rather find strength in the fact that God has not look down on you but rather has counted you worthy of His work. You are not alone, we are all in the making.