May 11, 2011

Minor Prophets LXXXVIII: Olive Trees & A Lampstand


Zechariah 4:1-14 is Vision #5: The interpreting angel awoke Zechariah from sleep and brings his attention to a golden lampstand in a context of a priestly temple. Zechariah asks the Lord what is. The word of the Lord is given to Zerubbabel. The two olive trees represent two leaders. The focus on the last vision was Joshua. This one Zerubbabel and these visions appear to go together. The trees appear to be Joshua (spiritual leadership) and Zerubbabel (civil leadership). The idea of the king and priest here is embodied in one man in the form of Jesus Christ, the king-priest. The lampstand is Jesus or the Messiah, the light of the world. The light of the stand will shine on the table in the holy place which would contain the loaves of bread, Jesus, the bread of life. The candlestick can also represent Israel themselves, the light to the nations. Ironically the seven branch candlestick is one of the symbols of the modern nation of Israel. This light could also be the Christians. Jesus Christ is the source of encouragement, how could HE not be? This is the broader perspective of this imagery. In the following questions I will address the more detailed imagery and what it means so not to repeat myself.

There are applications that we can make to our own lives when it comes to Zechariah 4:6 & 4:10.

(v.6) ‘“Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit, “says the LORD Almighty’. This verse interprets the symbolism of the oil (by my Spirit) feeding the seven lampstands. Just as there is a constant supply of oil to the lamps with human intervention so too will the work of Zerubbabel on the temple and the lives of the people be completed. Not by man but by the divine. Just as the oil, constant and sufficient. The work is dependent on God. He will provide the oil or strength of Spirit. It is here that I see its application in my life. When the hill seems too steep or there just doesn’t appear to be comfort in an uncomfortable situation. God bolsters me. God is the God of all comfort (2 Corin 1). God is the comfort. When I am comforted in those horrid situations where I probably should have none and others see this, they to will recognize that fact and respond to the fact that the Spirit is in me. I have seen it happen. This was especially true when my father passed on to be with Jesus.

(v.10) “Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the LORD that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel?” This question exposes the fact there are some that have a lousy attitude towards the Temple project. The “day of small things” in context refers to the day when work begins. They see the project as insignificant and fail to see God working in it. God is in this rebuilding program. As these people rebuild the Temple, God has already begun rebuilding and continues to rebuild the hearts of the people working on the Temple. These people have failed to see that God is not rebuilding the Temple directly but working through the small remnant’s collective hearts to affect a change. They will be rewarded when they see the “plumb line” in Zerubbabel’s hand to complete the task.

This line not only measures the Temple but in the context, God is measuring His people also since all of this imagery is anthropomorphic dualistic imagery that represents not only men but the work of God in and with man. For New Testament believers this is through Crucifixion and the Holy Spirit and this is again where this imagery applies to me. No matter what God is in control and is the final measure of my life at the point of completion or my death. It is at this time God will pull out His plumb line and measure me against true perfection or true level an pass judgment. It is only through His work though that I will be found worthy. I can only achieve this marked standard in faith as works are only a manifestation of that faith. Its not me working to complete the task of completing the “temple” alone but the work of Christ in me that makes this “temple” a suitable vessel/residents for the Spirit of God to reside.

Longman, Tremper, and David E. Garland. "The Fifth Vision: The Gold Lampstand and the Two Olive Trees." The Expositor's Bible Commentary: Daniel-Malachi . Rev. ed. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2006. 759-763. Print.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...