“This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 4:6).
The book of Zechariah was written during the close of the seventy-year captivity of Israel and Judah. In the year 538 B.C., King Cyrus of Persia ordered that the people of Israel be returned to their land. God’s chosen people were not only liberated but were also given back the temple vessels that had been stolen from them prior to their captivity to the now-defeated King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. In addition, they were given permission to rebuild their temple with funds from the Persian Empire (Ezra 6:3-5).
The task of rebuilding the temple was given to a man named Zerubbabel. It was to him that the Lord had proclaimed through the prophet Zechariah, “not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit…” (Zechariah 4:6).
Not much is known about Zerubbabel prior to his commission to the great work of rebuilding the temple. Having a Babylonian name, he had likely spent most of his life in captivity. Born into slavery, he had probably spent every day fulfilling the wishes of his captors. Though not much can be said of his life during his captivity in Babylon, one thing is clear: If his name is any indication of his reality as a slave, he was not at home in the humiliating position of his past. His name means a stranger at Babylon.
Somehow, I just don’t feel at home in discouragement and defeat anymore. The adversary’s attacks are not as effective as they used to be. In my life right now, there is a calmness and assurance within my spirit that God is right here with me. I am a stranger at Babylon. So are you.