Small Beginnings (Zechariah 4:10)

For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the LORD, which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.

Zechariah 4:10 (NKJV)

This verse — the entire chapter in which this verse is found, actually — left me puzzled and looking at multiple translations and the concordance to try and make heads or tails of what was being said. The question made perfect sense to me, but the rest was puzzling. My understanding of that part is this: the seven lamps on the lampstand that Zechariah saw (back in verse 2) are symbolic of the eyes of God and those seven (the eyes of God, metaphorically) are glad to see Zerubbabel doing the work God had commissioned him to do. With that understanding, I will unpack and apply.

First, the question. Who has the day of small things? Few people are happy with the old “slow and steady” axiom. While it is true, it is not very exciting. And we are tuned to crave excitement. Particularly in the modern age. But God seems to be indicating that humble beginnings can lead to impressive outcomes. God, after all, says that He rejoices to see Zerubbabel doing the work. Am I growing weary in the small steps? Do I get antsy for the big, impressive works that others experience? I need to be content to work at the pace that God has set. Not one step faster or slower.

Second, the statement. The verse says that these seven rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. God’s eyes rejoice to see God’s people doing God’s work. It seems an odd turn of phrase to say that God’s eyes rejoice, but I know that there are times when what I see is so excellent; so awesome to me that my eyes remain fixed. When my daughter was born and when my son was born, most of me was awestruck. My eyes, on the other hand, drank in the sight of these new lives; of these beautiful new people long after the rest of me had gone on autopilot. After a long day, it is the sight of home and my family that breathes new energy into my weary bones. While God does not grow weary, it is not difficult to imagine that His eyes see entirely too much of wrong action and therefore derive even more pleasure from seeing right action. Is my life; are my actions pleasing in the sight of God? Am I making His eyes rejoice?

That is all for this morning. A reminder that small beginnings do not indicate the size of their outcomes and that my actions should be such as will make God glad He sees what I am doing.

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