Then he answered and spoke to me, saying, This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power…
So much is in the hands of providence that, in general, we can only conjecture what may be the result. In proportion as events are dependent on the will of God, they are uncertain to us.
I. THE MOST HIGH HAS CLEARLY PROMISED IN HIS WORD, THAT THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST SHALL ULTIMATELY PREVAIL OVER THE EARTH. The religious history of the world presents a threefold aspect.
1. We may regard man in the state into which he was plunged by the first transgression; obnoxious to the wrath of the Most High., and distant from Him. Men divide into two classes: — those who forget God altogether, and the Jews to whom were committed the oracles of God.
2. To the head of the Jewish people it was promised, "In Thee shall all the nations of the earth be blessed."
3. These promises formed part of the joy set before the Redeemer, by which He was stimulated in His work of self-denial.
II. GOD HAS ENJOINED IT AS A DUTY ON HIS CHURCH TO ENDEAVOUR TO PROMOTE THIS END. The inspired writers derived this notion from two sources.
1. Express commands.
2. The principle on which those commands went. The appointment of a Christian ministry implies this duty.
III. THE MOST HIGH HAS COMMUNICATED TO THE CHURCH ADEQUATE MEANS FOR ACCOMPLISHING THIS END. We do not now need the aid of miracles. Our power lies in the presence and impulse of the Spirit of truth.
IV. WE MAY ANTICIPATE THE PERIOD WHEN THE KINGDOM SHALL BE FULLY ESTABLISHED. Some hopeful signs are —
1. An increasing respect for the Word of God.
2. A more general appeal to the great converting principle of the Word of God.
3. A universal endeavour to pay the debt of obligation to the diffusion of the Word of God.
4. Much success has already attended the labours of Christians, and this shows how God smiles on the. rising energies of His Church.
5. The hopeful state of the Church as the administrator of truth in the present day. If the Spirit of the Christian religion live in our minds, we shall want no exhortation to advance a cause like this.
(W. Wilson, A. M.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, 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.