As the leader of the small group of Jews who had returned to Judah to rebuild the temple, he faced many things that could have discouraged him: 1) the physical challenges of reconstructing the temple, 2) the lax attitude of the people toward the reconstruction, 3) the opposition of other peoples around them who did not want the temple and city rebuilt, and 4) the fact that the first temple of Solomon was so glorious and lavish.
With all of that going on, he probably needed encouragement to know that what he was doing was significant and mattered to God. And that’s what this prophecy does. It let him know that:
- God is about to do something big – “shake the heavens and the earth.”
- What God is doing to do will impact every kingdom, nation, and person on the earth (v.22).
- He was the Lord’s chosen servant and signet, the one who represented the line through whom all this would happen (pointing to Christ, the ultimate Son of David who will come one day).
- This choice and this work will be carried about by God Himself, the Lord of hosts.
Zerubabbel needed to see that what he was doing may have looked small but it was very big. No matter what his enemies or others said or thought, God was doing big stuff.
For those of us who are serving the Lord today, we choose to either think our work does not matter or we can seek how what we are doing fits in with the bigger picture. If we are involved in the Lord’s work and the Lord’s church, we are on to something big. We a part of something that will bring God great glory. Let us keep on serving and keep on working because one day the Lord will shake the whole earth for His glory!