6 So he answered and said to me: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts.
A new figure comes to the fore in vision five–Zerubbabel, the governor who was to rebuild the temple after Israel’s return from exile.
6 So he [interpreting angel] answered and said to me [Zechariah]: “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel:
Zerubbabel was the governor of Judah, the civil head of the nation (Hag 1:1). He was responsible for rebuilding the temple (Ezra 3:2, 8; 5:2). He was a descendant of King David (Mt 1:12). Zerubbabel may have been a symbol of one of the olive trees, and Joshua, the high priest of the other olive tree.
‘Not by might [military strength] nor by power,
The interpreting angels clarified where true accomplishment originates. “Might” is a military image that will effect something. Human strength or military power will not accomplish what needs to be done for building the temple.
“Nor by power” expresses human ingenuity. Marshaling human resources to do divine work will fail.
but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts.
“By My Spirit” points to the positive side of doing God’s work. God’s power lies with His Spirit (Ps 33:16, 20). Only God will accomplish what needs to be done on the temple. Human sufficiency cannot compare with divine sufficiency. Zechariah must depend on God if he is going to see the temple finished. The Spirit of the Lord will enable us to do what an army cannot do (Hag 2:5).
Divine power enables the believer to fulfill God’s plan for his life.
Human agency is never enough to do God’s work. Financial resources, leadership, or human erudition cannot do what God will do if we depend on Him. Dependence on God’s power to do His work is fundamental to Christian ministry. This is especially true when there is opposition to what He is doing. Neither is the weakness of man an obstacle for God to do what He must do. (Ex 31:3; Judges 3:10; 6:34; 11:29; 1 Sa 10:10; 16:13).
Genuine Christian work today rests on the power of the Holy Spirit (Ac 1:8). The Christian has no power in himself or herself to do divine work.