Zechariah 4:7 Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.
Zerubbabel was a prince of Judah during the Babylonian captivity and was appointed by the Persian King Cyrus to be governor of Judah. And Zerubbabel’s order of business was to rebuild the Temple.
“Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The LORD God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and he hath charged me to build him an house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.” (Ezra 1:2)
The great mountain of verse 7 are all of those who seek to hinder the rebuilding of the Temple. The promise of God to Zechariah and to Zerubbabel is that the mountain or the opposition will become a level plain.
So too is the promise of God to the Church as “ …the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” Since the empowering of the Church in Acts chapter 2, the church has spread around the world bringing precious souls into the Kingdom of God. And here in Zechariah chapter 4 the promise of God is clear, the Temple shall be rebuilt and the opposition shall be laid flat.
But it is the last phrase of this text that commands my attention: “…and he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.”
The book of Ezra records the laying of the foundation of the Temple which was accompanied by great worship.
“And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Israel. 11 And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.” (Ezra 3:10-11)
Now here in the book of Zechariah, the promise is when the last stone is laid “the headstone” there too shall be great praise and worship to our God by the people saying “…, Grace, grace unto it.”
God has shown them favor. Grace upon Grace God has shown them double favor. They are back in the land, the captivity is over, the Temple is rebuilt and the infinite thrice holy God of the universe dwells with them.
Grace, grace the work of God is all of grace, the merits of men always fall short but the purposes of God continue to March onward and upward for the glory of the King.
In the beginning God, from the eternal realm God (Elohiym) spoke into existence the time-space-matter universe in which we now live. He decorated the heavens with stars, planets, lights of beauty spread across a backdrop of pristine black velvet. The earth HE filled with life a reflection of HIS creative genius. And we who were made in the image of God are to be a physical, visible representation of the righteousness of God upon the earth.
But we sinned, and chose to use the earth as a stage to declare our sinfulness before a holy God and HIS newly created universe. But GRACE prevailed and Redemption’s plan begin to march toward it’s conclusion as animals were slain and a covering was made for the nakedness of Adam and Eve. And what is the conclusion of Redemptions beginning?
“And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying,
The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 11:15)
“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life
freely.” (Revelation 22:17)
“He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
Amen.” (Revelation 22:20-21)
Zerubbabel and a group of Jews had returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple, they were commissioned by Cyrus King of Persia. They were met with opposition from the beginning and the opposition steadily mounted, but the promise of God was that the mountain of opposition would be made into a plain. They would finish the work. And when the last stone was laid the people who had witnessed the onslaught of opposition to the plan of God who had been immersed in the struggle from the beginning saw more than just the Temple rebuilt. They saw the beauty of grace. Grace had begun the work and grace had sustained them and they shouted: Grace, grace unto the finished work of God. God now shall dwell in the midst of HIS people.
The church was begun by grace upon Peter’s confession that the gates of Hell would not and could not prevail against it as Christ is the architect and also the chief cornerstone. Grace would begin the church to gather it from the four corners of the world and grace would finish the work.
“For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1Thessalonians 4:16-17)