Zechariah 4 Outline
– Vision of the lampstand and olive trees (Zechariah 4:1-14)
Zechariah 4 Summary
Zechariah 4:1 seems to allude that Zechariah saw the vision at night. The angel asked Zechariah what he sees in the vision. Zechariah answered that he saw a lampstand with seven lamps on it. Each of the lamps has a pipe that connects it to the bowl. The golden lampstand that Zechariah sees in the vision is different from the menorah. The menorah was invented later than the time Zechariah wrote the book. It is estimated that Zechariah wrote the book at about 500 B.C. On the right side of the bowl, there was an olive tree. There was also an olive tree on the left side of the golden lampstand.
Zechariah’s vision of the lampstand resembles the temple’s lampstand with burning oil provided by the priests. The priests are responsible of keeping the lamps on the lampstand burned continually. They have to trim the wick and supply the oil from time to time so that the lamp will keep on burning. The lamps of the lampstand in Zechariah’s vision were provided by the oil in the bowl, directly drawn from the olive trees. The lampstand that Zechariah sees in the vision is not tended by the priests. It has an automatic system which allows it to receive oil from the bowl on top so that the lamp can burn continuously.
Zerubbabel is one of the two leaders that led the first group of Israelites from Babylonia to the homeland. Zerubbabel was the son of King Josiah and a descendent of King David’s family line. Therefore, Zerubbabel was the closest person to be elected as the political leader of the Israelites. Zerubbabel and Joshua the son of Josedech are commissioned to the rebuilding of the temple. In Zechariah 4:6, God gave his assurance that he will help Zerubbabel to complete the rebuilding of the temple although it seems like an impossible task to him. The lampstand with an automatic oil system is a symbolic representation that the temple rebuilding project will be accomplished supernaturally by God’s power.
In Zechariah 4:9-10, God promised that Zerubbabel will finish the work of rebuilding the temple. This means that Zerubbabel is the one that God chose to speak on behalf of his people. The seven eyes are the same as the seven eyes on the stone in Zechariah 3. It observes everything on earth. The lampstand in the temple of God is important because it represents the presence of God.
In Zechariah 4: 11-14, the two olive trees mean the two anointed ones including Zerubbabel and Joshua, that ministered to the Israelites in exile. The olive oil refers to the Holy Spirit. The center of the message is that we need the help of the Holy Spirit in order to do the God’s work. God can only do his work through the spiritual leaders.
Zechariah 4 Bible Study
1. Trust and rely on God in all things
Zechariah 4:6 says don’t rely on your own strength but rely on the power of the Holy Spirit. Often, we like to use our own wisdom to tackle the issue in hand. Nothing is impossible with God (Luke 1:37) so we should always put our trust in God. God is the giver of life and creator of all things. Therefore, God is able to provide us with all that we need including food, clothing and etc. Instead of worrying, you should submit all your problems to God. Worrying won’t improve your situation. In fact, worrying will make you feel more insecure.
2. Surrender your problem to Jesus rather than worrying
As Christians, we should put our total faith in God and not worry when problem comes. This is because you can trust that God is in control of your situation. Worrying shows that you disbelieve and ignore the faithfulness of God in your life. Every believer is the child of God. As a child of God, you have the authority to ask God whatever you need. Like your earthly father, God will always supply all you need. If you don’t recognize your identity as God’s child, you will let worry overwhelm your life. God knows that we will have troubles while on earth but he promises to help us overcome them if we focus on him.
3. Relying on God will help you to become a mature Christian
Relying on God on all things will make you a good Christian role model for the people around. Whenever you face a problem, you should quickly pray about it. When you rely on God, your faith in God will grow and you will become a mature Christian. If you don’t rely on God on your problem, your faith will easily falter away. You will easily give up and not believe in God. Both believers and unbelievers will face troubles while in this earth. It doesn’t mean that you will be trouble free after accepting Jesus. Problems are part of lives and God use them to strengthen our faith. Psalms 34:19 says that godly people may face lots of problems but God will deliver them completely.