I have Zerubbabel on my mind. (That could be a song title, couldn’t it?) Besides the fact that he had a cool name, God gave him a reminder in scripture that has encouraged me. Allow me to begin with a quick biblical history review.
God allowed the Babylonians to conquer the Jews because of their disobedience (2 Kings). For seventy years, they remained exiled until the Persians conquered Babylon. Then God moved the heart of Cyrus, king of Persia. Cyrus decreed the Jews could return home and rebuild their temple in Jerusalem (Ezra 1:1-3).
Zerubbabel, a descendant of King David, was governor during this time. The Jews laid the temple’s foundation (Ezra 3: 7-13), but then political opposition began, and the rebuilding stopped (Ezra 4). Years passed, and God spoke through the prophets Haggai and Zechariah to remind Zerubbabel and his people to be obedient and rebuild the temple.
Part of Zerubbabel’s reminder is recorded in Zechariah 4:6. So he 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 Almighty.”
Zerubbabel didn’t have the power and might that Solomon possessed when he built the original temple, but God assured Zerubbabel he’d reconstruct the temple with the Spirit’s enabling.
Lately, I find this encouraging because releasing a novel is a daunting endeavor (even with a publisher). I’m concerned about sales for my novel, The First Principle, because I don’t have might from an army of readers or Facebook followers. I don’t have power from big-name endorsements or large sales numbers from previous books.
But God has consistently reminded me he doesn’t need power or might to bring about book sales. Instead, he’ll accomplish them through his Spirit.
I’m not suggesting I have a promise from God that I’ll become rich and famous from selling a million books. I’ve written a book that proclaims salvation through Jesus Christ alone and celebrates the value of human life in a world that despises both messages. Yet, God allowed the book to be published, and God will do as he chooses with sales. The book may sell a lot.
It may not.
Whatever the outcome, my novel will accomplish the purpose God has for it—by his spirit.