Updated: Feb 14
New York City arguably houses the most skyscrapers in the United States. Just one look at their extraordinary height can make your heart palpitate with anxiety. The incredible stature of these buildings also incites wonder! It causes you to inquire about every step of the construction process, particularly the initial stages. Most of us would look at a skyscraper in all its grandeur and ask ourselves, “Where would I even begin?”
This is the position that Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, found himself in after returning to Jerusalem following an extensive period of Babylonian captivity. King Cyrus of Persia had instructed him and his fellow Judean exiles to return to Jerusalem to begin rebuilding the temple. Upon their return, however, Zerubbabel and the others faced relentless opposition from Babylonian leaders who had settled in Judah during their absence. In response to Zerubbabel’s despair, an angel of the Lord instructed the prophet Zechariah to encourage him with these profound words: “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands shall also finish it...for who has despised the day of small things?”
In the Hebrew language, the word “despise” means “to disrespect” or “to hold in contempt”. Having suffered so much resistance amidst his efforts, Zerubbabel must have been tempted at times to despise and even curse the beginning stages of the rebuilding process out of fear that he would never complete the work he started. However, the angel of the Lord commissioned Zechariah to instruct Zerubbabel not to despise his small beginnings, but to cherish them, for God was not only taking pleasure in seeing him work, but He was also working through Zerubbabel by His Spirit to ensure the completion of the temple’s reconstruction.
Satan and his servants will tempt you to despise your place of preparation in order to discourage you from completing the work God has anointed your hands to do, so that you will ultimately cease from it. Therefore, you must learn to combat a poor outlook with the proper attitude and perspective! Luke 16:10 reminds us that faithfulness in a little thing breeds faithfulness in much! If you continue to despise your small beginnings, you cannot honestly expect the Lord to entrust you with opportunities of greater responsibility. Therefore, honor and cherish every stage of preparation, for no small seed that is properly watered and nurtured remains small forever.