God is always at work in our lives, encouraging us to take that first step. Recently, I had an overwhelming desire to learn Biblical Hebrew to make studying scripture more meaningful. After enrolling in an introductory class, I became discouraged, feeling as if I was in first grade again and way behind other fluent Hebrew speakers. I had to learn the basics of the twenty-two letters of the alphabet with their symbolic, literal and numerical meanings, as well as the twenty-six vowel points and the gutturals. I am a remedial learner and what takes some students a few hours takes me twice as long. I had to diligently review, spend much time with flash cards and develop great habits of study. I was reminded of what my Hebrew professor would say, when someone asks how your learning is going, “slowly but surely, but surely slowly!”

In Ezra chapters 3 to 6 we read about the reconstruction of the temple under the supervision of Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah. The Jewish people began in earnest to rebuild the temple but were faced with opposition from surrounding adversaries, and the work was eventually brought to a standstill by King Artaxerxes. Only the foundation had been completed, and the temple was going to be much smaller and less splendid than Solomon’s temple. Many of the older priests and family heads who had seen the older temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation. In today’s verse, Zechariah reminds them not to be disappointed because God had great plans for the new temple. They should not despise “the day of small things.”

What is the Lord calling you to do? It could be starting a new ministry, teaching little children, feeding the poor, or going deeper in your prayer life. God promises us in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “strength is made perfect in weakness”. Let’s all be reminded and encouraged that great things often spring up from “small beginnings” with God’s help!

Father, thank you for how you use the smallest events and the weakest people to bring glory to your name. Forgive me when I get easily discouraged by comparing myself to others. Help me to look to you, and to follow through with small things. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

Throughout This Day: Consider what God has called you to do, and remind yourself that what may seem like a small beginning is never wasted as you faithfully carry it out in dependence on the Lord.

Tags: Daily Devotional Zechariah 4
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