Abraham Lincoln said “It is difficult to make a man miserable while he feels worthy of himself and claims kindred to the great God who made him.” And an unknown author said, “If you put a small value on yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price.”
These quotes caused me to pause.
- Do I feel worthy?
- Do I claim to be related to God and part of His family?
- What value do I put on myself?
If you’re like most women, you’ve likely struggled with or are struggling with similar questions.
Today we’re going to study Zechariah and how God used him to help Israel rebuild something of great value and worth.
Israel had been going through another disobedient season that’d left the temple in ruins. Zechariah, a prophet, was given the responsibility of motivating a small group of Jews as they restored the temple and their nation.
His message was part disciplinarian, part cheerleader and part visionary.
We’ll unpack each part of Zechariah’s message:
- the disciplinarian,
- cheerleader, and
and how they relate to our value and worth as women of God.
Here’s a printable PDF with the questions and scriptures: Daughter, You Are Worthy!
In the first chapter of Zechariah the “word of the Lord” aka Holy Spirit came with some instructions for God’s people.
“The Lord was very angry with your forefathers. Therefore tell the people: this is what the Lord Almighty says; ‘Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you.’ says the Lord Almighty.” Zechariah 1:2-3
If you’re even a little familiar with Israel, you know they struggled to remain faithful to God.
The value and worth Israel placed on other nations’ “things, beliefs, and ways of life” had gotten them into more than one pickle by the time Zechariah was sent to reinstruct God’s people.
God’s message to Zechariah, used Israel’s past mistakes as loving discipline that reminded this small remnant about what they needed to do and not do.
- When’s the last time you got sidetracked by things, beliefs, and/or worldly ways of life?
- What was so alluring or promising?
There’s one thing Israel was usually pretty good at doing.
We see this in action in Zechariah 1:6b “Then they repented and said, ‘The Lord Almighty has done to us what our ways and practices deserve, just as He determined to do.’”
The first six verses of Zechariah are a disciplinary reminder of what past generations had done. God used this history lesson so the listeners, the Israeli remnant and us, would learn.
We should look back at our family and see how their lives were impacted by God. But our lives should be focused on only one thing – remaining repentantly faithful to the Lord Almighty.
- Is there something from past generations that you “expect” will happen to you?
- What is it and why do you expect it?
- Based on your knowledge of God and His Word, how does this thing line up with God’s promises, expectations, commandments, and/or truths?
Would you take a minute and ask the Holy Spirit to show you where you’ve not been clinging to God or if there’s anything He wants you to turn away from?
- Write down what He shows you.
I’m so thankful we have our ancestors and Israel’s journey, with God, to learn from.
But just because something happened to our parents or grandparents, doesn’t mean it’ll happen to us.
Our value and worth isn’t dependent on their successes and failures.
So much of Zechariah is full of encouraging cheerleader material it’s hard to not retype the entire book.
Here’s the passage God ministered to me with.
“I answered, ‘I see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl at the top and seven lights on it, with seven channels to the lights. Also there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.’” and “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.” Zechariah 4:2-3, 6
Why would Zechariah be given a vision with a lampstand and olive trees and how in the world does it connect to the Lord’s reply about His Spirit?
In the original temple, beautiful lamps were fueled by pure olive oil.
The olive trees in this passage signify an unending supply of oil filling the bowls next to the lampstand. The bowls, depending on the commentary read, can signify the Holy Spirit or Jesus’ endless supply of life-giving light.
Never Run Out
The same encouragement Zechariah had for the Israelites, still holds true for us today. God is the source of all power.
He is the provider of ALL things and when we stay connected to Him, we’ll never run out.
I debated clarifying “run out” but decided against it. Your need will be different from mine and will be different today than it’ll be tomorrow.
We can still never “run out”.
By realizing it’s not our power or might, but the Spirit’s, that provides our every need. This is what the Israelites and I needed to be reminded of.
God doesn’t need our help.
Sometimes He chooses to use us. Sometimes He uses other people. All the time, He does what’s best for us and those around us.
- Is there an area of your life that seems to have “run out”? Anything you don’t know how to fix, solve, provide for, etc.
Lord God, would you show each reader Your provision for their circumstances? Would you clearly show them what You want them to do or not do? May Your working in this situation show them the depth of Your love, grace, mercy, and provision. And above all, may it be for Your glory. Amen
The best part of Zechariah’s role in Israel’s discipline, repentance, and cheerleading…
His encouragement to the Jews rebuilding the temple and their nation, was also a foretelling of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Part of me wonders how much Zechariah understood about what the Holy Spirit showed him and part of me doesn’t care.
At the very least, he understood the vision of a rebuilt and restored temple and Jerusalem. Having a vision for that was huge, considering all Israel’d gone through.
Zechariah 12:5b says “The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the Lord Almighty is their God.”
Israel needed to know God would continue to fight their battles. The people needed to know God would provide all they needed as they rebuilt the temple and Jerusalem.
“The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and His name the only name…But Jeruslaem will be raised up and remain in its place…It will be inhabited; never again will it be destroyed. Jerusalem will be secure.” Zechariah 14:9,10b, 11
This wasn’t just for the Jews involved in the rebuilding. It was a vision for the Messiah who’d soon come and fulfill every last prophecy and vision Zechariah was given.
- Is there something you need a vision for?
- Something you need to glimpse the finished work in?
Jesus is the promised Messiah and great deliverer of Israel and all God’s children.
We can look at these few verses from Zechariah and see a God who’d do anything for His people.
A God who provides our every need.
A God who fights our battles.
A God who cheers us on when the going gets tough.
A God who made us His temple, the Spirit’s dwelling place.
A God who keeps His promises.
A God who’ll soon, bring about a new heaven and earth when Jesus returns.
- Write down everything God’s done for you in the past.
- Write down things He’s done for people you know.
- Do you trust that this same God will provide for your current need?
- Why or why not?
Here’s how God used these verses in my life.
I’ve been a doer my whole life. You’ve maybe heard that my mom said my first words were “Hannah do”.
I didn’t realize this had anything to do with how I valued myself until just the other day.
Getting ready for a meeting to discuss raising funds for a new service dog, I found myself thinking of how I could volunteer my time or resources in exchange for any money people donated.
Not too far into that thought process the Holy Spirit jumped in and in the tender loving way of God said, “Daughter, you are worthy.”
Hearing that made me do a double take (and a bit of questioning).
My reply was “What do you mean? My worth has nothing to do with what I’m thinking and planning. I know I’m worthy.”
The Holy Spirit said again, “Daughter, you are worthy.”
It wasn’t until the meeting, that I understood what He’d meant.
If God wants to provide money for my next service dog, He’ll do it and doesn’t need my help. Last I checked He’s got the biggest bank account ever.
Sometimes He wants us to do things and sometimes He doesn’t.
What I had to realize is, I can’t work or volunteer myself into being worthy of God’s provision.
Sometimes God wants to be a limitless supply of oil in our lives.
Sometimes He wants to put all the pieces together without our help.
Sometimes He wants our help and wants His supply to flow through us.
It’s always different and we’ve got to accept and expect that. I needed to realize my value and worth are grounded in who I am, God’s child.
That’s also what Abraham Lincoln was saying.
When I realize this, in all areas of my life, I’ll put such a high value on myself that I won’t need to concern myself with what the world thinks. Not an arrogant high value but a confidently secure high value.
A value grounded in the Spirit’s work in my life, the promises of God, and what Jesus did for me on the cross.
I’m standing here wishing words could convey emotions the way my heart feels them right now.
I’d love to waive a magic wand or sprinkle fairy dust and suddenly have you valuing yourself the way God does. Suddenly have you recognizing that every need and struggle you’re going through has been provided for.
Know that your value and worth aren’t defined by your circumstances. You are a child of the Most High God.
The God who rescued Israel from the Egyptians, led them to the Promised Land, and delivered them from every mess-up they got themselves into – He defines your value and worth.
You have the bowl of limitless oil, the Holy Spirit, lighting your life lamp.
Humbly place God’s value on your life. Humbly see yourself as worthy of any and everything God has for you.
And lastly, humbly rely, not on your own power or might, but on the Spirit of the Lord God Almighty.
- Do you feel worthy?
- Do you claim to be related to God and part of His family?
- What value do you now put on yourself?
You are a princess – part of God’s royal family, you are valued, you are loved, you are chosen.
As always, go to your pastor if you have questions about what you read today. If you don’t have a pastor, we’d love to talk with you. You can email us here or leave a comment below.