It’s Not You — It’s Me

October 8, 2012 - 5:00 am

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 4:6

Today in Israel, across from the Knesset – Israel’s main government building – you will find a 15-foot menorah. Like the menorah of old, the candelabrum has one central stem and six branches on either side. But unlike the menorah of ancient times, this menorah has a series of carvings covering it. The carvings represent key moments in Jewish history from the time of Abraham until the modern State of Israel.

In a way, the menorah itself is a symbol of Jewish history. It was a key element in the Tabernacle and then the Temple, until it was taken away by the Romans when they conquered the Jews and sent them into exile. The famous Arch of Titus on Rome’s Via Sacra shows the conquest of Jerusalem and prominently features the taking of the menorah to Rome. But now, thousands of years later, the menorah (albeit a different one), has finally returned home. Certain segments of the world tried to destroy the Jews, but God has brought them back to life, through Israel.

In the book of Zechariah, the prophet had a vision about a menorah. In it, he saw a large golden menorah with seven branches. Each of the seven branches had seven ducts connecting it to a bowl which is presumably filled with olive oil. There were two olive trees – one on each side.

The angel who showed Zechariah this vision said:  “Do you not know what these are?” And Zechariah answered: “No, my lord” (Zechariah 4:5). Then the angel explains the message. “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD  Almighty’.”

The Sages explain that people can only observe a small percentage of reality through the five senses that we have. The menorah represents the overwhelming majority of reality which we can’t see. Comparatively, we live in darkness. The menorah provides the light which illuminates everything that God is doing behind the scenes.

We think we are calling the shots. We think we have the might and power to control the world, but we are gravely mistaken:  the world runs according to God’s Spirit. He is like the wind blowing through the trees – we cannot see Him, but He is the force that is moving the branches.

Can you feel the Spirit of God blowing through your life? God is the force behind everything. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean that it’s not happening. Just because you can’t see Him, doesn’t mean that He isn’t there. Stop for a moment and feel with your heart. We may not be able to see God, but we sure can feel His presence in our lives.


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