There was a time when the entire church was one woman and the child in her womb. She had given consent, heard God and obeyed. This was a small beginning and the woman and her seed were inevitable Christmas against which the Roman Emperor was a mere footnote to date the birth of the Christ.
God deals with us in small beginnings lest we be overwhelmed and lost in His great glory and grandeur. We are small creatures, though in God’s image, and broken by our bad choices. God comes to heal and repair what is lost moving slowly so that as little is permanently forgotten as is possible.
Men are tempted to despise small beginnings and worship those devils who can give us the world and great glory. This is the quickest way to be broken: seeking a Kingdom now and not to come, our will and not His being done. Grand and glorious beginnings led by men most often end in decline and fall often titanic in scope, hurting many. The God of small beginnings brings us to Paradise, but the trip begins in a changed heart.
The Jewish people, a remnant of them, found themselves restored from exile back in God’s promised land. Things were not, however, as many had imagined. They were a colonized people and the Kingdom had not been restored. The city was less than what had been in living memory and the Temple, the walls, every project were delayed. Even when finished, the remnant lived in a city that seemed not-so-glorious. A remnant in reconstructed rubble is a small beginning. God’s man, Zeubbabel, is not recognized. He seems stuck working on a project that is never finished!The prophet Zechariah speaks (4:10) to this discouragement: “For who hath despised the day of small things?
For they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven;
they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth.”
Things in the city are small, going slowly, and are not turning out as people might have hoped. The prophet reminds God’s people that beginnings are not endings. There is hope in God that the seed may grow. Zerubbabel may not become king of an independent Judah, but he will become great in salvation history.
Zerubbabel sided with the small remnant, but gained immortality in God. Few now remember the petty kings of his day, but we know Zerubbabel. He sided with God and God did not forget him. He would finish the construction, small as it was, and so allow the remnant to survive. The small beginning in Judah finds hope in God. There is a cosmic glory, power, and promise that we cannot see. Archangels see the “small things” and marvel, angels proclaim the seed born in Bethlehem. The moment demands immediate attention, while in eternity God acts slowly and surely for glorification. The eternal is in no hurry! The future is with the remnant, our small beginnings cherished by the Almighty!
May we have the patience to wait on the small things and the courage to be found with the remnant.