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Lyrics

“Small Things” by Riley Taylor (Zechariah)

Don’t despise the small things
But God, I wanna do big things
At the finish and just beginning
Doubting all and disbelieving
Raze these mountains to plains

Grace to us!

All my friends are at rest
Eating, drinking, never thinking
Our God is pierced, his only Son
Sin laid waste by righteous One
This is no small thing

Grace to us!
Shout it loud, Oh daughters of the king
Grace to us!
In a single day I have set you free

It’s not by might, not by power, but by my Spirit
Grace to us!
Shout it loud, Oh daughters of the king
Grace to us!
In a single day I have set you free

The artist: Riley Taylor

The people of Israel have returned to the land. God’s judgment of exile is over, but it’s hard to be excited about the future. Israel has returned, but they are still under the thumb of a foreign power, one that other prophets had promised judgment would fall upon.

The people of Israel have returned to the land. God’s judgment of exile is over, but it’s hard to be excited about the future. Israel has returned, but they are still under the thumb of a foreign power, one that other prophets had promised judgment would fall upon (1). Joshua is installed as the new high priest, but Zerubbabel, descendant of the great king David, is not a ruling king but merely an appointed governor (2). The temple is being rebuilt, but everyone can already tell that it doesn’t measure up to the glory of its predecessor (3). The distance between God’s promises to Israel and their current circumstances feel great and insurmountable. The people must have been asking themselves, “What is God doing?” As they looked around, the apparent answer seemed to be not much.

It is at this time that Zechariah begins to share a collection of visions he received in a single night (4). Although not all the visions come with provided interpretation, and all of them are more symbol than statement, they reassure Israel that God is not through: he has a plan, and he’s accomplishing it right in their midst. He promises that the peace of their enemies

is only temporary and that justice will come (5). In fact
he explains that his method to judge all the nations, portrayed in the second vision as four horns (6), is directly tied to the rebuilding of the temple. Only God could use such small things, skilled craftsmen (7), to overthrow the nations. He also has expansion plans for Jerusalem, the people of God will be so abundant (and so international (8) that the city must not be encompassed with walls (9). Although God recognizes Joshua is not a pure high priest, he promises to cleanse him (and all of Israel) in a single day (10), through the coming branch of David (11). God’s Spirit is at work, and He is working through their leaders to rebuild the temple (12). God will deal with their sins (13), and the sins of the nations (14), and God’s sovereignty over the whole world will be demonstrated (15).

As Zechariah continues his ministry, he fleshes out the picture of exactly what God is doing, and it all comes down to the coming one, the branch. He symbolically crowns Joshua the high priest (16), and explains that

the office of priest and king are going to one day be united (17). That they will know their King because he will come humbly mounted on a donkey (18).

He will be a true shepherd to the people of Israel, unlike some of the wicked rulers of their history. Nonetheless, Israel would mistreat him. He would be despised, struck and sold (19). Eventually they would recognize their mistake, mourn that they had pierced (20) him and call him King. The coming King will deliver them and reign as sovereign over the whole world (21).

Yes, God had a plan, and he would bring it to pass. The building of the temple seemed like such a small thing, but they were told they should not despise the day of small things (22), because they were setting the stage for all God’s promises to come to pass.