Then he said to me, “This is what the Lord says to Zerubbabel: It is not by force nor by strength, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.Zech 4:6 (NLT)
Part One – Years Returned
70 years earlier, a war had raged against the Israelites. They were defeated and those who survived were carried off in captivity exiled to Babylon. All those years they lived among the Babylonians, with them but not of them. As they had children and the years continued to fly by, those who were originally from Jerusalem told their children stories of their home city. What it looked like, what it smelled like… how they would go to the markets and the temple, the kings that had ruled and reigned, the years of war and the years of peace… how God had promised throughout the ages that he would establish his kingdom in that grand city and his light would shine from it. Stories that carried a deep homesickness and heartache, and maybe, perhaps, a dash of hope.
Now, through a series of miraculous and divine events, the Babylonian King Cyrus had decreed that the Israelites could return to their ruined city and rebuild, re-inhabit and begin again. Most of those who ventured on this incredible journey back had never seen the city before. Born in Babylon, they had only heard stories of it, touched it only in their dreams. They could only imagine what awaited them back in Israel. And what a sight they would have been met with.