It’s amazing how God uses the unlikely to carry out God’s plans.
David was just a boy when he stepped forward to slay Goliath, the giant of a man who had trained soldiers quivering. In Zechariah we see Joshua being called into a priestly service someone of his age would have long ago completed.
Jerusalem had been in ruins for years while the Babylonians ruled. The strongest, smartest Judeans had been driven into exile. The Holy City became little more than a wishful bedtime story to them. When Darius the Great took leadership of the empire, he decided to rule in a different way and conceded to allow the Israelite exiles to return to Jerusalem and to rebuild their sacred temple.
The exiles returned to their shimmering city on the hill only to find the ravages of war and neglect had destroyed it. They were heartbroken and the task ahead of them seemed insurmountable.
Zechariah and other prophets were trying to encourage and motivate the returning exiles with their messages, but the melancholy of the people was palpable. The high priest would need to work day and night to keep the task of rebuilding the temple and the city on track and to keep the people in alignment with God. This was not the task for a 90 year old man. Yet, God called one anyway.
In Zechariah’s vision we see Joshua being purified and sanctified so that he might be able to serve in this important role. Joshua, as unlikely as it would seem, would be responsible for the spiritual guidance and renewal of the Chosen People.
In what ways has God called the unlikely to offer you spiritual renewal and guidance? What are the desolate places in our world, spiritually speaking, which need renewal and rebuilding? How can you be a part of this? What are the desolate places in your own soul which need renewal? Is there a prophetic voice speaking in your life, directing you?