Zechariah 2:1-5 Then I looked up, and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand. I asked, “Where are you going?” He answered me, “To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is.” While the angel who was speaking to me was leaving, another angel came to meet himand said to him: “Run, tell that young man, ‘Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it. And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will be its glory within.’
I find this whole scenario a bit odd. Zechariah sees an angel with a measuring tape: “so, whatcha doing?” The angel tells him that God sent him to measure Jerusalem. Let me ask you this – does the God who created the heavens and the earth not know the measurements of Jerusalem? Does the all-knowing, ever-present God need to send an angel to find out this information? I find that hard to believe. God knows everything. He knows the number of hairs on your head. He knows the days of your life. He certainly knew the dimensions of Jerusalem. So why was an angel there doing this job? Maybe he was there for another reason.
In my mind, there are two possible answers to this question. The first is that whether or not God needs the help, he chooses to use His servants for His work. He chooses to allow creation to participate in His great and wondrous plans. Does He need me to spread the gospel? Absolutely and absolutely not. Does He need me to pray in order for Him to do something? Absolutely and absolutely not. You see, God doesn’t “need” me for His great plan, but he “chooses” to invite me into it. He does it for me. He includes me for my sake, that I would be drawn to Him, rely on Him, and truly know Him. Yes, the Creator of the earth chooses me to fulfill His purposes here on earth.
There’s another reason that I think the angel was there measuring. The measuring was just a task that led to the purpose. I believe the real purpose wasn’t the job of measuring, but the job of delivering a prophetic message to Zechariah. He was there so that Zechariah could hear the message about the protection of the Lord around Jerusalem. God promised he would be like a wall of fire around the city. He would be their protection and their strength. He would be their glory. Sometimes God asks us to do something that seems silly. He asks us to do things that seem pointless. But maybe… just maybe, the whole point isn’t about the task He has asked. Maybe there is a greater thing about to happen. But you’ll never know until you get out the measuring tape and do the little thing He instructed you to do. It may just be the street that takes you to your destination.
*Have you shrugged off God’s instruction because it seemed unnecessary?