Heeding the call to stop concentrating exclusively on their own interests and start looking after God’s, the tide begins to change beneficially for the returning Hebrew exiles. But there must have been a discouraging note for some of the old-timers who remembered the good ole’ days of their beloved Solomon’s Temple, now summarily destroyed. As always, God realized this bent in our human psyche:
“Does anyone remember this house— this Temple— in its former splendor? How, in comparison, does it look to you now? It must seem like nothing at all!
But now the LORD says: Be strong, Zerubbabel. Be strong, Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people still left in the land. And now get to work, for I am with you, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies. My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt. So do not be afraid.”
All this began to happen when the people obeyed God in the very tangible way of laying the foundation to the new temple. Here’s what I glean from it:
- God still speaks to me, and tells me to be strong.
- I am not the only one “left in the land”, and I am not alone in this struggle. Granted, I may have to work to see who else is under the rock and rubble with me, but I am most certainly not alone.
- I have a directive—get to work.
- I can do this because God is with me, and He is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, a formidable ally indeed.
- I have the power of God’s Spirit.
- God is the same God—He’s brought me “out of Egypt” before, and He’ll do it again. His character and calling do not change. (Yessss!)
In this life, things tend to crumble, and not merely bank accounts. Relationships and families, dreams and plans, health and vitality,…and churches. There’s just no sense sitting around pining over the dust of Solomon’s Temple when God’s calling me to build something new. Stop comparing. Stop waiting. And above all, stop whining.
And get to work.
Haggai 2:3-5 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.