Fire in the hole!

I have never, thank God, had my house catch on fire.  I can only imagine, and prefer not to.  When we had our kitchen redone, the contractor found loose, live wires in the walls, which meant a complete gut-and-redo.  And again, thanking God that in the twenty-seven years we have lived in this old house, it has not gone up in flames with us in it!

But have you ever considered what you would run to get on your way out the door…?  Only that which is most important to you.

Here the people of God were beginning the process of returning to Jerusalem, having been released by the pagan king (Cyrus) in whose domain they had been exiled years earlier.  Their beautiful temple, the one Solomon had built for the Lord, had been ransacked and razed.  Their homeland was a mess.

Despite opposition and discouragement, rebuilding began.  Ezra records some of it here:

When the builders completed the foundation of the LORD’s Temple, the priests put on their robes and took their places to blow their trumpets.

I find this so interesting: where had they kept these special priestly robes for the past seven decades?  How is that something you would think to grab as you’re being ousted from your home at point of a spear?  Evidently, even in the face of fear and confusion and severe disappointment, there were those who, though humbly sharing in the Lord’s disciplining process with the rest of the people, maintain a faithful stance to their calling.  If not for themselves, then for those who they knew would come after them.  Wow!

And the Levites, descendants of Asaph, clashed their cymbals to praise the LORD, just as King David had prescribed.  With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the LORD: “ He is so good!  His faithful love for Israel endures forever!” Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the LORD because the foundation of the LORD’s Temple had been laid.

They’re celebrating, not the finishing of the new temple, but merely the foundation!  I mean, they have a LONG way to go; there are a whole bunch of attacks from unknown enemies in the works, there are going to be many nights without sleep due to aching backs (without ibuprofen, I might add) or due to posted guard duty.  And yet, here they are celebrating the Lord’s faithfulness loudly, publicly, at the beginning of the journey.  Wow, again.

The priests and Levites represent who we are today, “a royal priesthood” to our God.  Like our predecessors in this example, we are to be faithful to the building of God’s temple (the body of Christ), and celebrate His faithfulness even before we see the end result.   Or maybe even as the temple is under attack holding on to what we know to be true for those who will come after.

brand-3544205_1920Whatever we reach for in those moments, it had better something that lasts while everything else goes up in smoke.

Ezra 3:10,11   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.

Author: dawnlizjones

Tends toward TMI, so here's the short list: guitar and banjo (both of which have been much neglected as of late), bicycling (ibid), dogs, very black tea, and contemplating and commenting on deep philosophical thoughts about which I have had no academic or professional training. Oh, also reading, writing, but I shy away from arithmetic.

6 thoughts on “Fire in the hole!”

  1. Yes!! He has been reminding me lately exactly what you say in the last paragraph about “celebrating His faithfulness even when we don’t see the end result.” I mean, it came up in a conversation between me and our Father when I was picking blueberries a couple of weeks ago, in my Bible study this week, and here… Love it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Last year we had a storage shed/workshop fire. As I drove home to view the scene, I asked myself what I would miss the most if the whole building was gone, and the answer was Christmas decorations–many of them handmade and given as gifts from family members. As it turned out, most of those things survived (the boxes they were in were charred) and the insurance company even paid to have them cleaned and–where necessary–restored. J.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What would I reach for? A great question to consider. Many people say they would take family pictures or other sentimental items. Honestly I probably would forget all that because there are too many items to grab and I would stand breathing smoke while trying to decide. I’d go in a fizz with “all or nothing.” I doubt that the Bible would cross my mind even though it contains a lot of precious notes and outlines that I will not live long enough to redo. I’m sure I would grab the tax records, deeds, bank records. It would not take me seventy years to realize I had left behind things of real value. So glad I won’t have to decide when my last move comes.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love reading thoughtful comments like this! I’m apparently less than deep tonight myself, however. My takeaway was, “Yikes! No ibuprofen? I hadn’t thought of that.”

    Liked by 1 person

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