Saturday, September 6, 2014

Rebuilding after Babylon

After coming out of the Babylonian captivity to rebuild the house of The Lord there was a mixed response to the work that was being done. Apparently there were some who rejoiced at the work that was being done and there were others whose expectations were not being met and they grieved over the work they perceived as not good enough.

See for yourself-

>>>But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' houses, old men who had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice when they saw the foundation of this house being laid, though many shouted aloud for joy, Ezra 3:12<<<

When I read this passage this morning it struck me. It reminds me of a lot of the talk recently about how much today's church lacks when compared to the first century church. It's as if today's foundation is smaller compared to the foundation laid by the apostles immediately following the resurrection. Some people say "be glad and shout for joy that *some* work is being done to build the house of The Lord". Others weep because the work that is being done just doesn't seem to be good enough. After all, they say, a building cannot outgrow its foundations.

It's a fascinating narrative of mixed emotions.

And then there is this passage where God speaks directly to the rebuilders of the house of The Lord.

>>>Haggai 2:3-5
'Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Is it not as nothing in your eyes? Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares the LORD. Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the LORD. Work, for I am with you, declares the LORD of hosts, according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not.<<<

God agrees that what they are building isn't as good as the former house, and yet, He doesn't tell them to cease the work. No. God wants the builders to be strong and courageous and keep building. He offers them strength for the building by pointing to the true foundation and the deeper meaning of having a house of God. Namely, "I am with Spirit remains in your midst". Do you see that???? The purpose for the house is so that God can dwell with his people and God says He *already* dwells with his people. There is no better foundation that "God with us". 

The goal of having God dwell with us is already accomplished...but that doesn't mean we stop building. We keep building because we know that we will succeed. We keep building because we know that there is no such thing as too small of a beginning. We keep building because the end has been declared from the beginning.

Don't give up and don't lose hope. When you find yourself measuring your spiritual foundations with the spiritual giants around you remember, your foundation may be smaller than another's but The Lord is with you too. He doesn't despise the spiritual house you are building for Him in your heart. He's moved in already. Be strong.
Be courageous.
Keep working.