"Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the Lord's house should be built." Haggai 1:2
In the previous blog, I shared that during King Cyrus' reign, he gave permission for the Jews to go back to Jerusalem to rebuild the house of God. Some went back, but many chose to remain in Babylon. Here was the perfect opportunity to return to their home land. It had been 70 years of captivity.
They faced opposition when trying to rebuild. The work ceased for 15-16 years or so, before it resumes. Not all of that time was because of opposition. The remnant of Jews had become complacent and apathetic. Under King Ahasuerus, the work had to cease because he made it law, but when he died, why didn't they resume building? God accused them of being more concerned with fixing their own houses than His house. They continued to offer sacrifices on the altar which supposedly spoke to their 'Holy' position before God, but their heart was unaffected concerning the building of God's house. As a result, God held back His hand of blessing upon them. God tells them, through the Prophet Haggai, to consider their ways!
Opposition will always come to the people of God, but we must be vigilant, always looking for the first minute and opportunity to continue what God has for us to do! The problem comes in when we become apathetic and indifferent.
You and I can call ourselves going to church week after week, and praising God by offering up the sacrifice of praise from our lips, yet not honor Him in what He has called us to do. This is unacceptable to God. There is no blessing in this.
We too, are like Israel. We go through the motions, but our hearts are still not right before God. We serve in all capacities in the church, out of the church, yet we hate our brother, we lack love, and we refuse to be unified in our hearts towards the other. We lie and deceive, and feel no conviction, duty, or responsibility for the words we hurl at each other. We fail to be accountable when approached to correct a fault. We often justify our position when it comes to our flesh and the things we 'Want' to engage in. So, yes, we are like Israel.
Let us take it to heart, seriously, God is watching us constantly to see if we truly want to please Him. We're flawed creatures, and He knows that, yet, He expects better from His people. He has given us guidelines to follow and many stories and situations in His word for our example.
Stay up on that wall just like Nehemiah, and finish the work God has given you to do! Honor Him in word and in deed!