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Week 6 The Temple Rebuilt
Nov. 19, 2012
The Temple Rebuilt
“Give careful thought to your ways. Go up in the mountains
and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may
take pleasure in it and be honoured,” says the Lord.
- Haggai 1:7-8
The book of haggai tells us of a time when the nation of Israel was in ruins. This was those days when the structures within its walls all lay in bad shape. The buildings were torn. Bricks and rubies of broken pieces can be seen throughout the area. The once magnificent city was far beyond to what it has become. Its treasures were no more. Its priced possessions now are in the hands of its conquerors. The tragedy that has come upon was undeniable. The city has become a byword by the destruction it had.
When many years have passed after that fateful day of disaster that has came upon the Israelites, the Lord look with mercy on them. He was compassionate as they were in a foreign country far away from their own land. Many woed seeing the misery they were in on the cities that have scattered them. It was a pity that some of them have to lived on a place they know not about. The remaing survivors were exiles and time had passed that their descendants grew in the land. It was because the sins of their ancestors that the new generation of Israelites paid the price.
But, the Lord has not forgotten his servants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as well as the promise he had on them. He declared that their descendants were to inherit the promised land. It was because of the sins of the nation that the lord had to make way to cleanse the land. They were not pleasing in his sight. Many times they would rather follow worthless idols that they have become worthless themselves. Their desires were focus on the wrong and not for the right. They were trying to outwit their neighbour with lies and acts of unpleasantness. They searched for ways to bring others down. They were disobedient to the Lord. They spent their days cheating and care not for the fellow countrymen. They were focus to gain a profit in themselves even in unjust manner. Sincerity was out of their league. Honesty has faded and they turn to lust on many places. They didn’t recognize the prophets or the message the Lord had upon them. They have defiled the place until the Lord couldn’t bear it no longer. And so, the Lord brought upon them punishment for their sins. The horrible day came. Those who didn’t die in the conquering arms of the king the lord has sent for his purpose were exiled. Only the poorest of the poor were to remain.
After the Lord’s anger has faded and the land has had its rest with it pleasing now in his eyes, he sought the Israelites now living in foreign countries to return. With him, nothing is impossible and so, he called upon them to go back and take care of the land once more. This was what he planned long time ago. He intended to do this in its time.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.
- Jeremiah 29:11
By the Lord’s will, the Israelites were back on the nation their forefathers had lived. They made themselves at home again. They have build houses and were making a living. The barns to keep their crops was up again. They were now plowing the land. They made use of the land for farm use. They were trying to rekindle the once active city to its former glory. They were making it alive again. They have made efforts to have an active community upon the city’s walls as much as they could.
However, God wasn’t pleased by their ways. He told them to examine their lives and see whether it brings delight to the Lord. They should have second thoughts on the way they spend their days. They should stop and evaluate their actions. By those days, the Lord’s temple was in ruins. They have not rebuild it. It was still left as it was after the conquerors were through. It wasn’t a nice sight to see. Its roof didn’t provide avid protection from the rain for the people.
Even though the Israelites knew of these, they made no action for it. No effort to make it as it was in its former glory was made. There were no blueprint yet to be discuss for it. there were no person in charge of any of its parts. There were no sum of money given for it. Everyone had his or her agendas. They were busy with their lives.
Now, in regard to this, they were unproductive. They worked more but have gained less. They planted seeds of a bunch but few baskets were collected. They strive hard only to have little to enjoy. We can see it through as the Lord have declared in Haggai 1:5.
Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”
The reason for this can be seen also within the chapter and the Israelites obeyed what God had commanded in Haggai 1:7-11.
This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the Lord. “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house.Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil and everything else the ground produces, on people and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.”
When the people knew of these, they were brighten to their short comings. They gave no hesitations to building the temple once more. They gave as much as they could. Everyone was much willing. They worked together under the leadership of God’s appointed ones for the purpose. They laid out pretty much of the structure’s walls, gates and roofs. Hand in hand, they were making progress.
“I am with you” says the Lord.
And soon, the temple was a sight to behold. Everyone did a good job.
Have we been unproductive in our lives or the field we are in?
Let’s look at our relationship with God. Does it make a pleasing sight for him and others as well?
The Israelites have found out that to please the Lord is better than to please anyone. They have rebuilt the temple that was ruined and so their lives became productive again. They harvested as much as what they planted and even more. They were making their living abundantly. The community was on the track of progress once again. With the Lord’s guidance they have given new life to the city.