When Ezra leads a team back to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple they face a wave of opposition and stop their work. For years the Temple remains and unfinished construction site. To us in the Cincinnati area this reminds me of the unfinished tower at Kenwood Mall. God uses a prophet named Haggai to preach a message that would spur the work to begin again. Read again God’s argument … “Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins?” (Haggai 1:4 NLT) What an awesome argument for God to give.
So how does that apply to our lives today since God no longer resides in a Temple made of wood and stone? Today God lives in a Temple made of flesh and bone. When Christ died on the cross God left the physical temple in Jerusalem. On the day or Pentecost when the Holy Spirit was poured out upon those who encountered a life saving relationship with Jesus God took up residence in His new Temple, the heart of man. So how does His Temple look today? Does His Temple look good and flashy on the outside, but on the inside the heart is torn up, rotting away, close to crumbling any day? Are we guilty of the same accusation that God waged against Ezra and His contemporaries?
|Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art|
Haggai also taught me a second lesson today. God reminds the people that He is in charge. He reminds the people that they thought they would have a good harvest, but in reality things were not as bountiful as they had hoped and thought. God gives the reason that this was the case … “I sent blight and mildew and hail to destroy everything you worked so hard to produce. Even so, you refused to return to me, says the LORD.” (Haggai 2:17 NLT) Sometimes the negative we face in life is God’s hand at work. Sometimes God works to break us so that the only place we can turn is to Him. When we see negative in life, are we watching to see what it is God may be trying to do in us and through us?