Saturday, 13 November 2010

So they rose up [again]

Then the prophet Haggai and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophets, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them. So Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak rose up and began to build the house of God which is in Jerusalem; and the prophets of God were with them, helping them. – Ezra 5v1-2

This sounds a lot like a verse earlier in the week, doesn’t it? The great work which was started before had closed down because of the great opposition. After the supposed offer of help those who opposed the building tried to discourage the people of Judah. They ‘troubled them in building, and hired counsellors against them to frustrate their purpose all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.’

The people who had started the work got discouraged and actually quit the work. For fourteen years the foundation laid untouched. Every day the people saw the work that they had started and then quit and left to go to ruin. They were afraid. Chances are that eventually they just got used to seeing the unfinished work and it no longer troubled them.

But God sent two prophets, Haggai on Zechariah. We will read their words later on in the Old Testament. God sent these men to get the people back to work. Haggai and Zechariah preached and the people responded. They rose up to do the work.

God was not finished with these people just because they had given up. He was not finished with them because they had quit. He gave them another chance to get to work.

Are there things in our life that we have left undone or only partly finished? Are we neglecting those things out of laziness or fear? Are we so ashamed at quitting that we think all hope is gone and there is no use?

That is not how God is. God doesn’t cut us done because we have blown it in the past.

If there is something we have left undone for God the answer is simple – rise up and do it! God will honour our obedience, even if it is delayed.

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