Who is there among you of all his people? his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and build the house of the LORD God of Israel, (he is the God,) which is in Jerusalem. ~Ezra 1:3
New housing construction statistics are vitally important in gauging our economy’s growth and health. A booming housing construction indicates strong consumer spending and confidence in the future. I have had the privilege of seeing my church go through three building phases. Each of them tested the willingness of the congregation to fund down payments and ongoing monthly costs. Cyrus was a Persian monarch whom God raised up to stir His people, the Jews, to rebuild the house of the Lord. Let us see how they answered the question, “Who will build?”
There was faith.
The initial Jews who returned to Jerusalem saw that the city was in great need or rebuilding. The original temple had been burned down 70 years before by Nebuchadnezzar. These returned exiles saw ashes and charred remains. In stepping up to the challenge, they exercised faith in God. They had faith that the money would be raised to fund the project. They had faith that the workers would be raised up to build. They had faith that a new temple would be built for the worship of God. Faith is seeing the invisible and doing the impossible.
There were the followers.
There are leaders, and there are followers. Followers are those who are the faithful people who execute the job duties and get the job done. They must get the job done as described to them. They must report when they are supposed to be there, and are allowed to leave when given permission. Without followers, little to nothing would get done. Jesus said, “Follow thou me.” Are you a good follower?
There were the finances.
“And whosoever remaineth in any place where he sojourneth, let the men of his place help him with silver, and with gold, and with goods, and with beasts, beside the freewill offering for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.” It takes money, and lots of it, to fund a building project. There had to be willingness to give. The Bible calls this a freewill offering for the Lord. There would be sacrifice. They would have to give more than just a minimum amount. They had to give up in order to go up. Paul describes the model for giving as: “That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate” (1 Timothy 6: 18).
There was fervor.
“Then rose up the chief of the fathers of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests, and the Levites, with all them whose spirit God had raised, to go up to build the house of the LORD which is in Jerusalem.” God gave them a zealous heart for building the temple. Building requires fervent enthusiasm and an optimistic attitude. We must be fervent in spirit, serving the Lord.
They were fortified.
The people strengthened their hands for this work. This means they prepared and fortified themselves. They strengthened their hands collectively and physically. They accepted the risks of cuts, abrasions, callouses, and much dirt. They rolled up their sleeves and went all in. In strengthening their hands, they committed themselves to a good work. Who will build? Be inspired to build God’s work.
Have an inspired God Morning!
Bible Reading: Mark 14