In 538 B.C. Cyrus of Persia released the Israelites from their captivity in Babylon and commissioned them to rebuild Jerusalem and its temple in honor of the God of Heaven.
Twenty years later the job still wasn’t done. The people had run into some roadblocks along the way; So shortly after the foundation of the temple was laid they gave up and turned to building their own houses.
Reasons abounded for the work stoppage: Civil unrest, oncoming winter, discouragement over the floor plan of the new temple, oh yeah and a direct order from the new emperor to cease and desist with the building.
If you or I had been on the Temple Planning Commission no doubt our vote would have indefinitely tabled the work order too. We would have gone off with our brothers and built our houses, planted our gardens, and planned to live off the fat of the land.
The only problem was God did not vote for a work stoppage. He waited for twenty years hoping the other fellows on the board would come around to his way of thinking. But failing that, the good Lord sent another prophet.
Haggai walked onto the Jerusalem landscape in the second year of King Darius the Mede’s reign. His first words to Governor Zerubbabel came out something like this, “This is what the LORD Almighty says: The people are saying, `The time has not yet come to rebuild the LORD’s house–the Temple.’ ” So the LORD sent this message through the prophet Haggai: “Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins? This is what the LORD Almighty says: Consider how things are going for you! You have planted much but harvested little. You have food to eat, but not enough to fill you up. You have wine to drink, but not enough to satisfy your thirst. You have clothing to wear, but not enough to keep you warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes! “This is what the LORD Almighty says: Consider how things are going for you! Now go up into the hills, bring down timber, and rebuild my house. Then I will take pleasure in it and be honored, says the LORD.” Haggai 1: 2-8 NLT
I am not sure but I think God probably arranged for the Temple Planning Commission to be at the scene of this prophetic utterance. Can’t you here it now?
“But Lord the civil unrest it caused…”
“There was so much disagreement over the plan!”
“But God we have an order from the top…”
No money, no time, no wood… I am sure the list went on and on. They had their list of why nots and we have ours. To both sets of lists God says “Head into the hills to get what you need.”
The Psalmist writes to us ” I lift up my eyes to the hills– where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” Psalm 121:1,2
When you can’t figure it out down here on Earth look up. God always has a solution.
Haggai told the Israelites that’s what they should have done in the first place. It could have saved them twenty years.
I don’t know about you but I don’t have another twenty years to lose. I’m headin’ for the hills of Jesus as we speak to find my answers.
What thing has God told you to do that seems impossible?