The Time To Build His House

There must be a perseverance to see the house of the Lord completed.

Hag. 1:

1 ¶  In the second year of Darius the king, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the LORD came by the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying,
2  “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘This people says, “The time has not come, even the time for the house of the LORD to be rebuilt.”‘”
3  Then the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, saying,
4  “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate?”
5  Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, “Consider your ways!
6  “You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes.”
7  Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Consider your ways!
8  “Go up to the mountains, bring wood and rebuild the temple, that I may be pleased with it and be glorified,” says the LORD.
9  “You look for much, but behold, it comes to little; when you bring it home, I blow it away. Why?” declares the LORD of hosts, “Because of My house which lies desolate, while each of you runs to his own house.
10  “Therefore, because of you the sky has withheld its dew and the earth has withheld its produce.
11  “I called for a drought on the land, on the mountains, on the grain, on the new wine, on the oil, on what the ground produces, on men, on cattle, and on all the labor of your hands.”
12 ¶  Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him. And the people showed reverence for the LORD.
13  Then Haggai, the messenger of the LORD, spoke by the commission of the LORD to the people saying, “‘I am with you,’ declares the LORD.”
14  So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the LORD of hosts, their God,
15  on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in the second year of Darius the king.

 Judah had been taken captive into Babylon because of its disobedience to the Lord. But God had spoken that after 70 years had passed He would bring the tribe of Judah out of captivity and re-establish them. Initially, work began on rebuilding the temple, but interference from those who did not want to see the Jews succeed brought the work to a halt. The work lay dormant for 16 years.

2  “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘This people says, “The time has not come, even the time for the house of the LORD to be rebuilt.”

 The people had resigned themselves to the resistance of the temple being rebuilt. The full story of the resistance and battles they faced in rebuilding the temple is found in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. The temple, which was central to Judah’s relationship to the Lord, was being neglected. It’s so easy to think we have a word from God to accomplish something, but when resistance and battle come, we back off, saying, “It’s not the time.”

For almost 60 years now a word from the Lord has been coming of spiritual restoration and the establishment of His kingdom. It begins first in the hearts of His people, but then flows out into all the earth. Over the past 57 years many things have been restored and established in the body of Christ. It’s time to see the fulfillment of His word grow past just being a hidden work in His people. His word must have its expression in all the earth. Governments, nations, etc., must experience His rod of iron. It begins with dealing with the spiritual realm that governs the nations.

3  Then the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, saying,
4  “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate?”

The above verses apply to us right now. There is a great work to be accomplished. Will we pursue our own lives, careers, etc., at the expense of the House of the Lord? Listen to this prophecy:

Isa. 2:
2  Now it will come about that In the last days The mountain of the house of the LORD Will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills; And all the nations will stream to it.
3  And many peoples will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; That He may teach us concerning His ways And that we may walk in His paths.” For the law will go forth from Zion And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.
4  And He will judge between the nations, And will render decisions for many peoples; And they will hammer their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not lift up sword against nation, And never again will they learn war.

Are these just pretty words, sweet metaphors for the by-and-by, or are they the word of the Lord which shall have its fulfillment? There will never be a time when the nations cease to learn war apart from the kingdom of God being established in the earth. There will never be peace apart from the Lordship of Jesus Christ being established over the nations. It doesn’t just happen though. There must be a people who stand and believe God in the face of adversity and battle. They will not be moved from what He is saying. They will not say, “It’s not the time,” because of what their natural eyes see. This is a day of judgment. Christ comes again not to be put to open shame, but to be glorified in His saints and admired in them that believe (Heb. 9:28, 2nd Thess. 1:10).

5  Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, “Consider your ways!
6  “You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes.”
7  Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Consider your ways!
8  “Go up to the mountains, bring wood and rebuild the temple, that I may be pleased with it and be glorified,” says the LORD.

The command to go up to the mountains mystically points to a higher spiritual realm. Mountains in the Scriptures always point to spiritual Zion, the realm of God. In other words, lift up your spiritual eyes and see the kingdom of God and what is really taking place. “Bring wood and rebuild the temple.” The wood symbolizes the cross. Embrace the cross and see the self life crucified and be focused on God’s house, not your own. We have a promise here that as we do so, God will be pleased and glorified. What can be greater than knowing you are pleasing God and that He is being glorified through your life?

9  “You look for much, but behold, it comes to little; when you bring it home, I blow it away. Why?” declares the LORD of hosts, “Because of My house which lies desolate, while each of you runs to his own house.
10  “Therefore, because of you the sky has withheld its dew and the earth has withheld its produce.
11  “I called for a drought on the land, on the mountains, on the grain, on the new wine, on the oil, on what the ground produces, on men, on cattle, and on all the labor of your hands.”

We look for much, but it comes to little. This speaks to Christians, not unbelievers! Who looks to God to be blessed but those who acknowledge Him? Yet, God says what we look for comes to little because our focus is on the wrong house! He says, “Because of you the sky has withheld its dew and the earth has withheld its produce.” The sky withholding its dew speaks to the anointing of the Lord that comes upon us to accomplish His work. But there is no anointing when our focus in on the wrong house. The earth withholding its produce means the harvest of the Lord is delayed because there is no one to be channels to execute it. Verse 11 says God called for a drought on the land, on the mountains, on the grain, on the new wine, on the oil, on what the ground produces, on men, on cattle and on all the labor of their hands. And so it is with us. The land, the grain, new wine and oil, etc. all symbolize the anointing and blessing of the Lord.

12 ¶  Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him. And the people showed reverence for the LORD.
13  Then Haggai, the messenger of the LORD, spoke by the commission of the LORD to the people saying, “‘I am with you,’ declares the LORD.”

When the people obeyed the voice of the Lord and showed reverence to Him, the Lord spoke through the prophet Haggai saying, “I am with you.”

14  So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the LORD of hosts, their God,
15  on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in the second year of Darius the king.

When we come into obedience and set our hearts to build His house, not our own, we will find God stirring our spirits, just as He did Zerubbabel and Joshua the high priest, and all the remnant of the people. It’s when God stirs our spirits that we find the zeal to accomplish His will. We will always battle passivity and half-heartedness until God stirs our spirits. The zeal of the Lord will fill us just as it did the remnant of Judah as we set our hearts to put His house first.

 

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