“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.”
The Book of Ezra is about the rebuilding of the temple. Many in Ezra’s day had never seen the original temple, so for them, this was the first time they had ever been a part of building something. All these people had experienced was the bondage that sin had caused, and God wanted them to experience the joy and satisfaction that come from building something for the LORD. Though they encountered many obstacles along the way, they finished the building of the temple, and they also experienced the joy of finishing. Let me share several thoughts about the importance of building something for the LORD.
First, there is nothing wrong with building. Psalm 147:2 says, “The LORD doth build up Jerusalem: he gathereth together the outcasts of Israel.” God would be a sinner if having a desire to build something was wrong. The LORD built Jerusalem; therefore, you are only copying the LORD’s example when you have a desire to build. You will never build anything if you don’t have a desire to build. The Scriptures are filled with illustrations of people who had a desire to build. You are sure not to build anything if you don’t have a desire to build something for the LORD.
Second, you must learn how to encourage yourself. Verse 6 says that the people “strengthened their hands.” You cannot expect others to encourage you to build; you are going to find your encouragement to build from within. You will never build anything for the LORD if your encouragement must always come from without. Those who built great works for the LORD had to encourage themselves from within to continue to build. If you encourage yourself from within, you will never have to rely on another for encouragement.
Third, you must expect opposition. Opposition is going to come because there are plenty of people who don’t want you to build anything for the LORD. You will find when you are trying to build something for God that many will criticize you to conceal their laziness. Never try to appease the voices of criticism because the only way you can appease them is by not building a work for the LORD. You must get a stomach to stand against opposition if you are going to build something for the LORD.
Fourth, you must receive encouragement from preaching. Ezra and the builders were stopped from building, but preaching is what motivated them to continue to build. When your motivation to build is hard to find from within is when preaching is vital so that you can receive the encouragement to continue when opposition tries to stop you. Listening to preachers who have built something or are building something is crucial to you receiving the encouragement to continue to build.
Fifth, you must not quit until you finish. The greatest way to silence the critics is to continue to build until you finish. Finishing is where you find the joy and satisfaction in serving God. My friend, some have only experienced the heartbreak of sin, and they need to see the joy that comes from building something for the LORD. Always remember that God is a God Who builds, and joy will never be found until you start building something for Him.