Summary: Small beginnings have great endings when we follow God’s building plan.
Ezra had his hands full with the awesome task of being the minister to a congregation of 42,360 people who returned from 70 years of bondage in Babylon. It was his task to rebuild the temple and restore the spiritual and moral values of the people. Ezra’s approach to this awesome task provides us with insight for building our physical and spiritual temples. Afflictions and trials have a way of refining us and helping us to be sensitive and obedient to God. After 70 years of exile, the people were willing to do things God’s way - the lesson had been learned.
Hardship is often experienced when we try to do things the way we perceive it without consulting God. When we leave God out of the plan, he does not allow it to go much further than when it started.
The people realized that they must freely give for the house of God to be restored. The Bible says, they gave according to their ability as God had blessed them. When Moses was erecting the tabernacle for God, the people brought so many gifts to the temple that they had to restrain them from bringing more. Those who truly love God will love His house, and freely give
to maintain it. The people came together to worship, pray, praise God and hear his word on a continuous basis. Many gave free will offerings to say, thank you, Lord, before the foundation of the temple was laid. If the spiritual temple does not have a solid foundation the physical temple will be in vain - the spiritual glorifies the physical.
The King of Persia had given them a grant that provided them with trees as well as gifts of silver, gold, goods and beasts for their return. The community also gave towards their efforts.
When God gives a vision or sends you on a mission, he will make provisions and others will rise
to help you. I am reminded of Moses when God spoke to him in the burning bush. He called Moses’ name, and said, Moses, take of your shoes for the place on which you stand is Holy ground. Moses, I got a mission for you; I need you to go down to Egypt and tell Pharaoh to let my people go. I have seen their afflictions and the inhumane cruelty of my people. Moses began to find excuses not to go because of limited abilities and low self confidence. The Bible also tells me that God says, I will never leave you nor forsake you. You may think you are in this all by yourself, but I stop by to tell you that when God sends you, rest assure, he is with you.
After two years of spiritual preparation and giving towards the work for masons, carpenters and other needs, the men among them began to lay the foundation of the temple. A great work takes time and reparation. When the first phase was done, they wept, praised God
and shouted for joy. Small beginnings have great endings when we follow God’s building plan. Whether its an infrastructure, or building our lives we need to do it God’s way. Even in the face of opposition, the people kept the faith because they had a mind to work on their spiritual and physical temple.
When we come to the fuller knowledge of who we are in relationship to Kingdom building, we begin to realize that as well as tools, we need specialized skills.