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Summary: This message talks about 2 more principles for building God’s house.

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"IT’S TIME TO BUILD.....PT 3"

(hey just a warning - I am not a great typist and I typed in all caps and spell check will not catch them.. sorry it was 8 years ago...)

INTRODUCTION

FOR 75 YEARS THEY HAD LIVED IN CAPTIVITY; 1ST UNDER BABYLON THEN UNDER PERSIA. MOST WERE BORN THERE; MOST NEVER KNEW WHAT FREEDOM WAS; MOST HAD NEVER SEEN JERUSALEM -- THEY HAD NEVER SEEN THE CITY, NEVER WORSHIPPED IN THE TEMPLE; AND THEY NEVER KNEW THE EXCITEMENT OF THE CITY COMING ALIVE DURING THE GREAT FEASTS...

BUT THOUGH THEY HAD NEVER SEEN OR EXPERIENCED JERUSALEM IN ALL HER GLORY, YOU CAN BE CERTAIN THAT THEY HEARD MUCH ABOUT HER. FOR 75 YEARS PARENTS, GRANDPARENTS, AUNTS, UNCLES AND FELLOW JEWS TOLD AND RETOLD THE GRETA STORIES OF HER PAST. AND THESE YOUNGSTERS GROWING UP IN THOSE DISTANT LANDS COULD ALMOST SEE THE CITY AND HEAR THE SOUNDS.

AND THEY WERE REMINDED OF HOW THE NATION SINNED AGAINST GOD -- HOW SHE TURNED AWAY FROM THE ONE TRUE TO WORSHIP IDOLS -- THEY WERE TOLD HOW SHE HAD KILLED THE PROPHETS SENT TO WARN HER... AND HOW THE CAPTIVITY THEY WERE NOW IN WAS A PUNISHMENT FROM GOD FOR THEIR SIN.

SOMETIMES LOVE IS TOUGH, GOD LOVED HIS CHILDREN - BUT THEY NEEDED TO BE TAUGHT A LESSON ABOUT GOD.... THAT HE IS JEALOUS GOD AND WILL NOT ALLOW ANY RIVALS... GOD IS JEALOUS FOR HIS PEOPLE FOR THEIR OWN GOOD -- BECAUSE HE KNOWS THAT ALL IDOLS ARE FALSE AND THAT THEY CAN SAVE NO ONE -- HE KNOWS THAT ONLY HE IS THE SOURCE OF LIFE.... THEREFORE, HE CAN NOT IDLY SIT BACK AND LET HIS CHILDREN TURN FROM LIFE TO DEATH; FROM HIM TO IDOLS...

IT WAS A TOUGH LESSON TO LEARN , BUT THE PEOPLE DID LEARN THIS LESSON ABOUT IDOLATRY... FOR YOU SEE, AFTER THIS CAPTIVITY NEVER AGAIN WOULD THE ISRAELITES WORSHIP FALSE GOD’S OR IDOLS...

THERE IS A SAYING THAT I LIKE (THAT APPLIES HERE) -- NO PAIN -- NO GAIN -- NO LESSON LEARNED.... GOD LOVED HIS CHILDREN BUT HE REALIZED THAT THEY MUST BE ALLOWED TO SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES OF THEIR ACTIONS IF THEY EVER WERE TO LEARN THE RIGHT LESSON....

BUT NOT ONLY WERE THEY TOLD OF GOD’S ANGER AND PUNISHMENT, BUT THEY WERE TOLD OF GOD’S GRACE -- YOU SEE, GOD GAVE THEM A PROMISE TO HOLD ON TO -- TO KEEP THEIR HOPES ALIVE THOSE 75 YEARS, A PROMISE THAT AFTER THOSE YEARS OF CAPTIVITY THEY WOULD BE RESTORED AS HIS PEOPLE AND RETURN TO THE CITY...

THE PEOPLE WHO WE ARE READING ABOUT IN EZRA -- THE 50,000 MEN AND WOMEN WHO MADE THE TRIP BACK HOME TO JERUSALEM WERE MOVED BY GOD; THEY MOVED BY THOUGHTS OF THE TEMPLE; THEY WERE MOVED BY THE POWER AND PROMISES OF GOD; THEY WERE MOVED BY GOD’S GRACE AND BY THEIR 2ND CHANCE AS A PEOPLE... DESPITE ALL THEY DID, GOD STILL LOVED THEM (HE HATED THEIR ACTIONS/PUNISHED THEIR SIN -- BUT EVEN WHILE SUFFERING IN THAT PUNISHMENT THEY ALWAYS COULD SEE HIS HAND OF LOVE REACHING OUT TO THEM...) AND NOW, HE HAS CALLED THEM/ HE HAS ALLOWED THEM TO BUILD HIS HOUSE.... THEREFORE, IN 536BC THOSE WHOSE HEARTS GOD HAD MOVED LEFT AND RETURNED TO JERUSALEM PREPARED TO BUILD THE HOUSE OF GOD....

BUT JUST LIKE TODAY NOT EVERYONE WENT -- NOT EVERYONE WAS MOVED TO BUILD GOD’S HOUSE.... NOTICED IT DOES NOT SAY "AND ALL THE PEOPLE PREPARED TO GO..." NO, IT SAYS THAT ONLY THOSE WHOSE HEARTS WERE MOVED BY GOD WENT...


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