Summary: Just as God's children had to rebuild the temple sometime we have to rebuild ourselves.
Rebuilding Your Temple
I. The Book of Ezra
A. So Much is Learned from History
1. Rom. 15:4 – Read
2. Application in today’s world is as important to OT scriptures as it is to those in the NT.
3. It’s like I tell Trevor (my son); if you don’t understand the concept, the information you regurgitate on a test is worthless – even if you make an A+.
4. I understand that you may get something different from me from a passage and it is those times that help us to grow in the spirit and knowledge of the word.
B. Let’s talk about the rebuilding of the temple back around 520-516 BC
1. Pretty close to this time of year in 536 BC King Cyrus allowed the Jews to go back to Jerusalem and they started rebuilding the temple.
2. Ezra 3:10-13 – The foundation from two perspectives
a. The young Levites and the young builders praised God and gave thanks.
b. The old Levites and elders remembered the former temple and wept.
3. Outside opposition existed.
a. Zerubbabel refused help from neighbors; this started a long standing feud.
b. Read Chapt. 4:4
c. No one could distinguish the difference.
4. The combination of the two caused the Jews to stop building for 20 years after the foundation was laid.
a. They did not turn their backs completely on God.
b. They put Him on the back burner and God doesn’t do back burners!
c. The outside opposition was a factor in rebuilding the city of Jerusalem also. The Book of Nehemiah tells us that the Jews worked shifts with half working to rebuild and the other half guarding the workers. They would not be deterred! Jeremiah prophesied that the city would be rebuilt before the temple would in Isa. 44-45.
C. The old prophet Haggai lights a fire.
1. Hag. 1:3 tells it all.
2. Do the math
a. In just 23 days, Haggai got the Jews off their duffs and back to building.
b. In four years the temple was completed.
3. The people were blessed – after they went to work!
a. Hag. 1:5-6
b. Hag. 1:19b
D. The temple is where man drew close to God.
1. Not all the sacrifices were communion directly tied to atonement of some kind.
2. God did not need the wine or the grain of the fellowship offerings to be filled. This allowed man to fellowship with God in a way that was not directly directed toward sin and that man could understand.
A. Let’s Go Back to the Old Men Crying
1. Why were they crying?
2. Hag. 2:3 – Some remembered how beautiful the former temple was.
3. What effect did they have on themselves?
4. What effect did they have on others? Where they the straw that broke the camel’s back (that stayed broken for 16 years between 536BC and 520BC?
B. Have you ever looked back and seen a better time?
1. There are times when God’s children lose everything. Bad things happen to good people. How should we act?
2. Have you ever looked back and thought it was easier when you weren’t a Christian? The folks in Malachi’s day did. Mal. 3:14
3. Satan has a way of turning us against ourselves and then convincing us that it is God’s fault that things are bad.
a. God will let us stay in this state, if we choose.
b. Remember what He said to the exiles that had returned but stopped working on the temple after the foundation was laid.
c. They had but not abundantly.
4. The NT equivalent – Lk. 9:62 – you can’t go forward with work while you are looking backwards.
5. The old men could not see the better temple that God was forming.
a. God acknowledges that the gold and silver in the former was His also.
b. The latter’s glory would be spiritual not physical and eternal rather than temporal.
c. We are the builder of God’s temple (the Church) today.
i. I Pet. 2: 5
ii. I Cor. 3: 8
C. Their attitude was not conducive to progress.
1. Refer back to Jack’s lesson Sunday.
2. The fire needs to start with me!
3. Negativity does not encourage and it feeds on itself.
4. I Thess. 5:19 – Don’t quench the Spirit
5. Are there those you dread being around because of their attitude?
6. We should preach the truth in love. Eph. 4:15
7. Don’t be the straw that breaks the camels back.
III. Know ye not that your body is a temple for the Holy Spirit?
A. I Cor. 6:19
1. Much discussion on this passage.
2. Many use this to make things like smoking and drinking a sin.
3. The idea is that God lives in us just as He was in the temple.