Summary: God had faithfully restored everything required for the remnant to start building the temple. Now the only thing left for them to do was to start building. But they were satisfied, so they delayed.
1. The first setback is satisfaction with religious activities
2. The second setback is satisfaction with raw materials
3. The third setback is satisfaction with royal grants
Let me tell you a story about a 33-year old California man named Larry Walters. Several years ago, Larry had an idea. He wanted to get a birds-eye view of his neighborhood. So Larry went to the nearest Army surplus store and bought 45 used weather balloons. Somehow he and his buddies got hold of enough helium to fill them after they tied them to his favorite lawn chair. You had to give him credit—Larry was a planner. He took a six-pack of pop, a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich and a BB gun with him. He knew he would have to come down sometime, so the BB gun was to shoot the balloons one at a time when he was ready to land. Well, apparently aeronautical engineering wasn’t offered at his school. Because instead of the balloons lifting him 100 feet in the air like he assumed—they lifted him to more than 11,000 feet. By the way, 11,000 feet is right in the air traffic pattern of Los Angeles International Airport. Needless to say, he was too scared to shoot any of his balloons. So he just stayed up there. They had to shut down the LA Airport for more than two hours which caused nationwide air traffic delays. When officials finally got him down, a reporter on the scene asked him three questions. “Were you scared?” “Yes!” “Would you do it again?” “No!” “Why did you do it?” “Because it beats just sitting there.” I think there are other alternatives to just sitting there, don’t you? But you have to admire him for one thing. He had some gumption. He did something. Even though it was the wrong thing, he got up out of his comfy chair and he did something. And he didn’t just stop with gathering the materials. He didn’t just stop with building his contraption. He didn’t just stop with packing supplies. As crazy as it was, Larry Walters got in the thing and took off. Even though his was a very poor plan—you’ve got to give him credit for following through and doing it. This morning, we talked about patience. Make no mistake about it, as Christians we are called to have patience. We are called to patiently wait on the Lord. But patience doesn’t mean the same thing as inactivity. Listen to how G. Campbell Morgan put it. G. Campbell Morgan was one of the greatest expository preachers of the early 20th century. This is what he said about patiently waiting on the Lord, “Waiting for God is not laziness. Waiting for God is not going to sleep. Waiting for God is not the abandonment of effort. Waiting for God means, first, activity under command. Second, readiness for any new command that may come. Third, the ability to do nothing until the command is given.” In our passage tonight, the remnant is caught in a period of waiting. God has faithfully restored everything required for them to start building the temple foundations. He has restored His resources. He has restored His remnant. He has restored the people’s responsibility. And He has restored His worship. Now, the only thing left for the people to do was start building. But there was a delay. Once they built the altar and started worship in the seventh month of the first year, they were satisfied. They were satisfied, so they delayed. They had completed all the preparations, but didn’t start the work. I don’t want us to be satisfied with preparations. We must not be content with the Lord’s preparation. After all, preparation is just that—it is getting ready to do something. I want us to start the work when we’re supposed to. Once the Lord finishes preparing us, I want us to get busy. In order to do that, we’re going to look at three setbacks of satisfaction. The first setback is satisfaction with religious activities. Look with me at verse 6: