Summary: Did you know that there are times that the church should be noisy? Not from idle talking and milling around during worship—but a church should be noisy just like the remnant was. A church should be noisy when it’s working.
1. Initial celebration (3:10-11)
2. Individual hesitation (3:12)
3. Ideal harmonization (3:13)
One time there was an old farmer who wasn’t much into modern conveniences. As a matter of fact, he didn’t have much contact with the outside world at all. He thought that everything he needed was right there on his farm. One day a travelling salesman ventured out to his door and offered to sell him a chainsaw. He saw all the timber on the man’s farm and made his pitch. He said, “I will guarantee you that this chainsaw will cut 15 trees into logs per day.” The farmer couldn’t pass it up, so he bought one. A couple of weeks later, the salesman stopped back by to check on his customer. The farmer looked at him like he was a crook. He said, “You guaranteed that this saw would cut 15 trees into logs per day. I could only get three per day out of it.” The salesman looked confused and asked to see it. The farmer handed it to him and he looked it over carefully. He couldn’t see anything unusual, so he pulled the cord to start it. It started right up, “Brrrrrr.” The farmer’s eyes got real big and he said, “What in the world is that noise!” Well, that noise was the sound of something working the way it was supposed to. Like the remnant in our passage tonight. It’s been a couple of weeks since we’ve spent time with them, but they’ve been busy. God had faithfully seen them out of captivity in Babylon. He had restored all the things they needed, to get to work building His temple in Jerusalem. And after they delayed for a few months, they got started with the work. The leaders got them mobilized. They got organized. And they unified around the work to be done. And they got busy. They built the foundation of the temple of the Lord. What an accomplishment! It was an accomplishment worthy of making some noise. And that’s exactly what they did. This wasn’t some quiet political ribbon-cutting ceremony. You know, the kind where some political high-brows get together with a big pair of fake scissors to cut a ribbon in front of a new building. And there are a few dozen people in the crowd who do the proper “golf-clap” when they’re done. Well, there were no “golf-claps” in this crowd. They were excited. They were enthusiastic. The bottom line is, they were noisy. So much so that I’m sure the Babylonians who were surrounding them asked the same question that old farmer did—“What in the world is that noise?” I’m sure many of you are like me. We always went to very quiet and conservative Baptist churches when I was growing up. And I was always taught that you sit quietly in church and don’t make any noise. Even to the point that you learn the little tricks. You know the ones. If you want a piece of gum, you have to cover up the noise of the gum wrapper. So you fake a cough to cover it up. Well, there is a place for that. It is important to be respectful and reverent during the worship service. But did you know that there are times that the church should be noisy? Not from idle talking and milling around during worship—but a church should be noisy just like the remnant was. It should be noisy just like that farmer’s chainsaw should have been. A church should be noisy when it’s working. I’m going to say something I’ll bet you’ve never heard a preacher say before. I want us to learn how to be a noisy church tonight. I want us to learn to make the right kind of noise that only comes from doing the right kind of work. In order to do that, we’re going to look at three noises that come from a working church. The first kind of noise is initial celebration. Look with me at verses 10-11.