To Build or not to Build?

3rd_temple 2After the Jews returned to Israel from Babylon, Haggai had a word from the Lord to the leader Zerubbabel and the High Priest Joshua to rebuild the Temple of the Lord.

“For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.” – Haggai 2:6-9 KJV Continue reading

Waiting on the Lord

simeon-with-jesusThese are ‘days of waiting’; waiting on the election of a president, waiting for the Covid19 pandemic to be over, or in my case – waiting for the snow storm that is predicted to hit this afternoon. But, can you imagine what the Jews must have felt waiting for the promises God had given for a Messiah? Think of the Biblical character Simeon to whom the Holy Spirit had revealed that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. I don’t know how long he waited for that promise but, he was an old man when he finally saw the Child Jesus.

“And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s Christ. So he came by the Spirit into the temple. And when the parents brought in the Child Jesus, to do for Him according to the custom of the law, he took Him up in his arms and blessed God and said:

“Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, According to Your word; For my eyes have seen Your salvation Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.” – Luke 2:26-32

Did Simeon know that on this day he would see the Christ Child – I doubt it. Rather he was faithful to be in the presence of God, in His Temple, every day, faithfully waiting. He said “My eyes have seen Your salvation” and I wonder if he knew the Child was named Yeshua, which means salvation? Even here we can see that God’s plan was bigger than what the Jews were thinking – Simeon saw that He was to be “A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles.” God’s plan includes all peoples and His call is to all who will hear.

But, many Jews have waited for the promise of God’s Messiah to come over the centuries, knowing He would come, just not when. Few realized He would come twice. Isaiah had seen Him coming as a suffering Servant, despised and rejected by men.

web pictures 143“Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. . . . He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.” – Isa. 53:4-8

When He came the first time, many in Israel did not want to see Him this way. They wanted a Messiah like David of old who would deliver them from wicked Rome. They failed to understand that God is little concerned with earthly kingdoms but with the heavenly kingdom. They did not understand that because they rejected Messiah’s first coming, they would face nearly 2000 years of dispersion but, God did. God had told Daniel the exact day Messiah would enter Jerusalem (the Triumphant Entry) and after they ‘cut off’ Messiah they would be dispersed until the time of the Antichrist.

“Know therefore and understand, That from the going forth of the command To restore and build Jerusalem (given by Cyrus) Until Messiah the Prince, There shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times. (The return from Babylon) And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself (the Triumphant entry and the crucifixion); And the people of the prince who is to come (Romans)  Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end of it shall be with a flood, And till the end of the war desolations are determined (the dispersion).

Then he (the Antichrist) shall confirm a covenant with many for one week; But in the middle of the week He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering. And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate, Even until the consummation, which is determined, Is poured out on the desolate.” – Dan. 9:25-27

But, before the time of Antichrist, God knew He would regather Israel back to their homeland and restore it. He also knew about the wars that would take place and that Israel would have to fight for their possession.

web pictures 001“He will set up a banner for the nations, And will assemble the outcasts of Israel, And gather together the dispersed of Judah From the four corners of the earth. Also the envy of Ephraim shall depart, And the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, And Judah shall not harass Ephraim. But they shall fly down upon the shoulder of the Philistines toward the west; Together they shall plunder the people of the East; They shall lay their hand on Edom and Moab; And the people of Ammon shall obey them.” – Isa. 11:12-14

God knew they would no longer be Judah and Israel, divided, but they would come back as one nation. He knew their strength would be in their air force. He also knew He would raise up Donald Trump at the head of the most powerful nation on earth to declare that Jerusalem is the Capital of Israel, moving our embassy there. He knew that this would lead to the rebuilding of the Temple which had been destroyed by the Romans.

“Then the Angel of the LORD answered and said, “O LORD of hosts, how long will You not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which You were angry these seventy years?” . . . Therefore thus says the LORD: “I am returning to Jerusalem with mercy; My house shall be built in it,” says the LORD of hosts, “And a surveyor’s line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem.” ’ “Again proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts: “My cities shall again spread out through prosperity; The LORD will again comfort Zion,
And will again choose Jerusalem.” ’ ” – Zech. 1:12-17

Ezra 1-1 Decree from Cyrus King of Persia brown

Now, I know that this prophesy was given to those returning from the Babylonian captivity but, prophesies stand forever as the word of the Lord and the Lord said I “will again comfort Zion, And will again choose Jerusalem” and “My house shall be built in it,” I know that the decree of Cyrus was to rebuild Jerusalem and the rebuild the Temple and I know that Donald Trump is recognized in Israel as the ‘Cyrus of our day’. And I know that Trump’s Jerusalem declaration sparks talk of 3rd Temple.

God also knows the Messiah will come back a second time to deal with the Antichrist and deliver His people –

“so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.” – Heb. 9:28

But for now, we are all left waiting. But then, David had the right attitude –

Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!” – Psalm 27:14

As I look out my office window, I see the snow I had been waiting on is here. I feel very confident that the wait for the Lord’s second coming will be just as successful. He will come! As David encouraged, be of good courage and wait on the Lord!