“So Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak rose up and began to build the house of God which is in Jerusalem; and the prophets of God were with them, helping them.”
Not long after returning to Jerusalem, the people became greatly discouraged in the work of the Lord. Things were moving slowly, and they were facing a great deal of opposition from those around them. Soon, the work of the Lord ceased all together. It is worth noting what encouraged the people to resume the work, and finish the task to which God called them. We read simply, “the prophets of God were with them, helping them.” The help was provided in the form of exhortations to the people to continue in the work of God.
From the book of Haggai, we learn these discouraged people neglected the work of the house of God, and their efforts were spent building and remodeling their own homes. It seems they were experiencing the effects of having a divided heart. They had expressed a desire to help further the kingdom of God, only to be sidelined with pursuits of their own. Haggai’s message was simple,
Haggai 1:4 “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?”
I wonder how often we have found ourselves in the same situation. The difficulty of serving the Lord has caused us to neglect ministry. Perhaps all we need is a solid nudge to get back to work. Whatever we are facing, it is time to get involved in the work of the Lord.
Once the people determined to get back to work, they faced the same struggles which caused them to quit in the first place. The work was still difficult and the opposition great. It was at this point that Zechariah added to Haggai’s message. He declared,
Zechariah 4:6 “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.”
For years our yard was a mess. A hurricane had leveled trees, and a broken irrigation system caused nothing but the weeds to grow. My approach was to ignore it; I felt the job was just too big. After an extended period of time and gentle nudges from my wife, I finally decided to tackle the project; only to find I lacked the strength to accomplish it on my own. I quickly found I was not really on my own. Upon making a couple phone calls, others came to my aid. They helped remove tree stumps, weeds and unwanted thorn bushes. Too often, we neglect the work of God because it is too much for us to handle; not realizing we are not, in fact, on our own. The Spirit of God will always provide whatever we need, to do whatever He has called us to.