“Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts:” (Haggai 2:3-4)
Here is a little background on this passage. God let the Babylonians take Judah into captivity for their continual sin against God. The Babylonians destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. This captivity lasted seventy years. Eventually, the Babylonians were defeated by the Medes and Persians. Cyrus, the Persian king, let the Jews return to their homeland and rebuild the Temple.
At the time of this writing, the Jews had just laid the foundation of the new Temple. According to the passage, Zerubbabel was the governor of Judah. Joshua (not the Joshua who led the Israelites after Moses) was the high priest. When the foundation of the post-captivity Temple was laid, many older Jews were there who’d seen the previous Temple that King Solomon had built. According to Ezra 3:12, “…when the foundation of this house [the post-captivity Temple] was laid before their eyes,” many of the older Jews “… wept with a loud voice.”
Why did they cry? Verse 3 of the passage gives a clue: “Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?” Maybe they were sad that the new Temple wouldn’t be as splendid as the old one. Yet God assured them that no matter the size of the Temple, they still had Him: “…be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts.” It was a new time, but God was still God.
Here’s the application: if you have, say, twenty or more years as a cop, you may be like the older Jews, in a way. You remember how the job was “when you were allowed to do police work,” and how it is now with all the restrictions, micromanagement, and toxic media. You may be discouraged at how cops aren’t able to do what they could before, and how criminals take advantage, and decent people in bad neighborhoods suffer (a fact which many people in power and set policy just can’t seem to get).
So what do you do? Quit? Let criminals run the streets? Better not. Restrictions or not, you may be the only defense these citizens have; you know it, and they know it. So do your best work and encourage younger officers to do their best, as well. Things aren’t like they were, but God is still on His throne. Police work is still a job that He ordained, no matter what anyone says to the contrary. If people in power set bad policy or generate a toxic environment for cops and decent people, that’s their sin, not yours.
Likewise, if you’re a Christian, don’t just lament about how bad things are nowadays. Jesus Christ still forgives sins, saves souls, and changes lives. The Bible is still true. God still answers prayer. The Great Commission is still in effect. God meant it when He said, “…I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts.” Trust His Word, share His gospel, and “…be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work.”
If you want to see in the Bible how to be sure of forgiveness for your sins and have eternal life by receiving Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, please click “Helpful Links” on the top menu and then “How Do I Go to Heaven?” on the dropdown menu.
Brian Miller 6/19/2018
Cleveland Baptist Church | 4431 Tiedeman Road, Brooklyn, Ohio 44144 | 216.671.2822