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If God Builds It, They Will Come (2 of 3)
Series: Together We Build
This is the second in a series of three messages originally preached as part of a stewardship and building campaign.
Introduction: Think back to a moment or period in your life when you felt particularly close to God. It could be very recent or it could be from a time years ago. It's a moment or period that brings back good memories, a time of joy. The prophet Haggai has called his congregation to look back into their collective memory to better times, happier times. But he has a reason for doing so.
He has challenged the small group of Jewish exiles to once again take up the task of rebuilding the temple which lies in ruins and they have responded. The people have turned back to God, they are placing Him first, and they are rebuilding the temple, but the work is still slow, and the people and resources are still few in number. So Haggai shares a word from the Lord, a word of encouragement for the people to be strong, to not be fearful, and to remember that the Lord is with them always. And if they will keep the Lord as their focus, "happy times" will come again, God's presence will be with them in that sacred place and future peoples will come (v.7). If God builds it, if He is in it, the Lord and the people of the nations will come.
1. A Probing Evaluation
Haggai's message begins with a probing evaluation in the form of a series of questions (v.3) designed to get the people to think about their situation and to encourage them to keep trusting God. The questions called for the people to remember what the former temple was like and to make comparisons with the temple currently under construction. Probably very few if any of those present would have actually seen Solomon's temple, but traditions of its splendor and of the glory days of the temple would certainly be remembered.
And so Haggai is asking, "Who among you remembers what it was like in forme ...
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