by Joe Alain

This content is part of a series.

Together We Build (3 of 3)
Series: Together We Build
Joe Alain
Ezra 1:1-11

Introduction: Andy Cook writes, "Had you been on the British coast in 1845 you might have seen two ships boarded by 138 of England's finest sailors setting sail for the Arctic. Their task? To chart the Northwest Passage around the Canadian Arctic to the Pacific Ocean. The captain, Sir John Franklin, hoped this effort would be the turning point in Arctic exploration. History shows that it was, not because of its success, but because of its failure. Neither ship ever returned. Every crew member perished. And those who followed in the expedition's path to the pole learned this lesson: If you're going to take such a journey, prepare for it.

Apparently, Franklin didn't prepare. Though the voyage was projected to last two or three years, he only carried a twelve day supply of coal for the auxiliary steam engines. But what he lacked in fuel, he made up for in entertainment. Each ship carried more than 1,200 books, a hand organ, china place settings for officers and men, expensive wine goblets and sterling silver flatware.

You've got to wonder: Was the crew planning for an Arctic expedition or a Caribbean cruise? Judging from the supplies, one would have thought the latter. The sailors carried no special clothing to protect them against the cold. Their uniforms looked noble and respectful, but they were woefully inadequate for the task. Eventually, the ornate silver knives, forks, and spoons would be found near a clump of frozen, cannibalized bodies. It seems strange how men could embark on such a journey so ill prepared, seemingly more equipped for afternoon tea than for the open sea." Before you launch an extensive journey, you need to make adequate preparations.

In our text today, the people of God are about to embark on a tremendous journey and rebuilding project, they will be rebuilding the temple, Jerusalem itself, their homeland. But it's been 70 years since they have been ...

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