“When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets, and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praise the LORD, as prescribed by David king of Israel. With praise and thanksgiving, they sang to the LORD: "He is good; his love to Israel endures forever." And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise,” [Ezra 3:10-13]
“This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: `Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty. "What are you, O mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel, you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of `God bless it! God bless it!'" Then the word of the LORD came to me: "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it. Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you. "Who despises the day of small things? Men will rejoice when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. "(These seven are the eyes of the LORD, which range throughout the earth),” [Zechariah 4:6-10]
“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him -- the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD – and he will delight in the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes, or decide by what he hears with his ears; but with righteousness, he will judge the needy, with justice, he will give decisions for the poor of the earth. He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth; with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked. Righteousness will be his belt and faithfulness the sash around his waist,” [Isaiah 11:1-5]
He has set his foundation on the holy mountain; the LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. Glorious things are said of you, O city of God: Selah "I will record Rahab and Babylon among those who acknowledge me -- Philistia too, and Tyre, along with Cush -- and will say, `This one was born in Zion.'" Indeed, of Zion it will be said, "This one and that one were born in her, and the Most High himself will establish her." The LORD will write in the register of the peoples: "This one was born in Zion," [Psalm 87:1-6]
At the end of the Prophet Daniel’s ministry, the LORD aroused another prophet who prophesied on the “other side of the River.” The seventy years of Israel’s captivity had passed. The Jews were permitted to return to the land of Israel and Jerusalem. But the majority of Jews had grown content living in Babylon. A small fraction of the Israelites returned to the Promised Land. To remain in Babylon and Persia meant more opportunities and possibilities; to return to Israel was a dismal reminder of how their fathers had been unfaithful to the LORD –the land lie in ruins. Two prominent leaders lead the first wave of Israelites back after Cyrus the Great allowed the Jews to return. Their names were Zerubbabel, a descendant of the royal line of David, and Joshua, the High Priest. Zerubbabel’s name meant, “Conceived in Babylon.” His very name was a reminder of the shame that the Hebrews bore because the LORD had humbled them. Joshua’s name, which is actually the same name as “Jesus,” means, “The I AM that I AM is Salvation.” This first returning entourage possessed a descendant of David –but no throne. They had a descendant of Aaron –but no Tabernacle. They were returning to the city of the Most High, which Nebuchadnezzar had destroyed. They were a discouraged group, weak in faith. When they finally cleared the site where the temple had been (which took seven months), a nostalgic group of elderly Israelites began to weep and wail as they remembered the “good ‘ole days” and the glory of Solomon’s Temple. As the younger people rejoiced at the laying of the new foundation, the older people wept and wailed. Daniel heard news of the situation in Jerusalem and began to fast and pray. The LORD raised up a prophet by the name of Zechariah to bring encouragement and revival in the land. Because, you see, there were enemies all around. That ancient enemy was bent on bringing accusation. He has always hated the people of God and that great hinderer incited envious bystanders to come and inhibit the work of God’s people. But God is always Faithful.
The LORD reminded Israel that a Righteous Branch from the family of Jesse of the line of David would one day take the throne. Therefore, the people must rejoice as soon as Zerubbabel begins to rebuild; Jerusalem will inherit her King. And the Lord God, Whose Spirit lives among them sees all. He is the Spirit Who will come upon the Branch –He will come upon the Chief Corner Stone. And the Temple that is built will be blessed by God. Israel will have a Mighty Prophet. Israel will have a Mighty High Priest. Israel will have a Mighty King. The Spirit Who sees all proclaims that Heaven and earth WILL be brought together, despite the enemy’s protests.
Therefore, never let nostalgia ruin what the Lord is doing right now; whatever was great and glorious in the past will always be superceded by an even more glorious future if we follow the Spirit. The failures of the past need not discourage us. We can accept the Lord’s discipline as love and acknowledge that greater things will come because of His faithfulness and love for us. Vindictive or envious bystanders will come and go, and our enemy hates us and stands ready to accuse us –but his authority is coming to an end and the King of kings is coming to smash all evil dominion. The line of Jesse has not been broken; it has been resurrected! And as Zerubbabel was told, so we should also take notice of what the LORD says, “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord!”
Those who acknowledge the Lord Jesus and await His Appearing to come and reign should never accept a spirit of failure. We must allow the Spirit of God to be our winning Spirit. It is not what we have, it is not our stature in the world, it is not our connections, it is not our wealth, it is not our wisdom, it is not our honor; IT IS BY HIS SPIRIT THAT WE OVERCOME!!!
Therefore, we must pray by the Winning Spirit. Overcome, Church, day-by-day. Though we were “conceived in Babylon” (the realm of the evil one), we have been born in Zion (by the blood of Jesus).
On the Solid Rock we stand!