- A History of the Breakdown and Rebuilding of the Altars for Worship throughout the Bible
- God's Provision for Rebuilding Your Altars
- Why Your Mentality Towards Building is Important in Worship
- The Filter Through Which All of Our Building Should Come
A History of the Breakdown and Rebuilding of the Altars for Worship throughout the Bible
Jeremiah ministered from 627BC until after the fall of Jerusalem in 586BC, a period of about 50 years (Jeremiah 25:3-7).
Daniel took place in Babylon from around 605BC (when Daniel participated in his teens in the first Babylonian deportation) to 536BC (around the date of his last prophetic writing when he would have been in his eighties)
Returning Exile Group #1: 536BC
Leader: Zerubbabel the governor and Jeshua the high priest commissioned by King Cyrus to restore proper worship and their associated ceremonies.
Haggai - exhorted the Israelites in the face of opposition to continue the rebuilding of the temple which was completed in 516BC. It is not known if Haggai lived to see its completion.
Zechariah - his ministry began in 520BC overlapping Haggai’s
Esther was queen in Persia around 487BC, 30 years prior to Ezra’s efforts. She was amongst those who chose not to be a part of the first return to Jerusalem.
79 years later.....
Returning Exile Group #2: 457BC
Leader: Ezra the scribe commissioned by King Artaxerxes to teach the Mosaic Law to the people in Israel
13 years later.....
Returning Exile Group #3: 444BC
Leader: Nehemiah to restore the walls of defense around Jerusalem.
God's Provision for Rebuilding Your Altars
In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing: “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever is among you of all his people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel— he is the God who is in Jerusalem. And let each survivor, in whatever place he sojourns, be assisted by the men of his place with silver and gold, with goods and with beasts, besides freewill offerings for the house of God that is in Jerusalem.” Then rose up the heads of the fathers' houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, everyone whose spirit God had stirred to go up to rebuild the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem. And all who were about them aided them with vessels of silver, with gold, with goods, with beasts, and with costly wares, besides all that was freely offered. Cyrus the king also brought out the vessels of the house of the Lord that Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and placed in the house of his gods. Cyrus king of Persia brought these out in the charge of Mithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah. And this was the number of them: 30 basins of gold, 1,000 basins of silver, 29 censers, 30 bowls of gold, 410 bowls of silver, and 1,000 other vessels; all the vessels of gold and of silver were 5,400. All these did Sheshbazzar bring up, when the exiles were brought up from Babylonia to Jerusalem.
God’s provision for you to build a life of worship is:
- A place (Jerusalem - i.e. your church),
- Your resources that you dedicate as an expression of obedient worship and
- A people with whom to build the altar of worship
v. 3 - You help build your church (the house of the Lord represented the place of building altars for worship)
v. 3, 5 - All of the people of God were exhorted by Cyrus to go. Not everyone went. There were waves of people (see history above)
Why Your Mentality Towards Building is Important in Worship
God in his nature is a wise master builder.
In whatever you’re doing, in EVERY season of life, you want to ask yourself the question,
"What am I building for the Kingdom of God?"
No matter where you are in life :
Regardless of your lot in life, build something beautiful on it.
- Zig Ziglar
In your singleness:
You can't build a foundation of sin now for a life of purity later.
- Craig Groeschel, Weird: Because Normal Isn't Working
In your Marriage:
"The greatness of marriage is correlated with the size and passion of the dream two loves have of their life together." -Neil Clark Warren
No matter what you do:
“A job is a vocation only if someone else calls you to do it for them rather than for yourself. And so our work can be a calling only if it is reimagined as a mission of service to something beyond merely our own interests. Thinking of work mainly as a means of self-fulfillment and self-realization slowly crushes a person.”
― Timothy J. Keller, Every Good Endeavor: Connecting Your Work to God's Plan for the World
Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law.
The Filter Through Which All of Our Building Should Come
1 Corinthians 3:5-15
What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. He who plants and he who waters are one, and each will receive his wages according to his labor. For we are God's fellow workers. You are God's field, God's building. According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
One Practical Way to do this is to take:
*The Discipleship Challenge
If you’ve not done the Purple Book, now is your time.
If you have already, now is your opportunity to take someone through to see Jesus receive the fruit of his sinless life, sacrificial death on the cross, burial and resurrection from the dead to redeem us all!
Second City Church - Rebuilding the Altars - Rollan Fisher 2018