God Almighty used the idolatrous King Cyrus to deliver His people from the captivity of the powerful Babylonian Empire. The king said to the leaders of Israelites in captivity to return to Jerusalem to build a Temple of God for him “This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, who has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, has appointed me to build a house for Him at Jerusalem in Judah. Whoever among you belongs to His people, may his God be with him, and may he go to Jerusalem in Judah and build the house of the LORD, the God of Israel; He is the God who is in Jerusalem. And let every survivor, wherever he lives, be assisted by the men of that region with silver, gold, goods, and livestock, along with a freewill offering for the house of God in Jerusalem.’ ” (Ezra 1:2-4 KJV). The king also made arrangement for all the items they will need for the completion of the Temple. King Cyrus also commanded that all the items of gold and silver that was taken from the temple of God in Jerusalem be returned to the Israelites (Ezra 1:7-11 KJV).
When the people got to Jerusalem they encountered a series of discouraging hindrances from the neighboring countries dwelling around Jerusalem. As time went on, along the line, complacency set in among the Israelites that returned to Jerusalem. Everyone began to do what pleased them. They completely abandoned the project of the temple. Everybody had a good reason for not placing the issue of the project of the temple in preeminence position in his heart. During the reign of King Darius, the grandson of Cyrus, God demanded for accountability from the Levites and the rest of the Israelites that were dwelling in Jerusalem through the prophet Haggai in his prophetic utterance to Zerubbabel the son Shealtiel the governor of Judah, and Joshua the son of Josedech the High Priest, saying: “Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD. Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house. (Haggai 1:5-9 KJV)
Many of us may say this was a commandment to the Israelites, and perhaps it is not affecting us in our time. Or better still, we can even say, I do not have what it takes to participate in the Temple projects of the Living God especially due to so many vicissitudes of life right now. This, like the reasons for the complacency of the Israelites in the time of old, is not a good excuse for not doing the blessed will of Almighty God. The temple of God in the Old Testament was a literal temple, but the temple of God in the New Testament is spiritual. The Lord is not requiring His people to gather timbers and iron sheets to build a literal temple because the scripture had revealed that our body is the Temple of God. “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17 KJV) “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 KJV)
Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke about this temple with His disciples when Peter confessed the deity of Christ. “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18 KJV) The Master Builder had since laid the foundation of the temple on our heart when we met Him at the Cross of Calvary. Every believer that had embraced salvation are grafted to the covenant of Abraham through the spiritual adoption of our sonship by the remission of our sin on the Cross “But to all who did receive Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God—children born not of blood, nor of the desire or will of man, but born of God.” (John 1:12 KJV) As sons and daughters of the most High God, in the spiritual realm, we bear the temple of God upon our hearts because the entire embodiment of the godhead—the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost is dwelling in our hearts.
Having known this fact, we have responsibility to build righteousness upon this temple of our body, we need to build holiness upon the temple. We need to decorate this temple with the beauty of our Lord Jesus Christ in terms of our godly characters, our peaceful utterances and the way we express and exhibit loving kindness towards others. We are told that we are the light of the world and we are the salt of the earth. The world around us need to experience the light of the gospel so that they can begin to behold the world around them from the perspective of God. They need to taste the sweetness of the salvation of Jesus Christ so that they can pitch their tents in the canopy of His love. How can they know all these except someone tell them? For this reason we have to build evangelism upon this temple and tell the world that salvation is for all so that humanity will not perish in their spiritual ignorance
The Wise Master Builder had laid the foundation of the temple. Let us take heed how we build thereupon. Let us endeavor to build upon this glorious foundation enduring gold, silver and precious stones on the temple of our hearts. Let us not build wood, hay and stubble upon the temple because the day shall declare it and every man’s work shall be tried by fire. “But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. … Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.” (1 Corinthians 3:10-13 KJV) Christian soldiers consider your ways. Get your hands into the building of God’s temple. The Lord will count on your faithfulness and will reward your labor of love in Jesus name, Amen.
Prayer: Oh Lord, endow me the grace to yield myself into your hands for divine molding and shaping, to become an acceptable masterpiece instrument in your temple. Merciful Father, prepare me in holiness and righteousness to be a builder of Your glorious temple in my body, in my character and in right attitude within for your glory, in Jesus name, Amen.