Kent’s question yesterday was a good one. Would the people stop building just because they ran into some opposition? If the breakdown of our reading plan hadn’t stopped where it did…you wouldn’t have had to have waited this long to get an answer. The work stops for quite a while till a new king is in place.
There was no argument really about whether or not they were rebellious. There is a bit of an argument about who they were rebellious again. Yesterday we read that they were commanded to stop building because they have a history of being a rebellious city and will cause problems for the king. They even through in that it would hurt the kingdom financially. The word Ezra in Hebrew loosely translated must mean, “Search the archives” because that seems to be a theme throughout this book.
They admit to being a rebellious people, but it was their rebellion against God that led to the temple being destroyed and the people being carried off into exile. The king then looks into the archives and sees that not only are they allowed to rebuild but it was decreed by the king, who also agreed to pay for it. What is even crazier is that if you got in the way of the rebuilding of the temple then you will be impaled on a pike taken from your house and the house be made into a pile of rubble.
1 Corinthians 3:5-23
We are all servants of God. Why would you desire to align yourself with one servant over another when God has stepped down to where we are to die on the cross for us in order that we can align ourselves with Him? Who is Apollos? Who is Paul? It doesn’t matter because they aren’t God! Even more so…aligning yourself with one person or another is not a sign of spiritual maturity. It is a sign of spiritual immaturity. They are fighting over who has the better group when they are all within the Family of God! Talk about missing the forest…
There are two verses that scare me in todays reading. Paul is addressing a church that is being divided based on which preacher they liked better. I look around the Kingdom and I see a lot of churches who have split over similar issues…and some who have split over far dumber things. Paul is quick to remind them in verse 16 that they are the temple where God’s Spirit dwells. Individuals are not the temple, but the church (people not building) is God’s temple. Paul then follows up his question in verse 16 with “If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.” If Christ died to bring this temple together, then the wrath of God will come on anyone who breaks it apart. So proceed forward, not with the wisdom of the world but with the wisdom of God.