Published by Deborah Negron M.A.
April 6, 2021
Then the prophet Haggai and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophets, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them. So Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak rose up and began to build the house of God which is in Jerusalem; and the prophets of God were with them, helping them. At the same time Tattenai the governor of the region beyond the River and Shethar-Boznai and their companions came to them and spoke thus to them: “Who has commanded you to build this temple and finish this wall?” Then, accordingly, we told them the names of the men who were constructing this building. But the eye of their God was upon the elders of the Jews, so that they could not make them cease till a report could go to Darius. Then a written answer was returned concerning this matter.
So they were working. They were building the wall and the temple. They had heard the decree, the proclamation. They had begun to do what had been already established.
Laying brick by brick, placing each part in order to stabilize the building. Though they were doing that which was right, opposition came. Some came to question their work. Under who’s authority are you constructing this wall? Who commanded that you should begin this work? What qualifications do you have? Where is the permission for this project?
Yes, the opposition came from those which had a short view, they had no vision. They were ignorant of the calling. They were shortsighted. Their view was limited. They had thought, these captives don’t have the right to build anything. They are not people of social status. They do not have the capacity to do what they are attempting to do.
Ever felt like others did not understand your call? The desire and drive you have been given is one that is not understood by some. They may belittle your work. They may believe that it is unprofitable. They may consider it has no value or worth. Or perhaps, they have decided that you must want some personal gain. They look at your resources and belittle what you have and your efforts are not what they want to see.
This is how those who were building this wall and this temple in Jerusalem felt. They did not cease the work. They did not give up, though the work was difficult. They did not succumb to the pressure of the one who did not value the work. The persisted.
As servants of God, many times we may face opposition. We may face obstacles in the way. We may see how the enemy tries to destroy our hard work and our efforts to complete a work for God. We may feel at times unsupported by those around us.
The Lord has called you. The Lord has given you the commission to go and build up his church. He has called you to trust and to continue even in the midst of your opposition. Even in the midst of your struggles the Lord has given a decree. He is the one who has placed in your the desire to know him. He has drawn you to the fountain of living water. You have tasted and seen that the Lord is good.
This water is for all. You see this call as your own personal calling to go out and reach others for Jesus. But the building of this structure is hard.
You must learn. To understand that your call is Vertical. It comes from above. It does not come from some man who has decreed it. Your call comes from before the foundation of the world. It comes from the very heart of God. Yahweh has called you. Yeshua, yes, Jesus the Son of God has appointed you for a light in the darkness. He has drawn you to himself, so that, his light in you, will draw others too.
When you are called there will always be opposition. This is my first point.
- Opposition Comes to Those Who Are Called
Let’s look at The prophet Elijah found in 1 Kings 17-19. He was a man mightily used of God. He had done some mighty works of God. He had even prayed and had a boy come back to life. He had spoken and God caused it not to rain for over 3 years.
He then prayed and had it rain again. He is the prophet that had bravely stood and challenged the false prophets those that were the prophets of Baal. God had sent fire from heaven and he had declared that the God of Israel was the one true God. He had killed all the prophets of Baal.
Yet this man of God suffered, he was hated by King Ahab and detested by queen Jezabel. She had sent to have him killed. That man of God suffered.
What about Joseph in Genesis 37-50. This young boy had a dream from the Lord, that he would rule over his brothers. He was immature and told his brothers. His father had favoritism and loved him above his other brothers. He had a special tunic made of many colors for Joseph. Imagine this. The Tunic which had only been made for him and then, Joseph telling his brothers about this dream. They became jealous and angry. They almost killed him. Yet they decided instead to sell him to a merchant passing by.
He had a calling from above. He had a Vertical calling. Yet he suffered. After much suffering in Egyot, God allow red d their to be a famine. His brothers came to Egypt to buy food.
Joseph was now a ruler and overseer of all the commerce and purchasing. He was over them. Yet he forgave them and provided for them.
And what of Jesus. He also suffered. He came from Above. He was sent of our Heavenly Father. He was the long awaited King. He was the Redeemer that would purchase our freedom giving us his eternal live. Yet, scripture tells us he was rejected.
In John 1:11 scripture tells us, “He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.”
Yes our very Lord and Savior faced opposition. Yet he fulfilled the Call. He completed the assignment. He gave himself a sacrifice for you and for me. He had a Vertical Calling and his response blessed those who had been in the horizontal. The opposition will come horizontally. Those around you, next to you and across the way, will not understand your calling. They may try to stop your efforts. But remember, the one who called you
2. Know Who has called You
Remember the one who calls you is not a worldly King. He is the King of all kings. He is not some earthly authority. Jesus is Lord over all! He is our Savior, The Sovereign King, the Almighty, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. He is the one who has called you to his side. Isaiah 9:6-7
So preach, sing, share the love of God with all you meet. Do not allow anything to stand in your way. Pray fervently for we know whom we have believed in.
He has declared that we are more than Conquerors. He has called us His own.
Philippians 1:6 says, that we
“being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;”
Your confidence is in the one who has called you from above. The Holy Spirit of God is the one that will empower you to continue in this walk of faith. He is able to sustain you in the day of suffering. He is able to keep you in the day of trouble. His love for you is eternal and your assurance is in the one who will take you from this life to an Eternity of Peace and joy.
John 3:16 and 17 tells us,
For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, That whosoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life.
3. We Will Prevail
Let’s look back at Ezra 61-6
Then King Darius issued a decree, and a search was made in the archives, where the treasures were stored in Babylon. And at Achmetha, in the palace that is in the province of Media, a scroll was found, and in it a record was written thus: In the first year of King Cyrus, King Cyrus issued a decree concerning the house of God at Jerusalem: “Let the house be rebuilt, the place where they offered sacrifices; and let the foundations of it be firmly laid, its height sixty cubits and its width sixty cubits, with three rows of heavy stones and one row of new timber. Let the expenses be paid from the king’s treasury. Also let the gold and silver articles of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple which is in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, be restored and taken back to the temple which is in Jerusalem, each to its place; and deposit them in the house of God”— Now therefore, Tattenai, governor of the region beyond the River, and Shethar-Boznai, and your companions the Persians who are beyond the River, keep yourselves far from there. Let the work of this house of God alone; let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews build this house of God on its site.
The rest of the story tells us that, the very ones who were the opposition were the ones who had to help supply the necessary expenses for the building of the wall and God’s temple.
They were able to complete the work. They took the Call that came Vertically and affected those that were in the horizontal.
The Cross of Jesus is the perfect symbol for this sermon. It has a line that that is vertical and a line that is horizontal.
Go help, connect vertically first. Connect with the one who has called you and empowers you to be a witness. Then connect horizontally with those around you on this earthly plain.
Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven. Mathew 5:16
Jesus came from Heaven to have an effect on humanity. He came and stood among us, horizontally. He was shoulder to shoulder experiencing every lack humanity has felt. He made himself sin for us. The sinless God became a man to join us in our need thereby paying the debt for our restoration. We who had been separated from God because of the sin of Adam and Eve. Their sin plagued us with the inheritance of death, loss, pain and suffering.
Jesus came and became the path, the way the connection we needed, the bridge to the Father. He changed our eternal destiny from eternal punishment to eternal life. From death he brought to us to life.
Isaiah 53 tells us,
“He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. ” Isaiah 53:3-6
Jesus came so we could be saved. He restored us and made for us an eternal reparation. He gives us newness of life. Building us up into himself who is the head of the church.
Praiseb to God. Now we can come in to he presence of God freely without anything to stand in our way.
We now have this Vertical Connection because he came and met us horizontally.
Now we can be his hands and feet and reach others for his purpose is that none should be lost. We too can have an effect on those around us.
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