By Pastor Phil Stanley September 10, 2023
1 Zedekiah was 21 years old when he was appointed king of Judah, and he ruled from Jerusalem for 11 years. 12 He disobeyed the Lord his God and refused to change his ways, even after a warning from Jeremiah, the Lord‘s prophet.
13 King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia had forced Zedekiah to promise in God’s name that he would be loyal. Zedekiah was stubborn and refused to turn back to the Lord God of Israel, so he rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar. 14 The people of Judah and even the priests who were their leaders became more unfaithful. They followed the disgusting example of the nations around them and made the Lord‘s holy temple unfit for worship. 15 But the Lord God felt sorry for his people, and instead of destroying the temple, he sent prophets who warned the people over and over about their sins. 16 But the people only laughed and insulted these prophets. They ignored what the Lord God was trying to tell them, until he finally became so angry that nothing could stop him from punishing Judah and Jerusalem.
Jerusalem Is Destroyed
17 The Lord sent King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia to attack Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar killed the young men who were in the temple, and he showed no mercy to anyone, whether man or woman, young or old. God let him kill everyone in the city. 18 Nebuchadnezzar carried off everything that was left in the temple; he robbed the treasury and the personal storerooms of the king and his officials. He took everything back to Babylon.
19 Nebuchadnezzar’s troops burned down the temple and destroyed every important building in the city. Then they broke down the city wall. 20 The survivors were taken to Babylonia as prisoners, where they were slaves of the king and his sons, until Persia became a powerful nation.21 Judah was an empty desert, and it stayed that way for 70 years, to make up for all the years it was not allowed to rest.[b] These things happened just as Jeremiah the Lord‘s prophet had said.2 Chronicles 36:1-21
What part of your life are you crying over that you’re too busy to see God’s trying to rebuild it?
Crying over the superficial will rob you of the supernatural.
The same problem has plagued humanity since the fall. We all look at appearances.
1 Samuel 16:7 says: 7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
The pattern of this world is to look at the superficial and not the supernatural.
It’s to try to fix what we can by our own means.
Whatever you’re trying to rebuild this morning, know that the only way to avoid disappointment is to stop trusting your eyes, and start trusting His word.
They were given an incredibly daunting task to rebuild God’s temple. I can guarantee you that some if not all of them were asking the same question we would ask.
“What do we do now? How do we rebuild this?”
6 So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.Zechariah 4:6
You’ll never rebuild the broken pieces of your life the way God intends through pure strength or influence. The only way to build something meaningful from the ruins is through the empowerment of His Spirit.
If we want to see God miraculously change our lives, our city, and our nation, we have to stop mourning the good old days and start seeking after the only thing that gives new life. We have to pursue his presence.
To summarize this message:
Ditch the Superficial
Surrender your expectations
Embrace the supernatural