You also, as living stones, are built up into a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:9)
Many lessons can be learned from examining the building of the temple. We read that TWICE the temple was torn down, and a command to rebuild was sent out. God did not tell them to build it differently, but rather to build it ‘according to the pattern shown in the mountain, which was an example of the heavenly.’
As I was reading the story of Nehemiah to my children I noticed something that I wanted to share. I believe many, my family included, are experiencing this very thing.
When Nehemiah went to Jerusalem to finish the work of rebuilding the house of the Lord he was met with much distress. Sanballate mocked the jews, and it is said that he was “wroth and filled with great indignation.” In chapter 4, verse 2 it says;
And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? Will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned?
Upon this Nehemiah cried out to God. “Oh God, our God, we are despised, turn their reproach upon their own head.” As they sent fourth and continued to rebuild yet again they were met with another, even greater attack.
But it came to pass, that when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and the Arabians, and the Ammonites, and the Ashdodites, heard that the walls of Jerusalem were made up, and that the breaches began to be stopped, then they were very wroth,
And conspired all of them together to come and to fight against Jerusalem, and to hinder it.
This continued to happen again and again. Finally when Sanballat heard that the walls were built and there was no breach therein, except yet the doors had not been set, Sanaballat conspired against him to compromise his work. This happened 5 times, and each time he answered “I am doing a great work so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease and I come down to you.” When this approach failed, Sanaballat thought to do harm by slander, and then treachery, yet always the work continued.
The events that were taking place here are no different than the ones that take place in our lives. In Isaiah 58 we are called to REPAIR the OLD WAIST places.
And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
Notice that it is said they rebuilt with stones that were in heaps of rubbish which were BURNED. In Revelations 3 verse 18 it says; “Buy of me gold tried in the fire.” This is the remnant of today. There was a breach in Jerusalem as is there in all our lives when Satan is somehow allowed in. Isaiah says “those that be OF THEE shall build the old waist places.” It was those very stones that were once apart of the wall that rebuilt it. They first were taken out of the mount and made ready BEFORE they were brought and then they were put through the trials of fire and those that were OF Yah were re-used. First kings chapter 6 verse 7. says;
And the house, when it was in building, was built of stone made ready before it was brought thither: so that there was neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron heard in the house, while it was in building.
The issues is, is that many are going out to do the work but are not allowing Father to make them ready for these test, these fiery trials that will come at them. They are allowing sin to cause a breach between them and the Father. Here, in Nehemiah, is represented all the attacks of the adversary. He wants to discourage and distract us from allowing the Father to completely purify us, and always our answer must be so: “I am doing a GREAT WORK, so I WILL NOT come down to you, for why should the work cease.” What work are we doing you might ask? Philippians 2:12 says;
“work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”
We are told that we “are the temple of the living God, the spirit of God dwells in us.” Satan is trying to tear down this temple still. But we are no more dead stones, but rather LIVING STONES and together we are being built up into a SPIRITUAL house, so that we can offer up spiritual sacrifices.
This is why it says the temple went up without a sound. First every stone was crafted out, polished and perfectly refined. It was made ready BEFORE it was used. Father is trying to accomplish this very work in us today. He wants to refine us, so that he can use us. Many of us are not allowing this. Perhaps we are listening to the attacks of the adversary, and the work Father is doing in you is constantly ceasing because you are listening to the attacks being placed in your life. Read the storey of Ezra and Nehemiah. Compare it with your life. There are a numbers of examples like this that can be applied.