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God Glorified in the Building of Churches.

God Glorified in the Building of Churches.

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Published by glennpease

Haggai i. 8.

Haggai i. 8.

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Published by: glennpease on Aug 21, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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GOD GLORIFIED I THE BUILDIG OF CHURCHES.BY JOH BIRD SUMER, D.D. Haggai i. 8.Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and buildthe house ; and I will take pleasure in it, and Iwill be glorified, saith the Lord.THE best introduction to these words will be toremind you of the occasion when they werespoken.The Jewish people were recovering from thatdesolation, in which the magnificent temple builtby Solomon had been destroyed. The seventyyears had now expired which had been foretoldas the term of their captivity : they had been re-stored to Jerusalem ; and the first thing com-1 Preached at the consecration of a church.198 GOD GLORIFIED Imanded them, was to rebuild the temple of theLord. 2They lingered in the work : they did not feelwith David " I will not give sleep to mine eyes,nor slumber to mine eyelids, until I find out a placefor the temple of the Lord." But their thoughtswere of the nature which is more usual amongmen. " The time is not come, the time is notcome, when the Lord's house should be built." :
For this the Lord rebukes them in the languageof the prophet, saying, " Is it time for you, O ye,to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house liewaste? ow, therefore, thus saith the Lord of hosts ; Consider your ways. Ye looked for much,and lo, it came to little : and when you brought ithome, I did blow upon it. Why ? saith the Lordof hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, andye run every man to his own house. Thereforethe heaven over you is stayed from dew, and theearth is stayed from her fruit." Then, together withthe rebuke, encouragement is also added. Go upto the mountain, and bring wood, and build thehouse, and I will take pleasure in it ; and I will beglorified, saith the Lord.My brethren, the encouragement is needful.What are the walls which we raise, unless God2 Ezra i. 3. See Haggai i. 311.THE BUILDIG OF CHURCHES. 199take pleasure in them ? Just what a body is with-out a soul : hopeless, spiritless, unprofitable. " Ex-cept the Lord build the house, their labour is but lostthat build it." The word may be sown, but it mayfall by the way-side ; or it may be choked bythorns, or the heat of temptation may scorch thespringing blade. It is only when the Lord gives" the honest and good heart," that a ripe and pre-cious harvest rewards the husbandman.And therefore we rejoice in those declarationsof his will which are afforded us in Scripture.We rejoice that he assured the Israelites, " In allplaces where I record my holy name, I will comeunto thee, and bless thee." * We rejoice that hedeclared to Solomon, " I have chosen and sanc-
tified this house, and mine eyes and my heartshall be there perpetually." 5 We rejoice in theencouragement which the text contains, / am withyou, saith the Lord. Go up to the mountain, andbring wood, and build the house : and I will takepleasure in it, and I will be glorified.And here we might feel with Solomon, and ask in humble wonder, as he did, " Will God in verydeed dwell on the earth ? Behold, the heavenand heaven of heavens cannot contain him ; now* Exod. xx. 24. 5 1 Kings ix. 3.200 GOD GLORIFIED Imuch less this house that I have builded ?" 6 Somight we inquire, Will God indeed be glorified of men ? Before him the angels veil their faces ;and what is man, that God should be mindful of him, or be glorified by him ?Yet, brethren, there is one thing more strangestill ; that God should be so little glorified by men.On one side is God the Creator, " in whom ourbreath is, and whose are all our ways ;" " in whomwe live and move" inviting his creatures toglorify him. And on the other side is man, re-gardless of his Creator, setting up idols in hisheart, and forgetting the Lord his Maker. Andthis, even, where he has revealed himself; where" the true light" shineth, to " lighten every manthat cometh into the world." 7For is it not amongst the dwellers in our land,

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