Manuscript Releases, vol. 10 [Nos. 771-850]


Lessons From the Building of the Second Temple

The people [Israelites] were sluggish and selfish. The Lord did not call them “My people” [at the time the second Temple was built] because they had not shown themselves willing in the day of their opportunity. They had not obeyed promptly the word of the Lord. They made pleas for delay. They tried to present a reason why they should delay. They were ingenious in framing excuses. They had begun, but they were broken off in their work because of the hindrance of their enemies. This, they reasoned, proved that it was not the proper time to build. They declared that the Lord had interposed difficulties to reprove their hot haste. But they had no real excuse for leaving the work. When the heaviest objections were raised, this was the time to build. Their real motive was a selfish dislike to go to extra trouble and expense, and encounter danger by arousing the opposition of their enemies. They did not possess that faith that is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen. (See Hebrews 11:1.) They did not want to move by faith, but to walk out by sight, and no farther. Therefore they were easily turned aside from the work. This history will be repeated. There will be religious failures because men have not faith. When they look at the things that are seen, impossibilities present themselves, but God knows nothing of impossibilities. The great work of God will advance only by the push of faith.... 10MR 122.3

He [God] will be a present help to all who will serve Him in preference to serving themselves. When the Lord sees that there is a heart to do His will, His people will know of the doctrine. He will be with them. The presence of God includes everything. We have a sure refuge, a never-failing Friend. 10MR 123.1

From the destruction of the first Temple which the Lord could not bless because the people had corrupted their ways, till the second was built, there was a space of seventy years. Though some murmured over the inferiority of the second Temple, the Lord declared it to be superior, because it was to be connected in a special sense with the Messiah. “I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts” (Haggai 2:7). “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be” (Genesis 49:10). “Be strong, ... saith the Lord, ... for I am with you” (Haggai 2:4). 10MR 123.2