Our Responsibility for Building the Lord’s House
We ourselves will build a house for the Lord, the God of Israel.Ezra 4:3
Have you ever declined help for a task you were doing? Probably. It likely happened when you felt a personal responsibility to accomplish your project.
At the end of the Old Testament, the Jewish people faced that situation. It was after the exile for their sin and their return by God’s grace. The Jews were finally rebuilding the temple. The Samaritans offered to assist. In fact, they insisted on helping. But the Jews firmly declined.
Why? God’s people understood that the Lord had entrusted them with this responsibility. The Jewish people considered it a privilege to rebuild the temple. The Samaritans clung to a faulty understanding of the true God. If they had let the Samaritans help them, the Jews would have been shirking their God-given responsibility. Moreover, by joining with the Samaritans, the Lord’s people would have supported the foreigners’ wrong attitude toward the Lord.
You and I look at things the same way nowadays. We rise to the responsibility of supporting our proclamation of the gospel together. We do not look for others to step in. We consider our giving a privilege. Most of all: We are confident that Christ – whose blood was sufficient to purchase our salvation! – will well take care of our needs, even after we have first given generously to him.
Others might consider that reckless. The Spirit has declared it faithfulness.