June 17

The Lord Laid the Foundation

Is there something in your life that you won’t even pray for because you think it is impossible? A spouse to come to repentance? A child to come to know Jesus as Savior? A relationship to be restored? A revival to sweep the nation? It seems so far-fetched, even insurmountable.

Perhaps you have found yourself wondering some days as you continue to read through the Old Testament, why you are doing so? Romans 15:4 says, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (ESV)

If you struggle to hope, be encouraged by the reading this morning.

Things could not have looked darker in 2 Chronicles 35. Jerusalem was destroyed. The Temple looted and destroyed. The best and brightest of Israel taken into captivity in Babylon.

But in the darkness God was moving. He was moving the heart of a wicked king to accomplish His work — so great is the sovereignty of the King of Kings! Christian, do not think that in your dark hour God has forsaken you. Most of the foundations God lays for His great works have been laid in darkness. Read that last sentence again and internalize it.

Why does He work this way? That His people (and one day all people) would stand in awe and worship Him. In Ezra 3, we see the people, the foundation to the Zerubbabel’s Temple laid (consider how impossible that thought would have been in 2 Chronicles 35!), worshipping and weeping before the Lord.

Ezra 3:11-13 (ESV)  11 And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel.” And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. 12 But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice when they saw the foundation of this house being laid, though many shouted aloud for joy, 13 so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people’s weeping, for the people shouted with a great shout, and the sound was heard far away.

Oh, that this might be true of us, Immanuel! Could the world hear our weeping and shouts of joy?

Don’t despair the darkness. Rather hope in the power of God to turn your darkness into joy. He is able if we are willing.