November is fast approaching and most churches will have their Thanksgiving Celebration. Actually, some churches have already done it. The November tradition comes from the Americans, and maybe the October tradition comes from the Canadians. Nonetheless, we have to celebrate thanksgiving anytime, anywhere!
The book of Haggai chapter 2 gives us many reasons to thank God.
One of the reasons that we have to be thankful to God is that we can put our complete confidence in Him even in times that we are in doubt. We may doubt ourselves but we cannot doubt the power of God.
Haggai 2:4-5 says, “‘Be strong, all you people of the land,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work. For I am with you,’ declares the Lord Almighty. ‘This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.’”
God said these words to the Israelites when they came back from exile in the land of Babylon. The people were called “the remnants” for only a few of them came back from the Diaspora. These people of God were commanded to build the Second Temple. Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah during that time was given the task by God to rebuild the Temple.
The First Temple was built by Solomon in about 970 BC. It was destroyed in 586 BC by Nebuchadnezzar, the King of Babylon, when he conquered Jerusalem. Later in 538 BC, the Persian emperor Cyrus the Great allowed the Jews to return to the Land of Israel. About 50,000 Jews came back. In 536 BC they rebuilt the foundations of the Temple. And then doubt crept in. It took them 20 years to finish the Temple. It was in 516 when the Temple was dedicated (Ezra 6:15-18).
In times of doubt and fear, let us hold on to God. Like the Israelites, we, who trust in God, will rise up and finish what we have started.
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on