Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, said the LORD.
I. AN IMPORTANT OPERATION ENGAGED IN. "Building the house."
1. Its actual nature. The building of the temple of God on Mount Zion. Solomon's temple had been dismantled and razed to the ground. The first act of the restored captives was to rebuild the temple, so that they might once more perform Divine worship. The spiritual import of it was the formation and the gradual perfecting through successive generations of time, of the spiritual Church of God, under the dispensation of the Gospel of His Son, which in Scripture is known by the similitude of a house or a temple.
2. Its attendant difficulties. External adversaries around them. Powerful obstacles arose from the Jews themselves. Their numbers were scanty, and their resources were feeble; some were depressed and fearful, and some were indifferent and apathetic. Subtle objections against undertaking the work just then were started. Difficulties which common agency and common exertion might well despair of removing. These facts suggest the circumstances attendant on the erection of the spiritual temple of Divine grace, under the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. The work has to progress amidst immense difficulty and opposition. External enmity has abounded, arising from the radical depravity and alienation of the human heart against God, and employing against His truth all the weapons of tact and force: heathen imposture, antichristian superstition, Mohammedan fanaticism, infidel impiety, worldly contempt and neglect. And the professed friends of the Gospel have themselves interposed serious difficulties in the path of progress and success. What injuries have come through the corruptions of the Church; by the divisions of the Church; and by the indolence of the Church. The inertness of some among us has been a most serious injury to the progress of truth and righteousness. It has contracted the resources of the Church; it has given to the Church a false aspect, and a false reputation in the eyes of the world. It has damped the zeal and paralysed the energies of pious, active, and devoted men; and it has prevented the announcement of saving principles to multitudes, who thus have lived in ignorance, have died in darkness, and have gone down in despair.
II. AN AGENCY IN CONNECTION WITH WHICH THIS OPERATION IS TO BE CONDUCTED.
1. It is instrumental and secondary. The personal exertions of the Jews themselves were demanded, and were enlisted under the guidance of certain men who had been specially appointed by God for that purpose. The instrumental and secondary agency, appointed for the purpose of promoting the designs of Divine mercy, under the Gospel of our Redeemer, consists in the devoted labours of men who have been themselves redeemed. When the Saviour had completed His own personal mission among the sons of men, He consigned the instrumentality we have noticed, mainly to those whom He had constituted His ministers: some amongst them to labour in temporary offices, and others again to be raised up in long succession, and in such succession to labour until the end of time.
2. It is an agency efficient and supreme. The Divine agency, connected with the instrumentality of men, was to direct them in their counsels, and to give efficiency and success to their movements. It is the agency of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the agency of the Holy Spirit. Zechariah presents Christ as the foundation-stone of the building, and as the architect of the building. The Spirit is presented under the figure of the "seven eyes." Obstacles would remain undiminished, the "great mountain" would always frown upon us in equal and unmitigated power, were it not for the agency asserted and vindicated here. The best instrumentality devised and employed by man, and operating with whatever of industry and skill, would not advance one solitary step, were it not for the agency asserted and vindicated here.
III. A RESULT, IN WHICH THIS OPERATION, SO CONDUCTED, SHALL TERMINATE. The operation shall be triumphantly completed. The head-stone of the temple was brought on. And we can securely anticipate the certain and appointed consummation of the efforts, which in the cause of God we are now, although inadequately, assisting to promote. There is to be the completion of the structure of Divine grace. Nothing can injure the progress and the advancement of our religion. And being triumphantly completed, it will eminently redound to the Divine glory. And the final triumph will be hailed with ecstasy and rapture by all holy created beings. Application —
1. What encouragement to those already engaged and labouring for God!
2. What rebuke to those, professing the religion of Jesus, who are yet indolent and inactive!
3. What warning to those who are avowedly hostile to God and to His truth!
Parallel VersesKJV: Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD.