PREACHING THAT PROFITS
“And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the commandment of Cyrus, and Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.” Ezra 6:14
Like anything that is worthwhile, the rebuilding of the temple faced opposition. In an amazing demonstration of God’s sovereign power, Cyrus the king of Persia commissioned the work to begin. When the adversaries of Judah heard that the construction had begun, they sought ways to hinder the work. These enemies were eventually successful in getting the work to stop. What was it that revived the work of building? It was the preaching of Haggai and Zechariah that motivated the workers to continue. Our text gives us this record, “the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo.”
What a testimony to the power and influence of preaching! It was the proclamation of truth that inspired the workers to return to the work and finish the project. Thank God for the way He uses the simple, truthful, and powerful preaching of the Bible. Preaching should stir us to understanding, to commitment, and to action. The idea that preaching should have no noticeable affect on our belief or behavior is foreign to the Scriptures. As a matter of fact, we are warned not to be hearers only, but doers of God’s Word. The purpose of preaching is not to entertain or pacify, but rather to rally our hearts to obedience and service.
How is preaching changing our lives? How is it changing our conduct? We need PREACHING THAT PROFITS. We need preaching that stirs us to repentance and challenges us to obedience. The people of Judah had been discouraged and defeated. Their adversaries were intent on hindering their work. When one method of interference did not succeed, the enemies came with another. We all face similar setbacks in the work of God. At times, you may have wondered if it is worth it to keep striving for the work to go forward. What can help us to stay focused and not lose our focus in times of difficulty? Remain faithful to the preaching services, and let God’s Word stir us to faith and action.