As I read of the destruction, I tried to picture how long it must have taken to demolish the temple and all the other structures described. I felt sad. The history alone of this great building was extensive. I couldn’t help but remember King David’s vision for this magnificent tribute to God, and then his son, Solomon’s call to build. You can read more about David’s thought process in 2 Samuel 7.
Gone. All the grandeur was lost forever. I had forgotten the extent of the bronze and the magnitude of the size. Do you think the people remaining in Judah mourned the loss of this great place? It doesn’t sound like they put up much of a fight. The army just came in like a big wrecking ball as if to demolish the past. And God allowed it to happen! What would the exiles already in Babylon think when they heard the news?
It’s helpful to read Scriptural accounts like this and remember real people were involved. These people were not fictional characters in a story; they had feelings, fears, and dreams. It’s also necessary to remember the time and culture that existed when these events took place. That can be tricky if you’re not a Bible scholar or expert in ancient times.
The thing that strikes me again is that God allowed it. He even takes credit for orchestrating the destruction. When we look around at the devastation we see in our world, whether by natural disaster or the wake of power hungry dictators with war on their minds, we realize God allows bad stuff to happen.
Have you noticed how God’s purposes are always achieved in some way? Amidst the chaos and loss, God’s flame of love is still flickering, and there are people being saved. That’s God’s main purpose after all. He wants to see his children find their way back to him. Do you agree with this? Could that burning desire be enough to offset what is lost when bad things happen?
This is a pretty big subject, and depending on what is going on in your life right now, it might even been a bit touchy. Perhaps you’re walking through an illness, watching a parent age, letting your children go off and start a life of their own, or even dealing with death and/or destruction of some sort.
These life circumstances can feel horrible. We may even feel like we are isolated and alone. That’s until we remember that we have a loving God who has made so many promises to us. We aren’t the rebellious children that watched their temple collapse. We’re the children who watched our king sacrifice himself for our sins because he wanted to forgive us so badly.
Let that thought sit with you for a bit. Whenever bad things happen, and they will, return to this moment and sit with the remembrance of what Jesus did for you. The gratitude and awe that will well up inside you is the best antidote to get rid of the dullness and feeling of doom that descends when life is unsettled.
Upheaval. Jerusalem was facing mayhem like never before. Many probably thought that was the end. The hope for a future and rebuilding would seem so far out of reach. We can be thankful that our salvation and protection from the redeemer king is available to us. It’s closer than you can imagine.
As you go through your day, remember that God is right there beside you. You are now the temple that he lives in. Let his light shine bright today.
Let’s pray. Lord, you are so good. It’s hard to accept that you let bad things happen, but then it’s our job to look for the good and see you working despite what we see as so tragic. Protect me and those I love and help us to see you clearly through the confusion that surrounds us. I love that you live inside me. May your light shine brightly in me today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.