Not Whether You Build, But What

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We have been considering the building of our new sanctuary, and want to make sure that we are evaluating all that we do in the light of God’s Word.

One of the first things that men do when they are stirred up is that they build. The building can take various forms—music, and poetry, and so on—but of course one of the obvious ways to build is through buildings. This “stirring up” can be the effect of reformation and revival, or it can be the forces of apostasy. But when men are moved, they build.

Apostates and infidels build. That was what we had in the tower of Babel. “Let us make us a name,” they said, but the upshot was that the Lord gave them the name Babel (Gen. 11:4). Nebuchadnezzar looked out at the splendor of Babylon, and there, on the very precipice of insanity, said “is not this great Babylon, that I have built?” (Dan. 4:30). God made man upright, but man has sought out many inventions (Ecc. 7:29). Not only does he invent them, he builds them.

But it would be a great mistake to think that the ungodly build, and that the godly do not. The distinction is found in what we build, and how we build it, not whether we build. So we built the wall, Nehemiah says, because the people had a mind to work (Neh. 4:6). In the reformation under Josiah, the Temple was restored (2 Kings 22:5). When the Spirit moves among God’s people, they start to build. This is because we are imitating Him, and He is building us. We are living stones. We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to be doing the work we are doing.

So it is not whether we build, but rather what we build and why. Why should we build anything? Because the Spirit is at work in us. What should we build? We should build tools that enable us to do what God placed us in this world to do. The first thing, the central thing, is the worship of God. That is the work we were created to do, and all the other work we do flows out of that.

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8 years ago

This was good, thank you.