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Do Not Despise These Small Beginnings

beginning construction work on a house..
Every day is a new opportunity to build something beautiful.

In the Hebrew Bible, Zerubbabel was the grandson of Jeconiah, the second to last King of Judah before the Babylonian exile. Zerubbabel became a regional governor of the First Persian Achaemenid Empire, and presided over the first group of Jews who returned to Israel from Babylonian captivity. The Bible says that God stirred up Zerubbabel’s spirit to rebuild the Jewish temple that had been destroyed by the Babylonians.

Zerubbabel Rebuilds The Temple

The task of rebuilding a temple as grand and magnificent as the temple that took Solomon ~7 years to build must have been daunting. Solomon, for his part, had an established kingdom with strong logistical and bureaucratic support during construction. Zerubbabel likely had fewer resources at his disposal; he also had to deal with the discouragement and low morale of the people due to the less-than-ideal political circumstances of the time and the traumatic memory of the first temple’s destruction.

Zerubbabel is the one who laid the foundation of this Temple, and he will complete it. Then you will know that the LORD of Heaven’s Armies has sent me. Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand.

Zechariah 4:10

The plumb line is a weighted tool used by blue collar workers to establish straight, symmetrical lines. God didn’t wait until the end of the work to rejoice; he was joyous in the moment because he had a vision of the final product and identified the work as a good endeavor. The encouragement of the prophet came to the people in the early stages of a great undertaking.

Do not despite, or think little, of something that looks small now but will one day become something great for all to see!

Some of us today are embarking on a journey of change and healing for the first time. Others of us are already far along that path and have achieved great progress. All of us, at some point in our lives, will have to start afresh in an area, just like the Jews, in response to some setback or relapse. Whenever we start afresh, we do so armed with new knowledge, insights, resources and motivation that exponentially increase our probability for success. In this light, the affirmations, “there is no such thing as failure,” and its more milder counterpart, “failure isn’t final,” make a lot of sense.

Today, let’s keep working smart and hard, whether our goal is more sexual integrity, the fruit of the spirit, personal growth, freedom from bad habits, or impact in the lives of others.

We will see the difference if we do not give up.

For more, see the complete archive of articles on integrity.

An intellectually curious millennial passionate about seeing people make healthy, informed choices about the moral direction of their lives. When I’m not reading or writing, I enjoy hiking, web-making, learning foreign languages, and watching live sports. Alumnus of Georgetown University (B.S.) and The Ohio State University (M.A.).

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