The Day of Small ThingsBro. David Chancellor
6/26/2005 6:00 PM
Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.
This refers to the rebuilding of the temple after it had been destroyed. Zerubbabel had begun this job. It wasn’t an easy thing as there were many things to be overcome.
The work of God begins with the small things. God can work with a small group as well as a large one; in the little duties as well as the great works. Because of this, we need to be faithful in the little things. If we are faithful in the little things, it can have a big effect. God can work through us to accomplish his will in our time.
Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all they that were come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to set forward the work of the house of the LORD. Then stood Jeshua with his sons and his brethren, Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together, to set forward the workmen in the house of God: the sons of Henadad, with their sons and their brethren the Levites. And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Israel. And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.
This describes the effort to rebuild the temple. The people rejoiced that the foundation was laid. The younger generation was excited because of the beginning; the older generation saw what had been and wept. We can look back and remember those that God has used, and be discouraged by the current state of affairs, but there also needs to be a part of us that looks forward to what can be.
We need to be faithful whether it is a small remnant or a great revival. Don’t despise the little things. It means as much in the slow times to be faithful as it does in the times of great works. It is in the slow times that the seeds are sown for the times of great work. These laid the foundation and then took a 15-year break because of opposition.
Ezra 4:24; 5:1-2
Then ceased the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem. So it ceased unto the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.
Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied unto the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, even unto them. Then rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and began to build the house of God which is at Jerusalem: and with them were the prophets of God helping them.
After the 15 year break, Zechariah stood up and said, "Who shall despise the day of small things? Let’s build on what we have." They were able to build because someone had the courage to go ahead when it was a small thing. Will you wait for the big movement, or will you be faithful in the day of small things? The small things done consistently will cause things to grow. Every congregation begins small. When you stay faithful to living what you believe, it will make a difference. Focus on staying faithful to God and doing what he directs you to do.
These began to work. The plummet in the hand of Zerubabbel meant that there would be walls. The people needed encouragement to go forward.
But it came to pass, that when Sanballat heard that we builded the wall, he was wroth, and took great indignation, and mocked the Jews. And he spake before his brethren and the army of Samaria, and said, What do these feeble Jews? will they fortify themselves? will they sacrifice? will they make an end in a day? will they revive the stones out of the heaps of the rubbish which are burned? Now Tobiah the Ammonite was by him, and he said, Even that which they build, if a fox go up, he shall even break down their stone wall. Hear, O our God; for we are despised: and turn their reproach upon their own head, and give them for a prey in the land of captivity:
After they finished the temple, they progressed to building the wall of the city. This shows what it means to despise the small things. It was a small group of people that began the work. These others made fun of the effort. If others make fun or disparage, don’t get discouraged. That isn’t the time to quit. These were able to build because they wouldn’t give in to what came their way.
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.
Paul pointed out that most of the ones spreading the gospel were plain, everyday people. God can use everyday people to do a great work. D. L. Moody was converted because of the faithfulness of an every day shoe salesman. The work of God is done by the grace of God in the hearts of those serving him. It isn’t about us; it’s about God. People are missing out on enjoying the presence of God. We want to walk with God and have him speak to our hearts. Reformation don’t happen unless people are faithful when the current seems to be going the other way.
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
The fact that it seems only a few are trickling in shouldn’t discourage us. The morning church began with just a few. They were hiding out in the upper room. As they stood true, the effect began to take place. It began with a minimum of 120 and added 3,000 in one day. We need to be faithful, as these were, to God and right. Don’t be discouraged by the size of the group. God will always have a people. Stand faithful and don’t despise the little things. When you are faithful, God can use you. You may not see all that God is doing, but you can rest assured that God is working. You may not always understand why, or see the impact; stay faithful anyway. If you turn away, you tear down what you have accomplished and require others to do the work.
Jesus often used small things as a comparison. He compared the kingdom of God to leaven; it starts small and spreads out. Recognize the importance of being faithful.