Have you caught yourself saying, “Things were better back then.” I think the vast majority of us would agree that things were better before the pandemic than they are now. When the people of Israel came out of exile and returned to their homeland, they determined to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, which had been destroyed by the Babylonian army. As they finished reconstructing it, they asked some people who had seen the original temple, “How does this look in comparison to the original?” Haggai recorded that those who had seen the former temple said the rebuilt one could not compare to the original one (Haggai 2:3). Ezra, in his book, recorded that there were mixed emotions, with shouting and weeping (Ezra 3:13). The former edifice represented a place of magnificence, for the “presence of God.” They felt the rebuilt one was inferior! The Lord then told the people that the future splendor of the second temple, which didn’t look like much to them, would be greater than that of the former one (Haggai 2:9).
As humans we tend to measure success and enjoyment by how things look, and by how they make us feel. Maybe what has transpired over the last 14 months has confronted our false notion that God has been equated with our company’s success and our job security. If so, this has become the object of our affections, and we probably idolize them more then we should have. It is not that success, security, and enjoyment are wrong. But rather, it becomes wrong when we use these to define our life, instead of God. The recent changes in our world are making God’s message clear… The grandeur of life is found in God working through us as we journey through life. When this is being accomplished, the future enjoyment of life will be greater than what we thought only the formers days could do for us. PMC Consider: “Don’t say, why were the former days better than these, since it is not wise of you to ask this…. Consider the work of God” (Ecclesiastes 7:10,13 CSB).
This thought was written by Paul M. Curtas, General Director of FCAP.