Many years ago there was a city that had been devastated by a strong foreign enemy. The city was ransacked, people were murdered. The surviving families were taken away. Many of these families wrestled with hopelessness and depression because of fear that promises from their God were now dashed. His temple had been destroyed and the other nation was celebrating the victory of their gods. However, this scene of destruction was not the end of the story. Instead, the Lord was getting ready to teach all these families two lessons: He is faithful to keep promises and He can do great work through men who follow Him.
After more than a generation had passed, the Spirit of the living God began to stir among people, particularly the men (Ezra 1:5). In fact there were two primary men in whom the Lord began to work: a man named Zerubbabel and a pastor named Jeshua.
This calls to mind a principle that is found throughout Scripture: biblical manhood. Scripture teaches that the Lord has created men in a certain way and has given them a particular responsibility. Every man has the primary responsibility to lead themselves, their wife, their children and their church. This leadership involves the spiritual, emotional, and physical well being of himself, his wife, his children and his church. The question for men is not “Is he a leader?” But instead the question is “Is he a good or bad leader?”
At that time, for that city and people; the greatest need was for good men to lead their families and their community. Zerubbabel was the example of that kind of man. He led his family and rallied other men to return to their city (Ezra 2:1-2). These families were the first wave of exiles that returned from Babylon to the city of Jerusalem. Many would follow after them, but these first families set the course for the rest of the people. After settling their homes they began the work of rebuilding. Under Zerubbabel’s leadership they began building in an interesting way. Instead of laying the city walls or constructing the political buildings, they rebuilt the altar to the Lord their God and worshipped Him (Ezra 3:1-6). The order in which they rebuilt the city was the following: the altar, the Temple, the wall. Zerubbabel was led by the Lord, he intentionally started to rebuild his city and re-center the focus of this city on the Lord.
Today New Orleans’ greatest need is for the Lord to raise up men like Zerubbabel. Our City needs true biblical men who take hold of the responsibility the Lord has given them to lead, men who have a high value on their spiritual life, knowing that everything else flows from Jesus at the center. Our city needs men who lead their wife and children to grow, develop and fully flourish in this city. It needs men who intentionally encourage and challenge the other men within their Community Group, office or neighborhood to follow and serve the Lord. The lesson from Zerubbabel’s life and work is that when men are stirred, their city will be changed.
I am praying this for our men and our city.
- What is God stirring within you and your heart?
- Where is God leading you and your family?
“Lead Me” – Sanctus Real