Ezra 3:8-13

Temple Restoration Begun

Now in the second year of their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem in the second month, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak and the rest of their brothers the priests and the Levites, and all who came from the captivity to Jerusalem, began the work and appointed the Levites from twenty years and older to oversee the work of the house of the Lord. Then Jeshua with his sons and brothers stood united with Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of [e]Judah and the sons of Henadad with their sons and brothers the Levites, to oversee the workmen in the temple of God.

10 Now when the builders had laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, [f]the priests stood in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the Lord according to the [g]directions of King David of Israel. 11 They sang, praising and giving thanks to the Lord, saying, “For He is good, for His lovingkindness is upon Israel forever.” 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. 12 Yet many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers’ households, the old men who had seen the first [h]temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, while many shouted aloud for joy, 13 so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the shout of joy from the sound of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard far away.

Imagine it for a second, the mixed emotions of seeing the temple foundation laid, yet knowing it is not the same as Solomon’s temple. It can be difficult to be thankful for certain things when one remembers what they used to be, and how they were “better”.

Yet God commands us to rejoice always, not that this capacity comes from our own ability, but He will fill us with joy when we look to Him instead of to earthly things. All things on this earth will pass away, but our Creator is the one constant, the one steady truth in a world that often seems upside-down.

Some things will never be the same, something might have been better. But be present here and now, look to the author and perfecter of your faith, and find hope in Him. Nothing less can satisfy, and nothing else will bring you contentment but His peace and joy. Let Jesus reign in your life today, and accept no substitutes or counterfeits.

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