Ezra 3:12–13: “But many of the priests and Levites and heads of the fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this temple was laid before their eyes. Yet 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 sound was heard afar off.”

July 24th, 2020 by Pastor Ed in devotional

Once God’s exiled people returned to their land, the first thing they did was rebuild the altar, even before they started rebuilding the temple. Why? Because worship must always come first. The people worshiped again when the foundation was laid, and Ezra records that the noise was great, a combination of both singing of praise and weeping. Many were joyful and thankful, but some of the old men, who remembered the splendor of Solomon’s temple and the presence of God there, wept. No temple built by the generation returning from exile would ever equal what had been lost when Jerusalem was destroyed.

Do not miss the fact that they did not wait until the building was done to praise the Lord. The circumstances they were working under were certainly not ideal, nor would the rebuilt temple be nearly as great, but they still took time to be grateful, to thank and praise God for what He had done for them. The task was difficult and storms were blowing, but rough seas teach sailors how to be great. There are no shortcuts to spiritual maturity, and trials are a normal part of growing in grace.

“LORD, we chose to thank You and worship You for Your loving-kindness and mercy to us this day. Please forgive us and use us, we ask in Jesus’ name.”