The Jews’ Temple (the one history now calls “Zerubbabel’s Temple”) is not yet complete. Not by a long shot, as we will see in a few lessons.
BUT … the foundation has been laid! At least it had by the time Ezra 3:11-13 pronounces this new development: “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.”
Once that foundation was complete … different reactions were recorded!
The old men loudly wept!
The other people rejoiced and shouted!
This is interesting.
I can see both points of view, I think.
This new temple would be so much less grand than the older one Nebuchadnezzar had virtually destroyed. And the “ancient” men, the elderly Jews, would have personally seen all that glory, majesty!
But the younger men would not have had that perspective, having been born in Babylon. They were just thankful for a place (on Jewish soil, in the Holy Land) where they could finally worship. They no longer had to hang their harps upon foreign willow trees! See Psalm 137:2.
Yet, I must add …
Such crying (so loudly, and almost as if this attitude prevailed: “We’ve seen greater things that you’ve ever seen!”) could have been detrimental to the general congregation!
Maybe crying in private would have been better, at least acceptable!
But not such crying that so bemoaned bygone days! Not in public!
“Things aren’t what they used to be” … that syndrome!
Why not thank God for what He is currently doing … present tense?
Instead of grieving over what (now missing) greater things He had done in the past?
Yes indeed … tell me about God’s great works of history! Think about them too. “Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done.” Psalm 40:5a, likely they very words of Jesus, prophesied a thousand years in advance!
But do not use them to discourage those (in the present, right now) who are rejoicing over a victory (even if small) in their lives, a God-sent victory!
If you Church has a Revival and 1 soul is saved!
Don’t stand up in the testimony meeting and tell about the “old days” when 75 souls got saved!
Rejoice in God’s Goodness today!
I’ll close today with these verses from Lamentations. “It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are NEW EVERY MORNING: great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23
Did you see it?
God’s MERCIES are NEW EVERY MORNING!
Not just new LAST YEAR!
“GREAT IS THY FAITHFULNESS, O LORD!”
— Dr. Mike Bagwell