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CHAPTER 3 (ESV)
8 Now in the second year after their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak made a beginning, together with the rest of their kinsmen, the priests and the Levites and all who had come to Jerusalem from the captivity. They appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to supervise the work of the house of the Lord. 9 And Jeshua with his sons and his brothers, and Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together supervised the workmen in the house of God, along with the sons of Henadad and the Levites, their sons and brothers.
10 And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments came forward with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the Lord, according to the directions of David king of Israel. 11 And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord,
“For he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever 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. 12 But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice when they saw the foundation of this house being laid, though many shouted aloud for joy, 13 so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people’s weeping, for the people shouted with a great shout, and the sound was heard far away.
- Why did the Israelites build the temple before the city walls? It was because the temple was for people’s spiritual needs while the walls were for their military and political needs. The Jews understood that only God is their protection, strong walls would not be able to save them if God left them. They knew that maintaining a healthy spiritual life is more important than strengthening national defence. Today you have different needs in your life. Reflect if you put your spiritual needs as the top priority.
- The temple was rebuilt fifty years after its destruction. When the old people saw that the new temple was not as grandiose as the old temple, they started to weep. There were shouts for joy and also voices of weeping at the scene, weaving a picture of mixed feelings. Actually the beauty of the temple is not important to God. He cares more about the heart of the builders and worshippers. God values who we are more than what we achieve. The world is ever-changing and any great achievement will fade away in a flash. We just have to serve God with all our heart and not compare our achievements with others. Do you feel inferior and depressed because your achievement is not as great as others? Reflect what God values the most in you.
Ask God to open your spiritual eyes, give you heavenly wisdom, and help you understand your spiritual needs are the most important needs in your life. Ask God to give you a humble, obedient and holy heart. Remove your desires of the flesh, desires of the eyes and pride of life, so that you could concentrate in serving God.
“Come Thou Fount” – www.youtube.com/watch?v=NjfToqk5w5g