I have really missed my study of Ezra. I have been fighting a throat infection and bronchitus for the past 5 weeks! Because of the super bug my Dr doesn’t give antibiotics for these and so it has been a really long 5 weeks! Still not feeling my best but wanted to post what I had so far continuing in Ezra 3. I am feeling better each day and know God is going to have me feeling top notch again very soon!
Ezra 3 – More to see!
Ezra 3:10-13 is about construction starting on the temple and the celebration of the laying of the foundation. It made me want to know more. When you study God’s Word do you sometimes start in one place but end up taking a journey with the Lord? I love God’s Word and letting Him lead me through it. Ezra 3:10-13 was one of those journeys for me. When I read in verse 12 that as the people shouted praises to God many of the older priests, Levites and family heads who had seen the former temple wept aloud, I wanted to know more. When I study the Bible I don’t read the study notes or commentaries until after I have spent time first going through it with the Lord. I have always wanted the Holy Spirit to be my first teacher. After I have done that I will sometimes read through the notes, commentaries, Bible dictionaries or check the passage with some of the great online tools.
After reading this section of Ezra 3 I wasn’t exactly sure why the older ones were weeping. I felt these were not tears of joy. It makes such a distinction between the shouts of joy and the weeping I felt it had to be tears of a broken heart. A note in my Quest Study Bible said the rebuilt foundation already made it evident that the temple would not match the glory of the original temple Solomon had built. They had seen the original and the rebuild didn’t measure up. You must read Haggai 2:10-13 to see and understand it. What I loved about what Haggai said to those who wept was to take their eyes off the building and put them on the Lord. The prophet was only giving them God’s Words and that tells us a lot about who God is. Though the people who were younger were praising God, He saw the tears and weeping of these older ones. He spoke through Haggai to encourage them and to tell them to be strong because He was with them. He reminds them He had been with them when He brought them out of Egypt and that His spirit remained among them and they need not fear. He tells them that in a little while He would shake the heavens, the earth, the nations. Then in verse 7 He says, “I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord Almighty.” In verse 9 He says, “The glory of the present house will be greater than the glory of the former house.” He also said in that house would be great peace.
I love this! What a blessing we get to see the heart of God in His Word! He loves our praise but cares more about the brokenhearted. He isn’t concerned that the house of the Lord be a building of splendor and opulence. He promises that He will be there with us and we need not fear. We can be strong in our disappointments and pain. He has taken care of them in the past and has promised He is with us and His Holy Spirit will remain with us. What we see is it is God Himself who fills the house of God with His glory. All that is in it is His and His presence is what makes it glorious!
Are you attending a house of God and joining with His family there? It is important you do that. God didn’t create us to live alone. He is a God of relationship, Father, Son and Holy Spirit and His desire is for relationship with us as individuals and as a family. This Sunday be sure to attend a Bible teaching church near you. I promise you He will meet you there and it could change your life forever!
Much love! My prayer is you will get in His Word and allow Him to speak to your heart. I would love to have you tell us what He says to you. As always, continue to grow in knowing who our awesome and mighty God is!