This post is Day 26 in a series of studies about “Joy”. I strongly suggest you begin with the introduction to this study, please click here to read it.
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Joy – Day 26
Once the people had settled, in their real homes there was a gathering to witness the laying of the foundation stone for the temple in Jerusalem. What a day of joy and celebration that was. There was a unity of joy and praise rarely experienced with much music and singing.
But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy.
This was obviously a day of mixed emotions. The Israelites had returned from the Babylonian exile and settled in their homes, there was a great sense of unity amongst the people, and we can imagine the joyful sense of feeling they were really home. There is a spiritual sense of peace and joy when we know we are living in the place God wants us to be.
Once the people had settled, in their real homes there was a gathering to witness the laying of the foundation stone for the temple in Jerusalem. What a day of joy and celebration that was. There was a unity of joy and praise rarely experienced, especially by a people who had been born in exile. Something most of us reading this cannot imagine. There was much music and singing (Ezra 3:10-12).
There were also tears from those who did remember the earlier temple, not just tears, but sobs caused by the mixed emotions of those who had given up hope of ever coming back to Jerusalem, and once they did, they never expected to see the temple being rebuilt.
Many of the Bible verses which tell us of things happening in the temple suggest an image that is far from many of our church buildings today. They were often full of music, and there seemed to be small groups constantly discussing theology and the things of God. Jesus often interrupted when He was in the temple. What an interesting place it seems to have been.
Read Ezra 3 today and notice all the emotions there. Compare those with what happens in the place you meet for “church”. Pray for more freedom and joy in christian meetings, whether in cathedrals or tents, apartments or castles.
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