Today’s Daily Bible Reading is from Ezra 3:8-13. Our next lesson fast forwards in time to mid spring, April and May of 536. The second month of the second year finds the Israelites ready to build the house of the LORD.
Zerubbabel, Jeshua, the priests and Levites appointed men from the tribe of Levi who were 20 years old and older to oversee the work on the Temple of God. They gathered the workmen, and the builders laid the foundation.
When the foundation was completed, the Israelites had a victory celebration. The priests dressed in their ceremonial garments took their places. They blew their trumpets, while the sons of Asaph, originally appointed as musicians by King David, added their cymbals to the celebration. Everyone worshipped and praised the LORD.
Zechariah 4:10 says, “For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.”
They were praising God because He is good and His mercy endures forever toward Israel. With shouts and praises to the LORD, the people rejoiced that the foundation of the Temple of God was completed. There were mixed emotions during the celebration, though, because some of the older men who remembered the first temple were saddened. They remembered the glory of Solomon’s Temple, even though more than fifty years had passed since its destruction. The noise of the people’s celebration was so great it was hard to discern between the shouts of joy and the expressions of sadness. The Bible tells us that the noise was heard from far away.
Isn’t it funny how people can attend the same event and experience different emotions? Sometimes significant events can bring about mixed feelings, just like this one did for the children of Israel. Certain things may trigger emotions from our past and cause sadness or joy.
The celebration reminds us that we need to thank God along the way for each success He gives us. The Israelites were thanking God that the foundation of the Temple of God was built, even though the whole temple was not yet completed. Similarly, God is not through with us yet. Like the temple, we are a work in progress, and need to celebrate the victories He gives us along the way.
Daily Bible Reading:
8 Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all they that were come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to set forward the work of the house of the LORD.
9 Then stood Jeshua with his sons and his brethren, Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together, to set forward the workmen in the house of God: the sons of Henadad, with their sons and their brethren the Levites.
10 And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Israel.
11 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.
12 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:
13 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.
Things to think about:
- What do you thank God for through praise and worship?
- How do you celebrate the victories of God in your life?
- What are some ways we can celebrate God?
Prayer of the Day:
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for the glimpse of Your people celebrating the victory You gave them when the foundation of the Temple of God was completed in Jerusalem. Help us to celebrate the victories You give us in our lives by worshiping and praising You. Help us to rejoice with those who are happy, and show Your compassion by crying with those who are sad. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
This is an excerpt from: The Book of Ezra: A Story of Provision and Protection
Christian Music Video: 10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) – Matt Redman
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by Deborah H. Bateman
About the Book:
The Book of Ezra: A Story of Provision and Protection by Deborah H. Bateman is a Daily Bible Reading Study of the book of Ezra. The book of Ezra is found in the Old Testament of the Bible. After seventy years of Babylonian captivity God commissions King Cyrus to write a decree allowing the Jewish people to return home for the purpose of building the second temple at Jerusalem.
God is faithful to provide all their needs and protect them on their journey and throughout the process of the building of the temple despite the opposition and their own disobedience.
Each lesson consists of a brief commentary by the author, the Daily Bible Reading Scripture, a few questions for contemplation or discussion, and a prayer of the day. The Book of Ezra: A Story of Provision and Protection is a great Bible study for personal or group Bible study.
For those of you interested in Bible journaling, may I suggest you pick your favorite Bible verse from each lesson and journal about it. This will be a great reminder of the lessons you learn as you read and study this book.
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For those of you interested in Bible journaling, may I suggest you pick your favorite Bible verse from each lesson and journal about it. This will be a great reminder of the lessons you learn as you read and study the Bible along with us.