Thursday, August 31, 2017

Thursday - Ezra 3 - Tears of Joy

fter spending some time settling back into their homeland, the remnant of Jews re-gathered in Jerusalem to commence the building project.  The temple of God was going back up!

The first thing to consider about this endeavor is the fact that these Jews willingly proceeded despite the dangers which they perceived to be all around them (Ezra 3:3). Or, maybe we should say that they proceeded BECAUSE of their fear of the menacing realities all around them. Sometimes difficulties drive as more quickly to the throne of grace.

So, the people made sacrifices to God, and they got busy preparing to build. Then, they began to build. With live sacred music being played to accompany their efforts, they laid the foundation of the temple.  Oh, what a wonderful effect that had on the congregation of Jews. The sound of the workmen and the musicians soon gave way to the sounds of spontaneous praise. Both tears and laughter were mixed together at that scene. Then the people exploded into shouts of joy and cries of release.  Surely there was a deep mixture of emotions within the hearts of those holy people. Relief that God's promises were being realized; sadness and shame in being reminded of the past failures of the nation; gratitude for a second chance; sorrow in understanding that things would not be like before... it was a lot to take in.

You know something... all of us react differently to the glories of God's goodness. Some weep, some shout, others laugh or maybe even pass out. But, surely our emotional idiosyncrasies are all but irrelevant when compared to the condition of our hearts. Whether we sob or shout, our hearts should be pure, humble, grateful and submissive as we are blessed with God's grace.

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