READING: Ezra 3
In spite of fear of reprisal, Jeshua and Zerubbabel gathered the remnant of Israel and built the altar of the God of Israel so that the people could once again offer sacrifices to the Lord. They also celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles and began work on the foundation of the second temple in accordance with the decree issued by Cyrus king of Persia. When the builders completed the temple foundation, the priests celebrated with instruments and music to praise the Lord, singing responsively, “For He is good, for His lovingkindness is upon Israel forever” (3:11). However, the shouts of joy were mingled with weeping by the older people who could remember the greater glory of the first temple.
Lord, Your covenant faithfulness to Your people is great, and Your mercies never cease. Nevertheless, this text discloses the long-term consequences of disobedience and the loss of past blessings. Yet You promise that in Your grace, the best is yet to come.
Meditation passage: verse 11