Today’s Scripture Reading: Ezra 2:1 through Ezra 4:5; 1 Chronicles 3:19b-24
Have you ever tried to recreate a special time, event, or moment from your past?
Maybe it was a particular family gathering that was just “perfect,” so you go to the same place, with the same people, eat the same food, etc., hoping to recapture the joy of that moment. Or maybe it was a season in your career or athleticism that was “the best time of your life” that you’re long to experience, just one more time.
Most of the times I’ve tried to do this it’s back-fired.
The Israelites had a similar experience as they began the process of rebuilding the Temple. Imagine the many days and nights the exiled Jews must have sat around fires and planned and dreamed of the day they would be back in their homeland, the day they would rebuild the Temple and EVERYTHING would be the way it “used to be.”
When that day finally came some were disappointed because it wasn’t like “the good ole days.”
But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy. The joyful shouting and weeping mingled together in a loud noise that could be heard far in the distance. –Ezra 3:12-13
There were several possible reasons for the older leaders’ sadness but the chief cause of grief was that the second temple would be destitute of those things which formed the great and distinguishing glory of the first; namely, the ark, the shekinah, the Urim and Thummim. Not that this second temple was not a very grand and beautiful structure. But no matter how great its material splendor was, it was inferior in respect to Solomon’s Temple. Yet the glory of the second far outshone that of the first temple in another and more important point of view, namely, the receiving within its walls the incarnate Savior (Hag 2:9). (A Commentary, Critical and Explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments)
Today’s church has so much in common with these leaders. Too many times we are playing the comparison game between the good ole days and today. We spend so much time and energy fighting against change and trying to recreate the past that we completely miss the blessing God has designed for this season.
The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. His mercies are new every morning. –Lamentations 3:22-23
Heavenly Father, help us to be thankful for our past, glory in the present, and look to the future with expectation and excitement! We trust You!
© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Daniel 10:1 through Daniel 12:13; Ezra 4:24-5:1; Haggai 1:1-15