ďWhen the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets, and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praise the Lord, as prescribed by David king of Israel. With praise and thanksgiving, they sang to the Lord:
ĎHe is good; his love toward Israel endures forever.í
And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.Ē1
In the Old Testament, under the rule of King Solomon, a beautiful temple was built for Godís people to worship in. That temple was destroyed along with much of the people's faith in God. But God was still in control and used a man named Ezra to carry out His plan of rebuilding His temple in Jerusalem. It was then that the Jews realized how much they had missed having a temple to worship in. When they saw that the foundation of the new temple had been laid, the people began to weep with thanksgiving! Even so, many were not thankful and even complained because the new temple was not as big as the old one. They missed out on the Lordís blessing because their focus was on the wrong thing.
Godís present-day people went through a very similar situation when Covid-19 closed the door of our churches last year. For many, worshipping online became our alternative, but we sorely missed being able to gather together. So, when the doors of our beloved church buildings were finally opened again, many gathered for a time of thanksgiving! A few, however, were not eager to return. Many complained about having to wear a mask or simply were not interested in returning to Godís house.
Like the Jews of the Old Testament, some have missed out on the Lordís blessing because our focus has been on the wrong things. God did not change during the time there was no temple, nor when the doors were closed; His mercy is everlasting and our reasons to be thankful are countless. Under Ezraís leadership, the people found joy in thankfulness. We, too, have many things to be thankful for, including a place of worship. Count your blessings today, and like Ezra, allow the Lord to use you to lead your family into a time of joyful Thanksgiving!
Dear Lord, it is easy to become distracted and lose focus on heavenly things. I frequently forget to be thankful for the blessings you give me, including a place to worship, whether that be in a building, large or small, or online through a screen. Your mercy has remained the same, for that I am thankful! Gratefully, in Jesusí name, Amen.
1. Ezra 3:10-11.
All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.