Ezra 2:1-4:51 Chronicles 3:19-24
Ezra 3: 11, “With praise and great thanks, they sang this song to the Lord: ‘He is so good! His faithful love for Israel endures forever!’ Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid.”
Have you ever had a day where your emotions were all over the place? One minute you’re laughing, one minute you’re crying, one minute your stomach is spasming with fear, and one minute you feel a sense of relief and joy. Or have you ever been in a crowd where the emotional response to what was happening ran the gamut? That’s the kind of day the Israelites had as they returned to their holy city of Jerusalem.For the older Jews who remembered the beauty of Solomon’s temple, they wept. Nothing could replace its splendor and beauty — yet it was bittersweet. They were finally home, thank God, but would it ever truly be the same? For the younger generation, who’d never had the ability to worship at a temple in exile, they felt utter joy. Yet, they all felt a sense of fear knowing the city’s new inhabitants would definitely oppose their presence as they worshiped their God. Nonetheless, they all gathered and sacrificed at the altar set up on the temple mount. They realized that even before the temple’s foundations were to be laid, that worship must come first. Despite the raw mix of emotions, God would be praised.Does worship come first in your life? Despite emotions, do you seek to praise God first? Regardless of what we’re going through, the feelings involved, He deserves our devotion and thanks. He is always there for us, always has our best interest in mind — on the best days and the worst. Our great God is for us, with us, and always guiding us with His righteous right hand. So, no matter how what emotions you’re dealing with, remember to worship first. Devote yourself to live in reverence of God, for He is worthy of your praise!
Dear God, I may not always see it, but I pray that I praise You and appreciate You through each season I encounter. I want others to see You through me no matter what I am facing. Amen.