“But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy” (Ezra 3:12).TEXT — Ezra 3:8-13
The impression of “the good old days” is usually associated with the thought that things used to be better than they are presently. It is a mental reflection of the images and events of a pleasant past, compared to a real or perceived unpleasant present. It is certain that civilisation and new developments continue to make the present different from the past. The ‘good old days’ is also relative, as not everyone may consider a particular time as good.
The nostalgic memories of the past come into focus in our text. In the second year of their return from captivity to Jerusalem, Zerubbabel and other returnees set to work in the house of the Lord to rebuild the temple. With appropriate division of labour to handle the different aspects of the work, the foundation was laid, and the people rejoiced greatly, giving thanks to God. However, the priests and elders who were witnesses to the previous foundation when it was laid, wept and rejoiced simultaneously. Both the weeping and rejoicing were in appreciation of God for the rebuilding of the temple.
While we remember past exploits and breakthroughs, especially in the household of faith, we must appreciate God for what He is able to do through us in the new dispensation. The workmen in Zerubbabel’s time praised God aloud, not by muttering some inaudible words or display of needless gymnastics. Any praise worship devoid of transparent holiness is unacceptable to God.
The “good day” we must remember constantly is the day we became translated into God’s kingdom through Christ’s atoning blood. Our relationship with God must be polished for freshness daily as we march towards heaven.
Thought for the day
Better to be forward looking, than be bogged down by ancient victories.
- in one year
- 2 KINGS 5 – 6