Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: When the foundation of the second temple was laid there were both weeping and joyful shouting! Why? What caused those who had seen the first temple to weep? What caused the destruction of the first temple and the deportations in the first place? Creep ...

Going back to the Old Testament today …

3 deportations of Israel/Judah - last one in 586 BC w/destruction of temple

Nearly 50 years later Persia invaded and Babylon.

Babylon philosophy of deportation vs Persian philosophy of returning and subjection.

Cyrus, the King of Persia was moved by the Lord to allow the Jews to return to Judah and to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.

Here’s what Cyrus, the king of Persia said in Ezra 1:2-4

“The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and He has appointed me to build a temple for Him at Jerusalem in Judah.

“Any of His people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the LORD, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them.

“And in any locality where survivors may now be living, the people are to provide them with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.”

When the foundation of the second temple was laid in 516 BC it signaled the end of the 70 years of captivity.

Rebuilding the altar for sacrificing to Yahweh was done almost immediately

They did not have a temple but they did what they could (presented sacrifices, observed the feast days, etc.)

They started preparations to lay the foundation for the temple

And this brings us to the main Scripture for today found in

Ezra 3:10-13

“When the builders completed the foundation of the Lord’s Temple, the priests put on their robes and took their places to blow their trumpets.

“And the Levites, descendants of Asaph, clashed their cymbals to praise the Lord, just as King David had prescribed. With praise and 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.

“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.”

Now, let’s go back to verse 12

“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.

What a contrast. Some are weeping and others are shouting for joy.

Why were some weeping?

Life expectancy of people at the time of the Babylonian/Persian captivity - 40-70 years

These folks who were weeping had lived through the entire captivity and returned.

Perhaps they were weeping for joy that the temple was being rebuilt!

They could once again obey the law

They could once again observe the proper sacrifices

They would one day have a Holy of Holies

Perhaps they were weeping because

- The second temple would never be as grand as the first

- The Ark of the Covenant was lost

- The stark realization of the needless loss of

- their nation due to disobedience

- the temple due to disobedience

- the years of captivity due to disobedience

Others were shouting for joy!

- These folks had probably all been born in exile.

- They had never known the joy of living in the nation of Judah let alone a unified Israel.

- They had never seen the temple built to honor and house the God of Heaven.

Perhaps they had heard the story of the dedication of the first temple dozens or hundreds of times.

2 Chronicles 5:13-14

“The trumpeters and musicians joined in unison to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, the singers raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang:

“‘He is good; His love endures forever.’ Then the temple of the LORD was filled with the cloud, and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of God.”

Perhaps they were trying to imagine that same event taking place when the temple was completed.

It must have been a magnificent time for them.

But, what does this mean to us?

This is a warning to us as Christians!

We were all born in captivity - slaves to sin just as all of Israel emerged from slavery in Egypt during the Exodus

Those of us who are true believers in Jesus Christ have entered the Kingdom of God just as the nation of Israel entered the promised land and took possession of it.

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