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Summary: Because of Israel’s refusal to abandon their idols They were taken away into captivity by the Babylonians.

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Text) Ezra 3:10-13

Introduction:

Because of Israel’s refusal to abandon their idols

They were taken away into captivity by the Babylonians.

This captivity lasted 70 years, Jer. 25:11-12.

(It began in 605 B.C., when Nebuchadnezzar invaded and subjugated Israel.

In 586 B.C., Israel rebelled against him and Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem)

Israel lived in captivity without a temple, without feasts or sacrifices.

King Cyrus the Persian overthrew the Babylonians in 539 B.C.

In 538 B.C he gave permission for the Jews to return to their Jerusalem.

(About 50,000 Jews returned home)

Three years later, in 535 B.C, they laid the foundation for the new Temple

This event ending their captivity.

The laying of the foundation for the new temple represented a day of joy for the young and a day of sadness for the old.

Question:

Why are the young ones so excited and is praising the Lord,

While the older ones are so sad and weeping?

Lucky for us the Bible holds the answer to this question.

And further, the answer this question will reveal some valuable truths for us today.

The Young Men Shouted While The Old Men Wept.

Consider:

The Old Men – The PAST:

What They Remembered – They remembered the first temple.

They remembered it’s Grandeur, it’s Gold and it’s Glory.

They remembered the Ark of the Covenant and the mercy seat.

They remembered within the Ark the tablets containing the Law of God

They remembered the Shechinah glory of God that filled the first temple, 1 Kings 8:8-13; 2 Chron. 5:13-14; 7:1-3.

They remembered Solomon’s temple as the House of God!

What They Realized – They understood that the new temple wouldn’t be the same, Hag. 2:3.

They knew it would be smaller.

They knew all the contents of the first temple were forever gone.

This realization broke their hearts and they wept because of it.

The Young Men – The Present:

What They Remembered – Many of the people didn’t remember the first temple.

They had no idea of what it had looked like or of it’s glory.

All they remembered was a life of captivity and bondage in a foreign land.

All they could remember was slavery.

They couldn’t remember that first temple, but they were thankful for what they had!

What They Realized – The young ones couldn’t remember the old days, but they could see that a new day of opportunity had dawned for them and they embraced it wholeheartedly!

These young people had no frame of reference concerning the old days, but they were excited about what God was doing in their day.

NOTE:

It is easy to err on either side of this thing.

That-is-to-say…

Some people are so caught up in the past that they cannot get excited about what God is doing in the present!

Still, others are willing to run headlong while forgetting about what God did for them in the past.

The bottom line is this:

The past is gone forever and we “must” live in the present.

We need to look back and glean what we can from days gone by,

However, we have to live in the here and now!

Careful you don’t become trapped in the past and totally miss what God is doing today.

PAST/PRESENT:

The problem with both viewpoints is:

They both squandered the opportunities God gives them!

Haggai 1:1-7 “In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying, 2- Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD'S house should be built. 3- Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying, 4- [Is it] time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house [lie] waste? 5-Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. 6- Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages [to put it] into a bag with holes. 7- Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.”

They laid the foundation for the temple, but the work was halted.

For 15 years, they went about their lives,

Built their own houses

And did what they wanted to do.

All the old men who were looking back fondly,

Failed to move forward in the things of God.

All the young who had been so excited about what God was doing in their day Failed to carry it out to completion!

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