August 2, 2018
Reading: Ezra 3
“When the builders had laid the foundation of the Lord’s temple, the priests, dressed in their robes and holding trumpets, and the Levites descended from Asaph, holding cymbals, took their positions to praise the Lord…they sang with praise and thanksgiving to the Lord: “For He is good; His faithful love to Israel endures forever.” -Ezra 3:8-11
Ezra captures the beautiful picture of God’s people being led to repentance and remembrance of His goodness. Over seven decades ago, the Israelites lived in their home country with their relatives. After years of disobeying the Lord and worshiping false gods, God disciplined them by exiling them to captivity Babylon. However, God remains faithful to His promises, so He sovereignly used a pagan king to send the Israelites back to rebuild the temple and repopulate their homeland.
Upon arriving home, they immediately begin building the temple where they will worship God. As the foundation is completed, they hold a worship service and sing praises to God, specifically praising His faithfulness as they witnessed their redemption.
God was faithful to discipline His children yet also bring them to repentance and trust in Him. This is the essence of a good father. As the elders who saw the first temple saw the second temple’s foundation laid, they wept loudly because of their sin that led them into exile, yet they also shouted for joy because of God’s faithfulness to restore them.
We serve the same God, who has sent His Son to pay the penalty for our sins so that we may be restored. When we sin, God sovereignly brings us to a place of repentance and restoration. When we confess our sins, we must remember the foundation of Christ’s sacrifice, and we too can weep at our sin that caused His death, but shout for joy because of His faithfulness to forgive and restore us.
- Consider and confess any sin that has been done in disobedience to God.
- Remember the foundation of our restoration with God: Christ’s sacrifice for every past, present, and future sin and thank Him for it
- Pray for someone who needs restoration in their relationship with God.