June 28, 2017
Seek the LORD and His strength, see His face continually. 1 Chronicles 16:11
LET IT GLOW
I don't want to shamefully stand before my God, having no fruit/jewels to present Him. I want to be a "well done faithful servant" for Him. Although many things knock me down spiritually, He lifts me up and walks with me along this rough road I call faith. How can I not praise my Savior Jesus and seek Him first each morning, for He has given me life and breath. What is first in your life, friend?
They are back! Israel, which was made up of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, arrived back at the previous Temple site in Jerusalem. For these faithful returnees, this was a moment their hearts longed for-worshiping God in freedom. The Spirit of God bound them together as they determined to restore worship Him, rebuild God's Temple, and rebuild their nation.
- They rebuilt the altar of God first.
- Those involved were High Priest Jeshua and Governor Zerubbabel and their brethren.
- The altar was the center of the Jewish worship, for without their sacrifices they could not approach God or expect His blessings. (Wiersbe)
- The gifts from the king, their brethren back in Babylon, and their gifts were enough for the task.
- The altar was rebuilt on the same site of the previous one Solomon had placed it. Although this Temple would not be as splendorous as Solomon's, it was built according to God's Word and Law as in Exodus.
- It was rebuilt despite the fear of the local residents who were unbelievers.
- Upon it the daily burnt sacrifices were offered to God.
Can we see the importance of obeying God from the heart and not out of habit? Staying close to Him should be our top priority, as the Israelites did.
LET IT GROW
The festivals are described in Leviticus 23. The sacrifices were originally set up under the Law of Moses in Leviticus 1 and 6. The Hebrew calendar was based on lunar months. so at the beginning of every month and at the time of the new moon, they had special observances.
Do we regularly gather with believers in Jesus to worship?
Why was the Temple built before the wall? It was used for spiritual purposes, while the wall around Jerusalem was for military and political purposes. The Jews realized that God had always been their protector, so without Him, the strongest stone would not protect them. He was their national defense.
Is Jesus the cornerstone on which our life is built?
The people hired masons and carpenters for the foundation. They bought cedar logs, paying for them with food, wine, and olive oil. King Cyrus had given permission for the logs' transportation. (verse 7)
So far we have read of the proclamation, precious gifts, faithful people, and the establishing of the new altar. Next we will see the foundation of the Temple laid. God was doing the impossible.
I can remember the excitement whenever the foundation of our new sanctuary was laid. Although it was years before we entered for the first worship service, the excitement continued. He is the God of our cities and our nation. There is no one like our God, as the song says. We can see His wonderful works surrounding us. Truly there is no one like our God!
Are we expecting greater things to be done by Him in our life, our family, our church, our nation?
LET IT GO
Worshiping God must be first in my life.
Love Him with all my heart, soul, and mind.
Obey His leading.
Remain faithful in kingdom work.