I really enjoyed the following post. I think that we often wait too long to rejoice and to praise God. We should be praising God all along life’s journey. I hope it will be a help and encouragment to you.
I’ve spent this week preaching on Ezra at one of our conferences. Even though this is now very familiar territory for me, it still feels fresh, exciting and challenging. For example. Chapter 3 describes the beginning of the temple building project. There’s lots here in the detail – for example, the fact that the Israelites build the altar before they even start work on the temple. But let me point you to chapter 3 for a really helpful application for those that minister in church. There are deliberate echoes here with the first temple construction.
Same month. Same materials. Same source. Same workers. Even the same song. “He is good, his love towards Israel endures for ever.” Check out 1 Chr 5 and you’ll discover that this is the same song they sung first time around.
Only, here’s the thing. First time around this song was sung when the temple was complete. This time around, the party begins only when the foundations are dug. Foundations are pretty unimpressive. The stones are not dressed. The wood is not planed. It’s not particularly special to look at holes in the ground.
I know I’m cutting a few corners here, but temple building leads us to Christ, which leads us to think about New Covenant temple building where the people of God are being built into a spiritual temple with Christ Jesus as the Chief Cornerstone. And here’s the challenging application. We need to cultivate a spirit where even the foundations are a cause for great rejoicing. Every small step. Every conversation. Every sermon. Every small step towards conforming to the likeness of Christ in us and others. Every resistance against temptation. Every kind word. And so on.
These things don’t appear glorious to the world. But every small step takes us nearer the completion of the temple and so is a cause for great rejoicing rather than the self pity we ministers sometimes indulge in. Yes, we long for greater days, but in the meantime, even the holes in the ground should bring great delight.
So, will you sing with me?
He is good. His love towards [us] endures forever.