Rejoicing in the Foundation
Ezra 3:10 ¶ When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests in their vestments were stationed to praise the LORD with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, according to the directions of King David of Israel;
Ezra 3:11 and they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD,
“For he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel.”
And all the people responded with a great shout when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.
The children of Israel had returned from exile and now were engaging in the rebuilding of the temple. They were a people who were rebuilding their faith and with great effort they worked to lay the foundation of the temple, the place in which they would worship God -- and God alone! They followed the instructions that had been given them in the past and once the foundation was laid, they stopped and rejoiced and took time to praise the Lord. The musicians came forward with their instruments and the entire assembly began to sing one of the great Psalms of David, the one recorded for us as Psalm 136. The author here just gives us a couple of lines of the song, referencing it, but the assembly gathered would have sung all of the words contained in that Psalm, all twenty six verses! The Psalm is one of rejoicing and giving God praise for the victories that have been won and for his love which will endure forever and ever! Not only did the people sing, but they shouts for joy -- because the new foundation had been laid!
How often do we rejoice over the laying of a foundation? This portion of Scripture really makes me stop and think about how we need to praise God at every stop in the journey. Sometimes we want to see the whole finished product -- the big picture to be completed -- and God says to wait, trust in him, and praise him with each and every single victory.
The laying of the foundation was a huge victory of the children of Israel. It wasn't just a foundation, but signified so much more. It showed their desire to worship God again. It showed that they had a plan to move forward with an enormous project, but the vision of that project would not stop them. It showed that they were willing to bring together their meager resources and somehow God was able to multiply them and step by step they would be able to complete this project. It was a major step of faith, and they were rejoicing in the midst of it all.
There are times in life when we have to take the first step on a major project -- and if that first step is completed, we need to stop and take time to praise our great God. Too often fear keeps us from taking that first little step, and then the foundation is never laid and nothing more can ever be built. What foundation might God be challenging us to lay today? Or, has the foundation been laid and we aren't satisfied that the whole project hasn't been completed?
God is good and his love endures forever! Let's stop and praise him today for what he has done -- and what he will do in and through us as we serve him in complete and total obedience. Work together with God to build the foundation. Praise him for the beginning steps and then keep working with God to bring it all to completion. He is faithful….
Psa. 136:26 ¶ O give thanks to the God of heaven,
for his steadfast love endures forever.
Lord, thank you for the foundation. Amen.