Former Glory, Coming Glory
“They sang, praising and giving thanks to the LORD, saying, ‘For He is good, for His lovingkindness is upon Israel forever.’ And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the LORD because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. Yet many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers’ households, the old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, while many shouted aloud for joy.” (Ezra 3:11-12,)
After two years of difficult work, the returned nation of Israel had been able to lay the foundation stone of the Temple of God, destroyed more than 70 years earlier by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon. It was a moment of joy and unequalled importance for the nation. The Temple was the center point of Jewish life. The day had been prepared for not only in construction matters but in worship matters. The choirs, orchestras, and crowds gathered in unprecedented array for this monumental event in history. Absolutely nobody there would ever forget the second month of the second year, when the foundation stone was laid. Years later, they would remember every detail.
The young rejoiced. The old men cried. They were tears of joy, no doubt, but also tears of sadness for the loss of the former Temple. The tears said, "We remember how it was." To this day, those tears are shed by the Jewish people on the ninth day of the Hebrew month Av—the day that both the first and second Temples were destroyed.
On the 9th of Av the Jews mourn, but someday the Jewish nation will once again rejoice with the construction of the third Temple. We know this Temple will be rebuilt because it plays a prominent role in the prophecies about end-times. We also know that this Temple will be desecrated by the Antichrist in an event called the Abomination of Desolation.
The Temple was formerly a place of glory, and is a coming place of glory. The ultimate glory will come when the Son of Man comes and establishes His throne in Jerusalem. For that glory I pray!
In His Grace,
Our Father, as we pray for the peace of Jerusalem, we know that its ultimate peace is found in the coming Messiah. The coming rebuilding of the Temple is exciting, but our real prayer is "Thy Kingdom come!" In Jesus' Name! Amen.
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