Ezra 3:8-13

Psalms 66, 84, & 116

The (Long) Road Back

Mourning and Worship

In Ezra 3:8-13 we read that the foundation has been laid for the Temple in Jerusalem. Most of the people are rejoicing but there are a few who remember the grandeur of the former Temple who were loudly weeping while the rest shouted with joy. There will be much more to do but there is now hope that the Temple will indeed be built.

As we rebuild our “temple” we too have laid the foundation. Jesus is to be the cornerstone of our foundation. When we make Jesus our cornerstone we have a new and proper respect or fear of the Lord. We have also set in place other stones on our foundation. These are the Word of God, prayer, and praise. Today we are going to add two more stones, mourning and worship.

Psalm 66 speaks of worship. Worship means to bow down or bend the knee before God.  Worship acknowledges who God is and what He has done in our lives. This leads us to the next Psalm.

In Psalm 84:5-7 we read, “How blessed is the man whose strength is in Thee; in whose heart are the highways to Zion! Passing through the valley of Baca, they make it a spring, The early rain also covers it with Blessing, They go from strength to strength, Every one of them appears before God in Zion.” NASB

Baca is the place of weeping. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4 NASB

The old life and the old ways bring much pain, guilt, and regret. Sadly, it takes these to wake us up and show us we are on the wrong path in life, blinded by pride. Usually we are on the path of living for ourselves with little or no regard for God or others.  When we realize where we are and look back at what we have done we come to the place of mourning and are faced with a decision. We can go on causing more pain or we can make a change and turn from our old ways to the Lord. If we will give our life and the control of our life to the Lord then the Valley of Baca has done its work. As we allow God to lead and guide our life from that point on God can change the tears of weeping to tears of Joy. As we lay the stones in our new foundation for life it is the Joy of the Lord that becomes our strength. Nehemiah 8:10

With each stone we lay in our temple we go from strength to strength and what is really important in life begins to appear. Psalm 84:8-12.

Psalm 116 is an illustration of that new life and commitment to the Lord. As we build the temple of the Lord in our heart the old is passing away and the new is coming.

Keep building.

Pastor Dave