Why They Shouted Ezra 3 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
Seventy years before this celebration, Judah had been carried captive into Babylon. Following that, the house of the Lord was destroyed along with much of Jerusalem. Eventually, Babylon was defeated by the Medes and Persians. Cyrus, the king of Persia, was moved by the Lord to proclaim throughout his kingdom that the Lord had charged him to rebuild the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. And he encouraged all those who would to go up to Jerusalem and build the house of the Lord. The whole congregation that went up was 42,360 Jews plus 7,337 servants and maids.
Their first order of business was to build the altar of God to offer burnt offerings. Then they kept the feast of Tabernacles. Then they went to work on the temple. And the first thing they had to do there was lay the foundation.
When they completed the foundation, the priests and Levites gathered together and sang, praising and giving thanks to God, causing all the people to shout with a great shout when they praised the Lord because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. Today we are going to see why they shouted.
Why did they shout?
Because of the past memories – They remembered the history of all that God had done with than to get them into their own land and to give them great victories, great provisions, great kings and his great glory. And when we consider the current building we are building we have reason to shout and praise God because of our past memories of what God has done among us – the souls saved, the prayers answered, the saints edified, the lives restored, the sermons preached, the friends made, the marriages formed, the preachers and missionaries called, the missionaries supported, the children raised, and our loved ones laid to rest.
Because of the present provision – They had been taken captive but they were sent back with plenty of silver and gold [Ezra 1:4, 6-7; 2:68-69; 3:7]. And so they began to work. At the bunkhouse, we never imagined this. We have been given great provisions; everything here is paid for. And I am certain that God has provided us with enough to finish this work. Consider Lk 14:28-29. God is a God who finishes what he starts. If he has provided you with the wherewithal to help finish this work, then how much you give depends how much you desire to shout by reason of his provisions for this work. He didn’t give it to us to sit idle.
Because of the future prospects – They knew they would finish and that the glory of the Lord would return to that house and that all of God’s promises would be fulfilled. We have prospects for the future, as well – more souls saved, more young people trained, more missionaries supported, more men called, your children saved here, and your children married here. You and I haven’t seen all that we want to see of what God can do in our midst.
Conclusion: Parents lay up for their children and by building this building, we are laying up for our kids!