Ezra 3 Commentary

Ezra 3 Commentary


“By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion.” Psalm 137 verse 1.

Now they are back in Zion. They want to rebuild the temple. They start performing the temple rituals. You can easily tell that the remnants have missed the presence of the LORD. They have longed for this very moment. The temple and its systems represent an all-important point of interaction between the LORD and His people. It all points to man’s search for God. That is the essence of religion.

Under the leadership of Governor Zerubbabel and the high priest Joshua, the temple foundations are laid. It is a moment of great joy. There are tears of joy but also tears of sadness. The younger generation of priests who had heard so much about worship at the temple of the LORD wept for joy. They had heard the preaching of Ezekiel back in exile and they knew the LORD was up to something special for them. They could reference Jeremiah’s ageless words of hope: “I know the plans I have for you.” Why not? Indeed, why not. The LORD has opened a new page for them. So they wept aloud in joy.

The older generation who had seen the glory of Solomon’s temple also wept aloud. They compared the two structures and immediately knew they were in for an inferior product. Will Israel ever get back to the glory days of King Solomon? On the evidence of this inferior foundation, the answer was no. So they wept aloud but in sadness.

But the prophet Haggai had a different view.

“The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”

You immediately know the prophet is not referring to Zerubbabel’s inferior temple.

Israel would have another temple, more sumptuous – Herod’s temple. It wasn’t like Zerubbable’s inferior temple. In fact, one day, the disciples of the LORD Jesus Christ proudly boasted about the splendor of Herod’s temple. But referring to this very temple, the LORD Jesus would say, “destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” Probably the prophet Haggai is referring to the temple that the LORD Jesus Christ built. Yes. Yes. Yes.

He is the Son of David who finally built the LORD a dwelling place. But importantly, this temple is the person of the saint. The message from here is simple: let the LORD construct the saint’s life into a suitable dwelling place for the Spirit of God. Then the glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house.

More resources visit http://www.lovingscripture.com

Published by Joseph Malekani

Joseph Malekani is a born-again Christian with a strong PAOG/Baptist background. He is heavily involved in student ministry with ZAFES – an IFES movement with focus on student ministry in Zambia. He is married to Audrey and they have two lovely children.

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