Focal Passages: Ezra 3:1-7, 10-11; 6:19-22
I was recently given a small fiberglass jon boat that had been abandoned. When I got it, it was filled with water, covered in moss, grown up with weeds and full of leaves and sticks. The tires on the trailer were flat and dry rotted.
The boat was a far cry from the well-functioning fishing boat it had been made to be. I have stripped it down to the shell of the boat and am getting ready to restore it.
How will I know when that mission has been accomplished and a success? When the boat is once again on the lake being used for fishing, the purpose for which the boat was made.
The people of God that had been exiled in Babylon had returned to Jerusalem in order to rebuild the temple, which laid in shambles after being destroyed. God fulfilled His promise to return His people to the holy city to rebuild the house of worship.
Under edict of the king and with the financial resources of the royal treasury, they returned to rebuild God’s house. They faced great persecution during the rebuilding from opponents who tried to discourage them and stop the work. However, they listened to and trusted God’s promises through the prophets.
How did they know when the job was complete? When they were once again fulfilling God’s intended purpose for His house – when the people of God were again bringing sacrifices to worship God according to God’s design and command.
But the temple was but a shadow of what was to come. While they worshipped God according to His design, the day would come when the fulfillment of that to which the temple worship pointed would be fulfilled.
The Son of God would be the once-for-all sacrifice for the sin of the world, and one day, His people would worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24).
God created us to know, love, worship and obey Him, so how do we see evidence of those purposes being fulfilled in our lives?
When we are worshipping Him and living our lives sacrificially (Rom. 12:1), as He created us to do for His glory.