RELATIONSHIP REPAIR

Judah has been in a bad place in captivity in Babylon.  They had earned that by being in a bad place in rebellion against God.  Still god has loved his people enough to be forgiving after their punishment.  They are allowed to return to Jerusalem and to restore the temple by king Cyrus of Persia.  They celebrated by sacrifice and worship to God.

And when the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem.  Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and his brethren, and builded the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God.  And they set the altar upon his bases; for fear was upon them because of the people of those countries: and they offered burnt offerings thereon unto the LORD, even burnt offerings morning and evening.  They kept also the feast of tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt offerings by number, according to the custom, as the duty of every day required;  And afterward offered the continual burnt offering, both of the new moons, and of all the set feasts of the LORD that were consecrated, and of every one that willingly offered a freewill offering unto the LORD  Ezra 3:1-5

These people gave as required, and more still as a freewill offering.  They were not worshiping to fill some dead laws or rituals.  The work was still ahead to rebuild the temple though.  Provision had been made for that by king Cyrus.

From the first day of the seventh month began they to offer burnt offerings unto the LORD. But the foundation of the temple of the LORD was not yet laid  They gave money also unto the masons, and to the carpenters; and meat, and drink, and oil, unto them of Zidon, and to them of Tyre, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea of Joppa, according to the grant that they had of Cyrus king of Persia  Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all they that were come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to set forward the work of the house of the LORD  Ezra 3:6-8

Then stood Jeshua with his sons and his brethren, Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together, to set forward the workmen in the house of God: the sons of Henadad, with their sons and their brethren the Levites.  And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Israel.  And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. 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.  Ezra 3:9-11

They gathered materials of the cedars and stones and laid the foundation of the temple again.  They worshipped and gave praise to God as the foundation marked the beginning of restoration.  Assignments were given to the Levites for the work.

But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:  So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.  Ezra 3:12-13

Those seniors who had seen the temple in its glory knew that this restoration did not match the former glory.  The weeping and the celebration blended together as these leaders of the past recognized their loss.  Sin leaves a penalty of loss even after one recovers from the greatest part of its damages.  One day Israel will recognize its Messiah and they will again match celebration with weeping as they recognize the loss that remains after their restoration and deliverance.  God knows when we are in danger, and takes time to issue warnings even to those who are backslidden into the darkest places.  He loves us enough to reach down to our fallen place with correction.

And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;  I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.  But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.  So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.  Revelation 2:12-17

To the modern churches god has issued warnings out of his love for his people.  These messages of Revelation reveal his love in that he finds some good in us in our worst state.  These were written to churches that have been weakened by gross sin but still have some testimony of good.  Some will accept this correction and be rewarded for overcoming the temptation of sin with the help of Yeshua Ha Meschia.

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