DAY 286- BIG PICTURE IN A YEAR - THE EXILE
Reading: Ezra 1: 5-14; Nehemiah 10: 32-39
To our minds, who have the Holy Spirit within, the tremendous emphasis placed upon the rebuilding of the Temple may seem a bit of an overkill. Why was it so important anyway?
The Jerusalem temple built by Solomon was destroyed in 587/586 BC, when the Babylonians captured the city, torched it, and exiled the Judean leadership to Babylon. Second Kings describes the final days:
“In the fifth month ... Nebuzaradan, the captain of the bodyguard, a servant of the king of Babylon, came to Jerusalem. He burned the house of the Lord, the king’s house, and all the houses of Jerusalem; every great house he burned down.” (2 Kings 25: 8, 9)
As our Reading for today shows, the restored Temple did not compare very favourable to the grandeur of Solomon’s Temple – but it did mark a new epoch; it signified the renewal of Jewish life after the devastation of exile and, because of the sacrificial system, it signified that in some sense, God Himself, was able to return to His people.
Moreover, it signalled a new role for the people themselves. Whereas the first Temple was credited to Solomon and was built with forced labor, the second Temple was the work of the people themselves. Although it came into being under Persian royal auspices, the actual builders were the Judeans who also unilaterally vowed to maintain it. In the absence of a monarchy, the second Temple came to occupy a greater place in Judean life than Solomon’s temple did.
In much the same way, you are called to be a Temple Builder with THE Temple Builder, Jesus. As you immerse into the church and step forward into your role and calling, your join the other living stones in creating a dwelling place for God on Earth.
Thank You Lord, that I can be a Temple Builder with You – and help to create a dwelling place for Your Spirit.
FOR THE FAMILY
Watch this video over the next few days