Daily D – Ezra 3:12
But many of the older priests, Levites, and family heads, who had seen the first temple, wept loudly when they saw the foundation of this temple, but many others shouted joyfully.
EZRA 3:12 (CSB)
In every age, there is a group of people who lament that things are not like they were back in the Good Ol’ Days.
Some of us are old enough to remember when the Dallas Cowboys went to the playoffs every year and won Super Bowls. Those were the Good Ol’ Days.
There are a lot of names on lists in the first two chapters of Ezra. These were some of the exiles who had been taken to Babylon years before who now returned with their children and grandchildren. This was the remnant of the remnant.
In some ways, the details of Ezra chapters 1-3 are a bit sad. What a hodgepodge group! In other respects, this assemblage represents the opportunity to begin again more intelligently. Sadly, as well-intentioned as most of these people were, beginning again involved repeating the same old problems that cause them to be sent into exile in the first place. Some lessons either never get learned or have to be re-learned again and again.
Those who wept when they remembered what the temple used to look like, were among those people who disobeyed God so egregiously that led to the exile in the first place. Those Good Ol’ Days were not as good as those people remembered.
Even when the Good Ol’ Days were better in some respect, there is no going back. We can only live now and aim at what is to come. If there is ever going to be any time or season called Good Ol’ Days in the future, we better get busy making them happen now.
- What does a preferred future look like?
- What steps are necessary to get there?
- Who needs to do what, how, and by when?
Before we begin answering these questions for everyone else, let’s start with ourselves. May we become our own remnant of the remnant who choose not only to honor the past but to build a preferred future. Let’s ask our Father in heaven what that would look like. Let’s do whatever he shows us. Let’s follow wherever he leads.
Our Father in heaven is in the soul restoration business (Psalm 23:3). Restored souls restore families, restore communities, restore the world. We are the elements of renewal in God’s hands.
I will join God in building the kind of world others will look back on as the Good Ol’ Days.
Our Father, restore me. Restore my home. Restore my work. Restore this world. Use me as you see fit to bring about what others will call the Good Ol’ Days. Amen.
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Jeremiah 18:1-4 This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him.
Philippians 1:4-6 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Jeremiah 17:7, 8 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
2 Chronicles 35:25 Jeremiah composed laments for Josiah, and to this day all the male and female singers commemorate Josiah in the laments. These became a tradition in Israel and are written in the Laments. (NIV)