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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Deuteronomy 8:12-18 When you eat and are full, and build beautiful houses to live in, and your herds and flocks grow large, and your silver and gold multiply, and everything else you have increases, be careful that your heart doesn’t become proud and you forget the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery. He led you through the great and terrible wilderness with its poisonous snakes and scorpions, a thirsty land where there was no water. He brought water out of the flint rock for you. He fed you in the wilderness with manna, which your ancestors had not known, in order to humble and test you, so that in the end he might cause you to prosper. You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth, in order to confirm his covenant he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Listen, Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your city gates.“
Deuteronomy 1:2, 3 It is an eleven-day journey from Horeb to Kadesh-barnea by way of Mount Seir. In the fortieth year, in the eleventh month, on the first of the month, Moses told the Israelites everything the Lord had commanded him to say to them.