God has made us to be a singing people.
Martin Luther made this statement, “Next after theology, I give to music the highest place and the greatest honor. I would not change what little I know of music for something great.”
In Ezra 3, the Children of God have come back to Jerusalem. It is a time of rebuilding the temple. Not only is it a time of physical rebuilding, it is a time of spiritual revival. God is reviving His people and doing a rebuilding work in the life of His people and they are singing about it. So what should be our attitude when God begins to do this rebuilding work in our lives?
1. Have A Heart Of Thankfulness.
The Bible says in Ezra 3:10, “Now when the builders had laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests stood in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asap, with cymbals, to praise the Lord according to the directions of King David of Israel.”
The message of Ezra is the faithfulness of God even when we are unfaithful. The Bible says in Ezra 3:11, “They sang, praising and giving thanks to the Lord.” When God does a rebuilding work in your life and in my life there should be an overwhelming sense of thankfulness where we realize this second chance in life is only because of the goodness of God. We don’t deserve it! God does not owe it to us. It is only because of His goodness. Have a heart of Thankfulness.
2. Have A Heart Of Praise.
Ezra 3:11, “And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord.”
As you study scripture and the history of the nation of Israel before they go into exile, God says through the prophet Isaiah, “These people do honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.”
They had a worship issue before they go into exile. Their issue was not that they did not show up for church on Sunday. The issue wasn’t even that they didn’t know the words of the song. They knew the words, they just did not mean the words. There was a lack of sincerity in their words. God says, “They are saying the right stuff, but I don’t have their hearts.” When God sends revival a sincerity returns to our songs of praise and I mean the words I say and the songs I sing. Have a heart of Praise.
3. Have A Heart Of Remembrance.
Ezra 3:12, “Yet many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers’ households, the old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, while many shouted aloud for joy.”
Scholars disagree as to why these old men weep. Keep in mind, at this point they are about fifty years removed from when the first temple is burned down. There were some old folks there who had been there and they saw King Solomon’s temple.
Why do they weep? Some say they weep because “You always have a handful of folks around who say, “We ain’t never done it that way before and it just ain’t as good as it used to be.” There are always a handful of complainers and everybody has some.
But I imagine these old men, as they make their way to this new foundation and as they walk past the old ruins and the old ashes, their mind goes back to how it used to be. I imagine them beginning to ask this question, “How did we ever get so perverted in our worship and in our living that God had to do this to get our attention? How did I ever get so far from him in my walk with Him and my love for Him and my relationship with Him that in order for Him to get our attention He had to do this?”
When God sends revival there are tears because sometimes it reminds us of just how far we have come and that we are not where we should be. Have a heart of remembrance.
4. Have A Heart of Change.
Imagine the setting. You have some people who are shouting and then you have some people who are weeping! That should be the way it is in every church. If there is any place in all of Louisville that I ought to be able to come and to be real when I hurt or real when I have blown it or real when I have been disappointed or real when I have experienced loss, it ought to be with the people of God. If there is any place where I ought to be able to come and shout, it ought to be with the people of God.
When God does His rebuilding work in our lives, may we have hearts of thankfulness, hearts of praise, hearts of remembrance, and hearts of change.