“And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever toward Israel.” Then all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. But many of the priests and Levites and heads of the fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this temple was laid before their eyes. Yet 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 sound was heard afar off.” Ezra 3:11-13 NKJV
It’s easy to get stuck in how things have always been. Even though we live in a society of constant change, we often like for our lives to have consistency. We like repetition, structure, schedules, most people just function better when they have a routine. If we get so set in our ways, we often miss what God has next, simply because we are too busy just doing things how we have always done them. So the temple did not look like what it did in the days of Solomon, much had been destroyed, brokenness was all that was left behind. As the people returned their lives were ultimately being set free, free from captivity, from bondage. Their lives were being reestablished and they were centering their life around God once again. This should have been a time of rejoicing, but many could not see the joy in the new because of their memories of the past. God was going to do more through the new temple (which is us) than He had ever done through the old. We can no longer focus on how we have always done it, we have to focus on how God wants us to do it. It’s time to grab a hold of the new that God is doing in your life, stop returning to to the old, the old brought weeping. It’s time that our rejoicing our shout of joy is heard by people everywhere. Stop looking back and start praising God for what He is doing now!