A New Foundation
“With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the LORD: ‘He is good; his love toward Israel endures forever.’ And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. 12 But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy.”
King Cyrus of Persia captured Babylon after the Israelites had been seventy years in captivity. Cyrus allowed Zerubbabel to lead a large group of about 42,000 Israelites back to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple that had been destroyed by the Babylonians. This was exactly as prophesied by Isaiah almost two hundred years earlier (see Isaiah 44:28; 45:1, 13).
In the second year after their return to Israel, work was begun on the new Temple foundation. For many of the people this was a grand, historic time of joy and expectation. However, the plans for the new Temple were not near as grand as Solomon’s Temple, so when the celebration came for the laying of the foundation, the older priests, Levites and family heads wept aloud.
It is important to put our past behind us, else the enemy can use it against us for depression, or unfair and unrealistic comparisons. Frankly, the “good old days” were never as good as we remember them.
Paul says he “forgets those things that are behind” (Philippians 3:13); and God says, “Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past” (Isaiah 43:18). If we keep living in the past, we cannot enjoy today, and we negatively impact our future.
Tell the Father you are thankful for the present, and glad to be delivered from your past.
Dive Deeper: Study Ezra 3; Isaiah 44:28; Isaiah 45:1, 13; Philippians 3:13; Isaiah 43:18.