July 17 - Second Temple Rebuilding

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

July 17 - Second Temple Rebuilding
Ezra 7-11, Nehemiah 13:9,

Ezra and Nehemiah were great men who worked diligently to not only rebuild the temple, but the wall around Jerusalem as well.  Their other responsibility was to bring the people back to an understanding of what it meant to be the Lord’s chosen people in a world filled with foreigners.

Because of the Jew’s lax relationships with the world, there had been a great deal of intermarriage and many of the Laws set in place by Moses had been put aside in order that they could live more easily.

In Ezra 9, we find him praying about this intermarriage.  It wasn’t so much that they were marrying people from outside the Jewish faith, it was that these people worshiped other gods and were influencing the Jews to move away from their own laws.  Ezra was furious. God had brought them back to Jerusalem, had been gracious to them, had delivered them from exile and after all of that, they still could not honor him with their lives by keeping themselves holy.  They had gotten so lax, that even the priests were intermarrying with those from other religions.  How in the world could they call themselves a nation of God?

Ezra’s prayer was that the people of Israel would repent … and they did.  But, you know as well as I do, that sin sometimes takes a great hold on our lives, no matter how much we want to set it aside.  While this was finally a strong, positive move toward a better relationship with God, in a few hundred years, God would have to send His Son to do something a little more drastic.