Friday, November 20, 2020
The city was in shambles. There were no more walls of protection. The house of worship had also been destroyed by the invading armies. The people had been taken captive and made slaves in other lands. But God was working to rescue and restore them.
The new king of the world power at that time issued a decree that the people could return to their homeland and rebuild their city and their temple. A man named Ezra was put in charge. When they began the work, and finished laying the foundation for the Temple, they held a worship service. Here’s how it is described.
Ezra 3:10-11 And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests in their vestments came forward with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the LORD, according to the directions of David king of Israel. And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD, “For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel.” And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.
As you enter into your weekend, think about these principles of praise.
- Praise and worship are a response to what God is doing in your life.
- Praise and worship invoke others to respond to your thanksgiving with praise of their own. Did you notice that the people sang responsively? We don’t do that in church anymore. We used to have responsive Scripture reading. The new worship song by Chris Tomlin is a great example of responsive singing, and I have heard many people say how much they hate it. Yet when we publicly praise God with thanksgiving it will cause others to respond with praise of their own.
- Praise and thanksgiving are to be enthusiastic. The people shouted with great shouts when they praise the Lord. Don’t let anything stop you from being more enthusiastic about God than you are about any other favorite thing in your life. If you can shout at the TV during a game, you can certainly shout praise to the Lord during a sermon.
So grab a trumpet, a symbol, or any other noisemaker, and start shouting your praise to the Lord. He has laid the foundation of faith in Jesus Christ in your life, and you are being built into a spiritual house in which His eternal presence dwells. You have every reason to shout thanksgiving.