Tuesday, July 9, 2013

WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary

For Sunday July 7, 2013
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THE TEMPLE RESTORED
(Give thanks to GOD)
(Ezra 3:8-13)

In the second month (mid-spring) of the second year of the Israelite’s return from Babylon, all the available people began to work on re-building the temple of the LORD. It was the same month that Solomon had begun building the original temple in Jerusalem. All the Levites who were twenty years old or older were put in charge of the re-construction project.
The people had spent more than seven months just gathering and collecting material and now they were ready to begin laying the foundation to GOD’s house of praise and worship. And so, in the spirit of a “great revival”, Israelite unity was the order of the day. They were not just building a “physical foundation” made of bricks and mortar, they were also building a “spiritual foundation” that would allow them to resume the life of a believer in the Almighty GOD, through prayer, worship, sacrifice, praise, and obedience.
They sang together while they worked and prayed together to get the foundation laid to perfect specifications under the law of Moses, the man of GOD. Everyone, young and old united their voices together in praise and worship to the LORD for HIS continued goodness to HIS people throughout the years.
However, in verse 12 we can almost sense an “interruption” in that unity as the older priests, who had been around long enough to remember the first temple built by the skillful leadership of Solomon and his crew, began to weep aloud when they saw the new foundation. Perhaps they were longing for the old and golden times, and the absolute splendor of the original edifice, or, perhaps they were weeping because it was the sins of their generation that led to the fall of the “United Kingdom” of David and Solomon. They knew that if their generation had heeded the warnings of GOD’s prophets, Jerusalem and the temple would still be standing.
Nevertheless, the younger crowd continued with their “joyful shouts”, and those shouts, began to mingle together with the “weeping of the old”. And together, they created a commotion that personifies the ups and downs of the “human experience” and also that of the “Christian experience”.
Christian unity”, can and will, always transcend the differences of the human experience, and, it will always transcend the ages, from generation to generation. We see here in this passage that, even before we knew what Christian Unity was, it was already present in the hearts of men. It is the kind of unity that JESUS prayed about in John 17, and, the kind of unity that Paul wrote about, to the Churches in all of his “doctrinal letters”. Christian unity is not a unity, not born, of bricks and mortar, but rather, it is “a unity of personal relationships”, not unlike the one we’ve already seen between the FATHER and the SON, as an example to us, for all times.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander
 




                                 
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