Vol.5, No. 44 – November 15, 2020
Singing in thankfulness — Ezra 3:10-12
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. –Ezra 3:10-11
I have looked at it several times from the Loop of Chicago. Once I took two elevators to one of the top floors, (you had to change elevators because you could not just ride all the way up on one elevator). The building was known at one time as the Sears Tower. Built in 1973, the structure reaches 110 floors, and a height of 1464 feet. They added TV towers, to keep their prestige of the highest building in America. In order to construct a building that high above the street level (on Wacker Drive), there are 225-foot-square bases of steel pilings. They are driven way deep into the Lake Michigan shoreline—all the way to bedrock.
The higher a structure, the more solid the foundation must be. It could be the Harry Cole Sequoia tree (371 feet), or the Eiffel Tower (984 feet), or the copper Statue of Liberty (303 feet) in New York Harbor, has a foundation as strong. There is a lateral sway, and pressure, that comes against high structures; it demands a rigid infrastructure, be it plant or concrete/steel.
It is only upon a secure foundation that one may build a secure structure. Here it is a Temple. Other structures requiring a firm and secure foundation includes a marriage, a home, a nation, or an individual life. Ezra 3 is an illustration of this foundational principle.
The leadership of Israel had their priorities straight here. First things put first. Substructure before the superstructure. They went down before going up. As the entire nation majored on the major, notice the formula:
- As one man, is the common objective of unanimity/concord; they installed the footings with enthusiasm.
- Supervision of the entire project (verses 8-9). Strict observation to standards. They had Divine blueprints, and followed them to the letter. No fudging on cost. No fudging on labor. No hiring of substandard subcontractors in Lebanon.
- Singing of praise and thanksgiving to God (verse 11). Praise is a participating activity, not a spectator sport; it is worship, that people join in, not a program people watch. Praise involves God’s people in singing and playing instruments—boasting and testifying to the greatness and goodness of the Lord. –J. C. Laney
Jesus says, at the conclusion of His Sermon on the Mount, Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock (Matthew 6:24).
He is saying that His Words are foundational words, words to build a life upon. If you work these words into your life, you are like a smart carpenter who builds his house on solid rock. Rain can come, rivers can rise, a tornado can come near, but nothing will move the house. It is fixed upon the rock.
How are your foundations? Have you sang the song lately?
A firm foundation.
If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do? –Psalm 11:3
NOTE: beginning November 29th, we will enter into a season of looking back at how God provided His one and only Son for our benefit of eternal life. It is a great season as we read, hear, and sing of His coming. Paul Tripp writes a great devotional book for the season, Come Let Us Adore Him. I highly recommend it, and to use it with your family during the season.
During this time, this blog will appear daily (November 29-December 31). I will enlist some of my dear brothers and sisters in Christ to take a day in that time frame. You need to hear their hearts. It will be my joy to share them with you.
If you have friends or brothers and sisters in Christ that would benefit from a daily exposure to what God has provided in Christ, please email me their address so I can include them in the series. In the concluding days of the Advent Season, we will not only thank God for His provision of His gift in Christ, we will be reminded that Christ is coming again. Then the plan of God for our world will be completed.
Join with us as we celebrate Christ’s coming, and the sure hope of His coming again. And sing our thankfulness.