From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the LORD, although the foundation of the temple of the LORD had not been laid. (Ezra 3:6 NKJV)
"Worship has been restored to Jerusalem" - that's the title of this passage. Wow it made me to pause and ponder of our priorities. Do we wait for our ruins to be rebuilt, or do we WORSHIP first. Whatever forms our worship are, be it with our giving or with our mouth (songs of praise), our worship represents our acts of honoring the Lord who has begun the good work in us and will be faithful to complete it. Worship lifts our eyes above the ruins and the rubbles that met the eyes, and focus our vision to be on the One who is rebuilding and restoring our ashes.
When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD: "For He is good, For His mercy endures forever toward Israel." Then all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. But many of the priests and Levites and heads of the fathers' houses, old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this temple was laid before their eyes. Yet many shouted aloud for joy, so that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard afar off. (Ezra 3:10-13 NKJV)
Fast forward to the time when the temple was rebuilt by first laying the foundation. Interestingly there was two distinct reaction of the people: weeping aloud vs shouting for joy. This illustrates our two reactions when we are expecting our restoration from the Lord. We can either weep because we're stuck in the past, thinking that our glory days are over. Or we can choose to shout for joy, because we know that our greater days are ahead and that we are confident that the Lord is able to restore so much greater in quantity/quality than before.
As we are waiting on the Lord and trusting Him for His restoration in our lives, what will our response be? Let's be counted among the ones who worship even before our miracle happens, and shouts for joy when His restoration work begins in our life!