The section that stood out to me in our Ezra passage was how the young people rejoiced in the rebuilding, but the older people wept because they saw the difference between the original, glorious temple, and the newer, rebuilt one. It's true that the beauty of the building is not as important go God as the attitudes of the builders and worshipers, but my Life Application Bible has this insight as well....
The celebration after laying the temple foundation was marked by contrasts of emotion - shouts of joy and sounds of weeping. Both were appropriate. The Holy Spirit can stimulate us both to rejoice over the goodness of his grace and to grieve over the sins that required him to correct us. When we come into the presence of Almighty God, we may feel full of joy and thanksgiving, yet at the same time feel sobered by our shortcomings.
Just as the workers did, we can expect opposition when we do God's work. There may be compromising alliances, discouragements, intimidation, or unjust accusations. When we go into it expecting opposition, it is easier to stay the course. We must continue to move ahead, trusting that God will show us how to overcome any obstacles that may be thrown our way. After all, the right thing is seldom the easy thing.
We also need to be leery of those who claim to be Christians, but whose actions clearly reveal that they are only using Christianity to serve their own interests and further their own agendas. Saying you're a Christian doesn't make you one. Which is why we too, must be sure that walk the talk, and prove our faith genuine by our deeds.
This verse stood out to me in our NT passage....
2 Timothy 2:13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful
So thankful for that truth!
Tomorrow's Bible In a Year Passage passage: Ezra 6-8; 2 Timothy 3