Google+ 11/22/13 He is So Good! His Faithful Love for "US" Endures Forever!!!

Ezra 3:10-11

 

When the builders completed the foundation of the Lord's Temple,

The priests put on their robes and took their places to blow their trumpets.

And the Levites, descendants of Asaph, clashed their cymbals to praise the Lord,

Just as King David had prescribed.

With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord:

“He is so good!
    His faithful love for Israel endures forever!”

Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord 

Because the foundation of the Lord's Temple had been laid.

 

In part five of our twelve-part devotion series entitled, "Thanks, Forever!" we turn to the small book of Ezra for an example of appropriate and timely praise.  It is believed that Ezra is truly the author of this book, even though some have tried to dispute that fact.  In Chapter 3 of this great book, Ezra re-establishes worship.  It has been seventy years since the captivity that Jeremiah predicted (Jeremiah 25: 1-12).  The journey from Babylon to Palestine was approximately 900 miles and would have taken some four months after the decree of Cyrus.  Zerubbabel was the spiritual and political leader of the tribe of Judah when the Israelites were released from Babylonian captivity.  In our Scripture today,  the foundation of the new temple has been completed.  All the priests dressed in their finest robes and took their places to blow the trumpets.  It is important to point out that most of the Levite tribe were also musicians of some sort.  Being both a "Levite" and a musician, I can relate to why God ordains this practice.  According to the Bible, the easiest and most effective way to praise God is through the playing and singing of psalms (songs).  The obvious efficiency of having many of the "Levites" also being musicians is all part of God's plan.  Often people are amazed that I do both in our ministry, but I lobby this fact is not amazing.  It is God's grace in gifting me with the abilities I have and my humble obedience to do His will, exactly as He desires.  If we were ever in doubt about how to be thankful to God and what to say, use the song these Israelites used.  It will work every time!  What better thing to say than, “He is so good!  His faithful love for Israel endures forever!”   Notice that the people did not wait to praise God until the project was completed.  They gave thanks for what they had right now.  We can learn much from this point of view.  Often God's work requires lengthy periods of time.  We can become discouraged and stop doing God's bidding in our lives.  It is good to stop regularly and give Him thanks and praise.  We can find this pattern throughout the entire Bible.  After every battle, Joshua stopped to thank and praise God.  Moses spent much time thanking God for every little conquest.  Jesus stopped to thank and praise God daily in His ministry, and even taught us a special prayer that would help us acknowledge the power and presence of God in our daily lives.  So, we may be in the middle of a long project for God today.  If so, it is time to stop and say, “He is so Good!  His Faithful Love for 'US' Endures Forever!”