Daily Word

Where’s the temple? | Ezra 6:16-18 (NLT)

16 The Temple of God was then dedicated with great joy by the people of Israel, the priests, the Levites, and the rest of the people who had returned from exile. 17 During the dedication ceremony for the Temple of God, 100 young bulls, 200 rams, and 400 male lambs were sacrificed. And 12 male goats were presented as a sin offering for the twelve tribes of Israel. 18 Then the priests and Levites were divided into their various divisions to serve at the Temple of God in Jerusalem, as prescribed in the Book of Moses.~

Ezra 6:16-18 (NLT)

Time of rejoicing

What a celebration! After 70 years, the temple was back in service. (See the timeline.) The temple was not only the center of worship for the community but also the cultural center. The temple was the place where sacrifices were made. In the previous temple, Solomon’s, we read in 2 Chronicles 7:1-3 how God literally filled the temple with His glory and was present.

Abundant sacrifice

This was a lot of sacrifices. But this pales in comparison to what Solomon and the people offered at the opening of the first temple. 2 Chronicles 7:5 tells us, “King Solomon offered a sacrifice of twenty-two thousand oxen and 120,000 sheep. So the king and all the people dedicated the house of God.” 

Does this trouble you? Consider: as much as it seems revolting to us, how revolting is our sin that one portion of the sacrifices were meant to atone for. The other portions were praise and thanks offerings. For a pastoral / agrarian society, the most valuable asset they have in abundance would be their animals. What else would you want to offer to the God of Heaven who provides all these things?

Where is God’s temple?

Such a big deal and great rejoicing when the temple was rebuilt and, rightly so. But it was also torn down eventually, by the Romans within a generation after Jesus. So what do they do now? They can’t make sacrifices. (See gotquestions.org.)The real answer is? Yes, you’re right. Us. “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?” 1 Corinthians 6:19 We are the temple. God is present. Ponder that a moment or two, or three.

From DailyVerses.net

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