When the foundation the new temple was laid, Ezra tells us that the young people shouted with joy and the old people wept. Why was there such a difference in emotion? Shouldn't everyone have been excited about the new temple? The problem for the older generation is that they knew what the original temple was like, and they knew that the new temple couldn't even come close. Solomon was the builder of the original, and he had more riches than any person could imagine. Now they were stuck using the meager supplies that they had. The older generation also understood the reality of why the old temple wasn't there: it was a result of their sin. It was their fault that God's dwelling place was torn down in the first place, and the rebuilding had to have been a difficult reminder of their apostasy. God does forgive, but there are consequences to sin; this older generation was seeing the consequences with their very own eyes.
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Seth is a pastor, author, and speaker who lives in Batesville, Indiana. He is married to Kari, and they have two daughters, Madelyn and Noelle.