The rebuilding of the temple began with the altar. This was a huge event in the lives of those present, because they could once again offer sacrifices as God commanded them to. They followed the timetable in the Scriptures and celebrated the feasts accordingly and offered sacrifices daily. This was a beautiful step in the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the province of Judah. The people then hired workers to help them build the foundation of the temple. They were opposed by some who lived around the city or liked to use it for their own gain, but the work continued until the foundation was complete. The people then gathered to celebrate. The younger people who never saw the former temple shouted and danced with joy while the older people who had seen Solomon's temple wept. This new temple would never compare with Solomon's, and these people knew it but seeing it wreaked havoc with their emotions. The were struggling to live in the present and not in the past. The struggle is real! Many people still fight this battle daily. We struggle to be content and happy, because we think the past is better than the present. I suspect the older generations knew that their sin caused this loss, and they cried for their own stupidity. As you take a quick inventory, are you living in the past realizing that sin has negatively impacted your future? Cling to God's forgiveness and start looking at life from His perspective. It truly changes everything!

Help me, Lord, to live in the present and trust You with the past. Help me to live by Your forgiveness and celebrate the work You are doing today and not compare it to former days.