Scripture text: Ezra Chapter 3                 Preacher: Rev David Sutherland                          Date: 1 June 2014

This is the third of a series of sermons on the theme “Building up the house of God”.

When the third chapter of Ezra opens, the exiles returning to Judah under the leadership of Zerubbabel have already reached their destination. Their immediate priority after arrival was not to begin rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem, which was the declared aim of their journey, nor even to make habitable their ruined homes, but to restore the altar so that they could resume their worship of God in accordance with the Law of Moses.  The way to God, they recognised, would not be through the work of their hands, but through their worship of Him. Only when the regular daily sacrifices had been properly established, and the the ordained festivals observed, did preparations for rebuilding the temple get under way. It was in response to their worship that God provided the resources to proceed with the work.

As in the case of the earlier sermons in this series, the lessons drawn in Ezra Chapter 3 are readily applied to the present-day church.

Worship before work