Holy Excuses: The Time Has not Yet Come

In the first year of Cyrus’ reign over Persia, he decreed that the Jews could return from their captivity in Babylon to Israel, and rebuild the temple. It was an amazing fulfillment of the prophecy made by Isaiah before Cyrus was even in the picture:

[The LORD] says of Cyrus, ‘He is My shepherd,
And he shall perform all My pleasure,
Saying to Jerusalem, “You shall be built,”
And to the temple, “Your foundation shall be laid.”‘

Isaiah 44:28, NKJV

The first few chapters of Ezra tell of the captives who returned to their homeland, restored the altar, and began work on rebuilding the temple.

But their task was fiercely opposed by the peoples settled around them, and their progress was slow indeed. Cyrus lived, reigned, and died, and still the temple was far from complete. Only the foundation was laid.

When a new king took over, Israel’s enemies pressed their case and persuaded the new ruler to halt any further work on the temple. By force of arms, the Jews were stopped, and that was that for a long time after. Continue reading


The Temple of God


“Mishkan5 big” by Daniel Ventura – [1]. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons

Last night, I read two little verses that set me pondering for over an hour afterward:

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are (1 Cor. 3:16-17, New King James Version).

I mean, just think about that for a minute. You are the temple of God. You. Continue reading