Ezra 3:11-13 The Foundation of the Temple is Completed
They sang, praising and giving thanks to the LORD, saying, "For He is good, for His lovingkindness is upon Israel forever." And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the LORD because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. Yet many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' households, the old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, while many shouted aloud for joy, so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the shout of joy from the sound of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard far away.
The new temple was a genuine work of God, and everyone shouted because the foundation was laid, but compared to Solomon's temple it was nothing! The old people cried. They had seen better days. It is good to recognize that God is working whether big or small. It was not a big temple, but it was a temple that was just right for its day.
God gives works that are suited for the day. We could weep because we know of bigger works and better days, but that would only hinder the work. Weeping would also be like an accusation against God, that He does not know what He is doing, or that He is miserly. That would not be good. God does know what He is doing. His work is His choice.
Consider this also. The temple of Solomon was built out of the national surplus, but the new temple was built on a foundation of scarcity and sacrificial service. Solomon's temple was built with slave labor, but the slaves of God in the new temple were the people of God themselves. The end product was smaller, but in many ways it was more precious than the larger temple. What does God think of a man or woman who perseveres faithfully in days of scarcity and small resources? God commended the church of Sardis for "the few people," and he commended the church of Philadelphia for their "little power." It is what God gave them for the work, a minority of faithfulness in a sea of apostasy.
Whether big or small, believers should be singing the same song of praise and thanksgiving to God, for He is good.
For me to live is Christ.