Now in the second year of their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel…
Here we have illustrated the power of a right leadership, the wisdom of devout co-operation, and the progress of a great enterprise (vers. 8-10).
I. The. JOYFUL. in religious WORSHIP. "They sang together" (ver. 11).
1. That God will deign to consecrate by his Presence the temple erected. God will dwell in the temple made with hands; what a condescension and benediction is this toward man; hence the joy.
2. What God is in himself to those who worship him. "Because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel" (ver. 11).
3. In the strength which worship imparts during the trying circumstances of life. Who can tell the gladness put into the heart of Israel during their arduous task by their worship. Worship inspires joy in time of difficulty.
4. In the progress of religious enterprise. Another house to be erected for moral uses.
5. In religious youth the joy of worship is eminently strong. Natural feeling combines with spiritual delight.
II. The SORROWFUL in religious WORSHIP. "Wept with a loud voice" (ver. 12).
1. That sin has thrown life into such a condition that a temple should be necessary. Eden had no temple; heaven has none. Sin has rendered necessary the material aids to worship.
2. That disobedience should ever violate the holy sanctuary of God. The first temple had been destroyed; its glory had departed.
3. That the best temple man could build should be so poor and imperfect. The poverty of their work awakened tears.
4. That the temple should be so little cared for by man, and that so little good should be gained by its frequenters; so many of their comrades were left in Babylon.
III. THE BLENDING-OF JOY AND SORROW IN RELIGIOUS WORSHIP. "So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people" (ver. 13).
1. A scene in the soul. In the soul joy blends with sorrow.
2. A scene in the sanctuary. In the same Church joy and sorrow blend in the experience of the worshippers.
3. A scene in the world. Sorrow and joy blend on earth.
4. Not a scene in heaven; there no more tears. - E.
Parallel VersesKJV: Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all they that were come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to set forward the work of the house of the LORD.
WEB: Now in the second year of their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the rest of their brothers the priests and the Levites, and all those who were come out of the captivity to Jerusalem, and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to have the oversight of the work of the house of Yahweh.