“The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house … And in this place I will grant peace …” Haggai 2:9

In Jeremiah 29:10-11 we read God’s promise to His people before the exile. “When the seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfil my gracious promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you … plans to prosper you and not to harm you plans to give you hope and a future.” But not everyone came back to Jerusalem, not everyone was there to build the new temple. It had been seventy years, some would have died, some would be too old and some simply chose not to leave Babylon.

After their return we read that the foundation for the new temple was laid. “And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy” Ezra 3:11-13. Some wept, with all new things there is the letting go of the past. We need to mourn our losses so we can move on to the new thing God is doing. Some shouted with joy. There was still a lot of work to be done, after all, only the foundation had been laid. Yet there was much reason to rejoice. God had promised a greater glory in this new temple than in the old one.

This is also His promise to us, to continually change us from one degree of glory to another (2 Corinthians 3:18) and grant us His peace.