“When the seventh month came, and the children of Israel were in the towns, the people gathered as one man to Jerusalem” (3:1). Miraculously, after being exiles in Babylon for many years, thousands of God’s people made it back to their land. Jerusalem was in ruins, yet they immediately built an altar to God and began to worship (v1-6), and they gathered materials to begin rebuilding the Temple. Their failures had resulted in loss, but God’s mercy prevailed.
When the foundation for the new Temple was laid, the elders both wept and shouted for joy (v12-13). We grieve over the real cost of disobedience, yet we rejoice in God’s mercy, forgiveness, and restoration.