"Then all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid.” (Ezra 3:11).
The Hebrew words translated “shouted with a great shout” literally mean -- “an ear-piercing, great noise; a sound that cannot be ignored.” A mighty roar rose from the multitudes gathered in Jerusalem. It was far more that a hearty “hip-hip-hoorah!” For mixed within the shouts of joy were also wails of lamentation. Many of the priests and Levites, old men who had seen the first temple, “wept with a loud voice”(vs.12).
The Bible says, “the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard afar off”(vs.13).
This seems much like what is before us today. Many people are shouting for joy at the Lord’s visitation, while many others, especially religious leaders, are mourning in sorrow that it is not as it used to be. And the mixture of the shout is heard afar.
From the hallowed halls of the ancient cathedrals of Great Britain to the make-shift gymnasium-churches of modern America; from football stadiums filled with men seeking to be promise keepers, to home Bible studies seeking to know better what the promises are; from down under to over yonder, and all points in between -- there is a mixed sound to be heard in the Body of Christ.
Whether you are laughing or crying, one thing is certain -- it is a sound that cannot be ignored!
The undeniable sound leads us to an unmistakable conclusion -- God is up to something special in our day! The sound, though indiscernible, is nevertheless a glorious sign of life. We are being redeemed from Babylon! We are rebuilding the house of the Lord! Our enemies are being stirred with the fear of our God!
Hold the course, keep the faith, finish the race! The glory of this latter house will be greater than the former, and the Lord will be glorified.
May God raise the standard among us, and call forth preachers, priests and prophets to help us carry the work onward and upward. Then it will be said, “Clap your hands, all ye people; shout unto God with the voice of triumph!”
And that will be a sound that cannot be ignored!