Ezra 3:11-13—And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. 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. But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: So that 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 noise was heard afar off.
The altar was built first, and then the foundations for the temple were laid. The priests dressed in their priestly robes, with the instruments prescribed for the singing of praise, began to sing the chorus that had been sung 500 years earlier when the first temple was dedicated. I think we’ll be singing the same song when the last temple, New Jerusalem, is completed. It is the song of endless ages, for the goodness of God never changes. Surely the elderly were crying with mixed emotions, remembering the sins that brought the temple down, the grace that kept them through the conquest and captivity and now restored them to their land. God kept His word, but who could have imagined in the midst of the horror, that it would even be possible to build the temple again. The cry that went up was mixed with the joyous praise of the younger people who had only heard of a temple. They had been taught about the sacrifices and the service of the temple. They had heard descriptions, and now they were the ones who would one day tell their children of seeing the foundations laid. We have foundations too. The names of the Apostles are on our foundation. When we sing that song in the completed final temple, some will remember when the foundations were laid. They’ll remember hearing the teaching of the life and sayings of Jesus from the Apostles. I imagine there will be a great shout then.