Ezra 3:6 From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord but the foundation of the temple of the Lord had not been laid.
Sacrifices and offerings were offered to God for two years before the foundation of the Temple was even laid. When we think about worship in Jerusalem our minds are usually drawn to the Temple. But in Ezra we see that sacrifices and worship began long before the temple was rebuilt.
Isaiah said, ‘God doesn’t dwell in buildings made by human hands’. God doesn’t need a house so He can meet with man. Man needs a place to meet with God and that place is the altar. The altar is the place of sacrifice. It is the place where blood is shed. Every sacrifice described in the Old Testament was to be done in a prescribed way because each one looked forward to Jesus.
This should be a reminder to us. Our worship is not about the building we enhabit. It is not about the place where we meet. Our worship is about the altar; the place of sacrifice where the lamb was slain, it is about our heart.
What is most important to God is the offerings we bring, our fellowship and peace offerings. They are a sweet savor to Him. It is only when our hearts are right that the building means anything.