As the people of Judah returned from captivity, they rebuilt the altar of the Lord in the same place it had been before the Temple was totally destroyed. And then they resumed making sacrifices to God there. Sacrifices of animals has always seemed a little primitive to me. After all, what could the invisible and almighty God do with these offerings of flesh and blood? But then it occurred to me that it isn't what God could do with the sacrifices...it was what the people were willing to give up, or surrender, that showed the priority they had for God. And why did it make sense to cover everything in Solomon's Temple with gold? Did God need someplace really flashy to impress the world? No, I think placing the gold in the Temple was a way for man to say, "We will take what is most precious to men...what men give their lives for, and even die for, and even conquer nations for, and place it at your feet, because pleasing you is more important than possessing gold and silver."
Ezra 3:3 Even though the people were afraid of the local residents, they rebuilt the altar at its old site. Then they began to sacrifice burnt offerings on the altar to the Lord each morning and evening.
What are we, in our personal lives today, pursuing? If it is property, possessions or precious metal we may be following the wrong priorities. We may need to sacrifice or lay these down before God in our personal altar to find the one priority that matters most!