Text: Haggai chapters 1-2
OBSERVE: The book of Haggai contains a series of messages from the Lord delivered to his people after the exile. Upon their return to Jerusalem they had planned to rebuild the destroyed Temple, but they got sidetracked and focused rather on fixing up their own homes. Through the prophet Haggai, God encouraged a change of priorities: “Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins?” The people responded and began to restore God’s Temple. However, they soon realized with great sadness that it would never be as glorious as Solomon’s Temple had been. So God sent another message, assuring them that he would once again fill his Temple with his glory:
This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: In just a little while I will again shake all the nations, and the treasures of all the nations will be brought to this Temple. I will fill this place with glory, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. (2:6-7)
INTERPRET: How was this prophecy fulfilled? When did this shaking come? Like so many of the Old Testament prophecies, it is being fulfilled in stages, with a partial fulfillment in the first coming of Jesus and a final fulfillment yet to come. By the time Jesus began his ministry, Herod had rebuilt the Temple in Jerusalem. And the Lord did indeed fill his Temple with his glory just by Jesus stepping into it and beginning to teach. But this was not the end of the shaking or the ultimate filling with glory that God had in mind. Jesus predicted another shaking of the Temple that would come when he was crucified. Jesus said, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”…… When Jesus said “this temple” he meant his own body” (John 2: 19, 21).
APPLICATION: We know there is even more shaking and more filling with glory to come. That glory will be the reality we live in for all eternity. John described his vision of the future, saying, “I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple” (Revelation 21: 22).
As children of God, there is so much to be thankful for and to be in awe with. God provides all we need and his promises are so magnificent. We are created in the image of God which means that we are to reflect God’s glory back to him and to others. As we seek to glorify God with our lives, we can then play our part in filling this world with His glory.
REFLECTION: Are you living a life that is helping to fill this world with God’s glory?
PRAYER: Jesus. King of Glory; shake me from my complacency so I will strengthen my grip on you for the final shaking. May I help others to prepare as well. I worship you with holy fear and awe, for you have given me the undeserved gift of a place in your unshakable Kingdom. AMEN.
SONG: King of Glory By Michael W. Smith
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.