The Lord brought some of His people back into the Promised Land after a period of exile. He gave instructions through Haggai to the leaders and the entire community to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. Some of the older citizens had actually seen the prior house of worship that had been demolished decades earlier. The foundation now before them was smaller. It would have been easy to believe that the best years for the Jews were long gone.
The Lord insisted that they look forward to a coming future age of glory. They were to “be strong” and to do what God had commanded with confidence in Him. He said to them, “I am with you,” and “My Spirit remains in your midst.” He said, “Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth” in a way that would involve the Gentile nations of the world and the worship of the God of the Jews. The Lord would bring the wealth of the nations into a better “house.” The Almighty revealed that an era of majestic splendor and safety was coming. “In this place I will give peace.”
The New Testament teaches us that Jesus and His church are the fulfillment of these great promises. We are not seeking to build another shining edifice on the top of Mount Zion, since we ourselves are living stones built upon the Cornerstone of Christ. The worldwide assembly of resurrected worshipers will be far greater than any facility that man could ever construct. (See John 2:18-22, Revelation 21:22-27, and Ephesians 2:11-22.)
In the world of Old Testament ceremonies, that which was declared to be “unclean” had a power of destruction that turned everything it touched into an object that God could never be near. Yet by the blood of Jesus, heaven is making the unholy to be holy. The One who cleansed lepers has made us acceptable so that we will not destroy the spotless land that Christ is bringing down from above.
Our Messiah is greater than Zerubbabel, the leading descendant of David back in the days of Haggai. He is the Lord’s own “signet ring,” precious to our everlasting Father. Jehovah gave the Israelites a new beginning in the time of Zerubbabel. We have been granted something more: life from the dead through the perfect Son of David. Jesus is the King of a kingdom that will never fail. In Him we are forever blessed.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Father, give us a vision for the glory of Your house. Grant to us strength for the work that You have called us to do. Forgive us when we consider the remnant of Your Kingdom as something too small for our most fervent desires and efforts. Touch us day by day by Your Spirit. Take away the unclean impulse of inner rebellion within us, and bless us from this day forward. Shake the heavens and the earth to accomplish Your perfect purposes. May Your Son be the delight of all who call upon His Name.