I hadn’t thought about the fact that the people rebuilding the temple would probably have never seen the original one now in ruins. Would those memories have been kept alive in families living in exile? If there were any faithful ones still alive that had seen the glorious splendor of the original temple, Haggai’s words were a comfort for them. “My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt. So do not be afraid.”
How can human hands build a house worthy of the glory of God? A big project like building a temple for God may have seemed overwhelming. It certainly was the first time around for Solomon. You may recall Solomon’s father, King David had the vision for a grand temple, but it was God’s plan that Solomon be the one in charge of its construction. We read about that in 1 Kings 8. Solomon’s prayer of dedication is beautiful.
Haggai’s prophecy speaks to God’s new vision for the temple. “The future glory of this Temple will be greater than its past glory.” When God speaks of shaking things up, I can only picture Jesus’ face. God also said, “And in this place I will bring peace.” Jesus is known as the Prince of Peace.
This text isn’t usually one considered by scholars as Messianic, but Jesus’ coming is the ultimate example of God living with his people. Jesus is the one who ushered in the Kingdom of God, which is what I’m sensing God is referring to here. What are your reflections on the text saying to you?
The prophecy is clearly pointing to a future time. God is claiming ownership of silver and gold, and we acknowledge that all things belong to God. We are simply honored to have the privilege of caring for God’s creation.
Do you face each day with the expectancy that God is going to move in a mighty way? If you don’t do that regularly, it’s reading texts like this that can rock your world. God has wanted to be present with his people for centuries. Today, more than ever, I think God is yearning to be with us.
Haggai reminds even us to be faithful and work with all our might in the present. We might not have a temple of God to look on ourselves, but we can claim the promise of Ephesians 2:20. “Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself.” How does it make you feel know you’re living in the present with Jesus?
Let’s pray. LORD, thank you for your desire to be close to us humans. I know I long to draw closer to you. Cleanse my thoughts of doubt and worry. Help me to trust you completely and not rely on my own strength so much. Give me the courage I need to face each day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.