Thursday after Jubilate
Scripture: Haggai 2:2-9 (NKJV)
2:2 “Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people, saying: 3 ‘Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? In comparison with it, is this not in your eyes as nothing? 4 Yet now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ says the Lord; ‘and be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; and be strong, all you people of the land,’ says the Lord, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ says the Lord of hosts. 5 ‘According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you; do not fear!’
6 “For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; 7 and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. 8 ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts. 9 ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord of hosts.”
God speaks to His prophet Haggai and tells him to ask the people returning from exile: “Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? In comparison with it, is this not in your eyes as nothing?” The people had listened to the words of the famous prophets of old—Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah—who promised a restoration that would far surpass anything they had known before. Interpreting this in a literal and earthly sense, the people were sadly disappointed that the current temple was but a shadow of the old. In quality of material, as well as in progress, there was little to look at. God, through Haggai, even called it “nothing.” There would have to be an earnest and monumental effort put forth to even approach the glory of old.
But ultimately, the earthly temple is not the focal point. Even though the temple would eventually be rebuilt, there would be a time when it too would be destroyed: “Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations…” Ultimate restoration would come in a manner not made with hands. The temple would be Christ Himself, dwelling in a New Jerusalem that will know no darkness or end. The restoration promised by the great prophets of old would indeed materialize in the flesh of God’s own Son. On Him alone we build.
We pray: Christ is our Cornerstone, on Him alone we build; with His true saints alone the courts of heav’n are filled. On His great love our hopes we place of present grace and joys above. (TLH 465:1)
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.