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final glory...

"The final glory of this house will be greater than the first." Haggai 2:9


Israel had returned to the Promised Land from their 70 year exile in Babylon, only to find it in complete ruins. Specifically, the temple that Solomon built had been decimated. In walks Haggai, sent to encourage the people to rebuild. But the people, in classic human form, started making excuses, and not only made excuses, but made them sound spiritual...in essence saying, "Oh man...I don't think so...the time has not yet come for the house of the Lord to be rebuilt." I mean, can you blame them? Surely the people thought that once they returned to the Promised Land, everything would be good. But instead they had no food, no money, nothing to speak of in order for them to rebuild the temple. They were despondent to the core. Yet God continually encouraged them that yes, it is time, and that He was with them...just "Be strong...be strong...be strong...work...don't be afraid..." (2:4 - 5). It felt impossible, but God promised He was with them and that there was nothing that they couldn't accomplish with Him as the lead.


They built, but it didn't take long for the discouragement to creep back into their souls. The temple resembled nothing of Solomon's grand temple prior to the destruction...their temple was meager in looks and expectations. But God told the people that all the nations would come and the "...final glory of this house will be greater than the first...I will provide peace in this place..." (2:9). The people were focused on what was visible but God was looking at what was to come...


God told them soon, He was going to shake the heavens and the earth, overturn chariots and their riders, overturn royal thrones and kingdoms, but Zerubbabel, their leader during this time of rebuilding? God would take him and make him like His signet ring (royalty)...He had chosen him. And his next return would be in Jesus' lineage in Matthew 1:12...the line that Joseph would come from. He would, in fact, be chosen by God to be a part of the greatest promise ever known.


These people were flying blind, not knowing exactly what was to come...but they trusted. Afterall, they were the remnant few that had made it back to the Promised Land, these were God's chosen people and although their flesh cried out in desperation, they knew whom they believed in. The Israelites didn't know that Jesus would frequent this temple, built with their hands, in His earthly ministry. They didn't know that one single event, the tearing of the veil in two, inside the temple, at Jesus' death, would confirm the prophecy that Jesus was in fact the Son of God and had come to save men. But they did know that this temple was a symbol that God's spirit was present among them...and that soon, He would be present in God's people. A future temple was coming - a temple not built with hands, but a temple that would be the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb (Revelation 21:22).


"Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God."

William Carey - missionary to India

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