Haggai 2 Expounded
There are seasons in which the work we are called to do for Christ is prolific and productive–then we walk into a quieter season where what we have accomplished in the past seems to be just there, in the past. If we can keep the perspective that The Heavenly Father has more work to be accomplished, and a different productive season for us in which those things that we have learned from the past can enhance the work of the future–then we can relax in His love and proceed to the next challenge.
Why do I say challenge?
The work of the Kingdom; “The Great Commission” is a challenge to listen well, hear clearly, and walk uprightly before a righteous Savior who is not only willing to equip us for the challenges ahead of us, but through His Holy Spirit seeks to inspire us to trust Him for guidance and direction. It is the measure of our ability to discern and perceive the direction in which Christ is leading us that produces either a perfect work or a work that lacks some of the spiritual and corporeal elements needed to produce good fruit mete for the Harvest.
‘Jesus drew near and said to them, “I have been given all authority in Heaven and Earth. Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples; baptize them in the Name of the Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. And I will be with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28: 18-20
The call to the Great Commission, through the unction of the Holy Spirit, is a task not to be taken lightly and for which we must be prepared. Just as the world prepares us for higher education and personal achievement–The Holy Spirit prepares us through the Scriptural Word, teaching, preaching, and the example of those saints equipped to instruct and lead us to seek first The Kingdom of GOD, and then to place all other things in their proper perspective.
As saints living as imperfect people in an imperfect world, we struggle to rise above the tide; to stand out in a crowd as those who truly care about our brothers and sisters; fellow travelers on this road of Life. What does standing out involve? It is a heartswork conducted and led by The Holy Spirit that uses all that we have learned to instruct and help others not as advanced as ourselves in their spiritual walk in Christ. This is not a matter of pride or superiority–it is a recognition of those who have worked hard and have paid their dues through pain and even bloodshed for the Cause of Christ. After all, Jesus paid our price on the Cross. How can we do less?
The Temple represents not only our physical bodies, but the entire body of believers. The walls of the church are spiritual walls independent of hewn rock, pillars, and pews. These walls are held upright through the intercessory prayers and petitions of those who approach GOD’s throne daily, building up a foundation of faith and perseverence, and of allegiance to the Fruit of the Spirit as found in Galations 5: 22-26.
So, how does GODly application yield Good Fruit? What is the Future of The Temple?
That depends upon you and me. Do we “study to show ourselves approved”, or do we study to simply announce our worth to other’s? The zeal to take The Word to the entire earth is our inner being responding to the desires of GOD’s Holy Spirit. Following His lead brings peace and inner healing to all who would receive Him. The commissioned work is already proclaimed, the victory is already sure, and the war’s results are already ordained. As soldiers in GOD’s army we must grab hold of the promises of GOD as weaponry, and trust to His Mercy and Grace to see us through the battle for hearts and spirits. Jesus’ grace and mercy abound in limitless measure. We simply need to approach the Temple where provision is laid out for us and walk in the door. Jesus awaits us there. We are then in His Holy Temple and the peace of His perfect Will.
GOD Bless You, Charlene
The New Temple’s Diminished Splendor
2 Then on October 17 of that same year,[a] the Lord sent another message through the prophet Haggai. 2 “Say this to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Jeshua[b] son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of God’s people there in the land: 3 ‘Does anyone remember this house—this Temple—in its former splendor? How, in comparison, does it look to you now? It must seem like nothing at all! 4 But now the Lord says: Be strong, Zerubbabel. Be strong, Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people still left in the land. And now get to work, for I am with you, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 5 My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt. So do not be afraid.’
6 “For this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: In just a little while I will again shake the heavens and the earth, the oceans and the dry land. 7 I will 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. 8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 9 The future glory of this Temple will be greater than its past glory, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. And in this place I will bring peace. I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!”
Blessings Promised for Obedience
10 On December 18[c] of the second year of King Darius’s reign, the Lord sent this message to the prophet Haggai: 11 “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says. Ask the priests this question about the law: 12 ‘If one of you is carrying some meat from a holy sacrifice in his robes and his robe happens to brush against some bread or stew, wine or olive oil, or any other kind of food, will it also become holy?’”
The priests replied, “No.”
13 Then Haggai asked, “If someone becomes ceremonially unclean by touching a dead person and then touches any of these foods, will the food be defiled?”
And the priests answered, “Yes.”
14 Then Haggai responded, “That is how it is with this people and this nation, says the Lord. Everything they do and everything they offer is defiled by their sin. 15 Look at what was happening to you before you began to lay the foundation of the Lord’s Temple. 16 When you hoped for a twenty-bushel crop, you harvested only ten. When you expected to draw fifty gallons from the winepress, you found only twenty. 17 I sent blight and mildew and hail to destroy everything you worked so hard to produce. Even so, you refused to return to me, says the Lord.
18 “Think about this eighteenth day of December, the day[d] when the foundation of the Lord’s Temple was laid. Think carefully. 19 I am giving you a promise now while the seed is still in the barn.[e] You have not yet harvested your grain, and your grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, and olive trees have not yet produced their crops. But from this day onward I will bless you.”
Promises for Zerubbabel
20 On that same day, December 18,[f] the Lord sent this second message to Haggai: 21 “Tell Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, that I am about to shake the heavens and the earth. 22 I will overthrow royal thrones and destroy the power of foreign kingdoms. I will overturn their chariots and riders. The horses will fall, and their riders will kill each other.
23 “But when this happens, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, I will honor you, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, my servant. I will make you like a signet ring on my finger, says the Lord, for I have chosen you. I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!”