God’s House and Yours

MEMORY VERSE: “Be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the Lord, and work: for I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts: … my Spirit remaineth among you.” —Haggai 2:4,5

HAGGAI 1:1-8, 12-15

WHILE Jerusalem and all Palestine were still vassal to the Persian Empire, the Persians allowed the Israelites to exercise considerable liberty in the administration of the affairs of the country. Perhaps one reason for this was to curry favor with the Jews and thus win from them their voluntary support. Zerubbabel was of the royal line of the kings of Judah. His grandfather Jehoiachin had been king in Judah just prior to the beginning of the seventy years of their captivity in Babylon.

The Prophet Haggai was commissioned by the Lord to get the people active in rebuilding the temple. Those who were in charge of administering the affairs of Jerusalem were making excuses. They were saying, “The time is not come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built “ They were saying this, despite the fact that King Cyrus had, years before this, issued a decree granting liberty to the Israelites to return to Palestine, and giving authority to rebuild the temple. There was really no reason why work on this reconstruction project had not already begun.

In verse 8 the Lord says to the people, “Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it.” This preparation for building the second temple seems quite in contrast to Solomon’s preparation for the first temple. Solomon had timber brought from out of the country, and silver and gold. It was probably the most elaborate building of its time.

But for the second temple the people were simply told to go up into the nearby mountain and get trees, and the stone they needed was probably scattered about them in lavish supply. But despite this comparatively modest building which was thus planned the Lord later said, “The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, … and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.”—Hag. 2:9

The context here may indicate that when the Lord refers to “this latter house” he has in mind the kingdom temple in which Jesus is the chief cornerstone, and his church the living stones who are built up a holy temple in the Lord. The context reads, “Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts.”—Hag. 2:6,7

This prophecy is referred to in the New Testament. We quote:

“And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear.”—Heb. 12:27,28

Just as the Lord’s professed people of Haggai’s time had a responsibility in connection with building the temple which was then planned, so we today have a responsibility to serve God faithfully, that in due time we may become a part of that promised kingdom through which the desire of all people will come.

But there will be much “shaking” of the symbolic heavens and earth ere that kingdom will be established and, through its administrative agencies, make the promised blessings available for all the families of the earth. Upon the basis of faithfulness we may hope to be a part of the rulership phase of that kingdom—“priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years”—Rev. 20:6

Haggai gently chided the people of his day, saying, “Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this [the Lord’s] house lie in waste?” It requires real zeal, and the spirit of sacrifice, to neglect the temporal blessings which we could enjoy, and to devote our time to the work of the Lord. That is why the Lord is pleased with wholehearted service to him.


What was standing in the way of the building of the Lord’s house in Haggai’s day?

Explain the prophecy of Haggai 2:6,7.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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