Day 214 – Thru the Bible
Today we read Haggai. Here’s is the video.
Video – Read Scripture: Haggai
How does this video help you understand the purpose for Haggai?
Haggai 1 – In difficult economic times, the people were saying, “The time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord,” though they were finding ways to build their own houses. God promised that if they rebuilt His temple, He would be with them. He would turn the world upside down and bring the long-desired Messiah.
We too need to repent when our focus becomes on our purposes and not God’s. We need to pour our energies into building God’s “house” (i.e., pursuing His purposes), while remembering that the visible symbol of His presence in the midst of His people is no longer a building but Jesus Christ Himself (John 2:19). As Immanuel, Jesus physically represented God’s presence among His people. When he cleansed the temple (John 2), Jesus showed the true zeal for God’s purposes, and at the cross He took upon Himself the punishment we deserve for our self-centered focus on our own “houses”.
Now that Jesus has ascended back to heaven, God’s presence in the world is represented by His people. As the body of Jesus, the church (God’s people, Otha gathered together and when apart) is now the new temple (Ephesians 2:16–22; 2 Corinthians 6:16–7:1).
The people obeyed the voice of the Lord because the Lord stirred up their spirits. God builds His new temple by stirring our spirits to work through the indwelling power of His Spirit (Jude 20–21). We are thereby called and empowered to glorify God with our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:19–20). God will establish His kingdom in this world in and through us; we, in turn, are called to seek His kingdom first (Matthew 6:33).
When our efforts get off course and selfish, how are you reminded to return to focusing on God’s purposes for your life?
Haggai 2 – Haggai called the people to “Be strong . . . [and] work” on the basis of the Lord’s past faithfulness and presence with them. This combination of hard work and dependence on God is God’s plan for transformed lives (Philippians 2:12–13). The people of Haggai’s day longed to see God “fill this house with glory,” which continues to be God’s purpose in the church (Ephesians 1:5–6). At Jesus’ birth, angels sang of God’s glory bringing peace on earth (Luke 2:13). When the infant Jesus made His first trip to the temple, Simeon recognized Him as the Promised One and declared that the glory of God had now returned to the temple (Luke 2:32).
This oracle in Haggai was delivered during the Feast of Tabernacles, in the seventh month, which was a time to look back to God’s past deliverance and forward to anticipate the fulfillment of God’s promises. Whenever we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, we look back to the cross where God accomplished our salvation and forward to the time when God will bring all of history to its consummation at Jesus’ return (1 Corinthians 11:26).
Our salvation must come to us from outside us, through an act of God. As the reestablishment of the temple was the turning point from curse to blessing in Haggai’s day, so the coming of Jesus is the turning point from curse to blessing for the world. This is how God brings peace on earth among those on whom His favor rests (Luke 2:14).
Haggai describes the Lord’s future intervention to transform the world in the language of God’s past acts to judge the wicked and deliver His people. He turns the minds of his hearers back to God’s intervention in Israel’s past, against the Egyptians and during the conquest, and declares that God will do it again.
This future intervention is foreshadowed in the person of Zerubbabel. He seemed an insignificant government official in an obscure province, the heir of a cast-off royal line (Jeremiah 22:24–25). Yet God had chosen Zerubbabel for a significant task, which he fulfilled faithfully. As a faithful son of David, Zerubbabel was a sign of hope for the whole community that God’s choice of David and his offspring was restored.
Jesus is the Greater Son of Zerubbabel (Matthew 1:13). He came in a position that would grant Him no respect in the world, humbling Himself and taking the form of a servant, being faithful unto death (Philippians 2:5–8). On the cross, Jesus looked more like a new Jehoiachin, cast off by God, than a new Zerubbabel, God’s chosen servant. But underneath God’s temporary rejection of His Anointed was an eternal promise that could not be broken. Just as the sins of the Davidic kings brought exile and destruction on their subjects, so now the righteous death of this Davidic King brings life to those who trust in Him.
How does this story help you see how the entire Bible is pointing us to Jesus?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s video and reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
Videos produced by www.TheGospelProject.com.
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