[CF Devotionals] 2004-08-29 - An Unshakable Kingdom

Haggi, Part 14 - Haggai 2:6-9

Verses 6-9: God moves from the past through the present to the future. He looks towards the future Temple, the Millennial Temple in the restored Jerusalem ruled by Christ. The author of Hebrews loosely quotes verse 6 in 12:26, which he exegetes in the following verses.

"At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he has promised, 'Once more, I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.'" … The author of that epistle made some interpretative comments. The first "shaking" took place at Mount Sinai, when God gave the law to Moses

Exodus 19:16: On the morning of the third day, there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled."

…The second shaking will come at the end of the world. The NT author then went on to explain that we who are in Christ have an unshakable kingdom that will survive the cosmic earthquake yet to come:

Heb 12:28-29: "Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire."

And while there may be some difficulties with the passage, understanding it as Messianic/ Millennial seems entirely appropriate. I cannot take the time to go into all the details of arguments supporting a Messianic versus a non-Messianic understanding of the passage. Gaebelein does and excellent analysis of the approaches in his commentary.

The question is: what do the people desire? One obvious answer is the gold and silver that comes to the Temple. Clearly the nations don’t desire the Messiah and His kingdom. But what they do desire, whether they realize it or not, is only that found in the Messiah.

And this is what Haggai refers to in verse 9. God promises to bring peace. And we know that in the long chain of Temples, which are in many ways the same Temple, the only time peace will finally be found is when the Messiah returns, in the final Temple during the Millennial age. It is only then that we will find the full glory of God once again present on this Earth.

Reading these passages, we may find fulfillment in events of the past, and this is valid. But we can also see there has never been a time in history when all God’s promises have come to pass. And so we look toward the day when the glory of God will fill this final Temple.

"As the first temple was filled with the cloud of glory, the symbol of God (1 Kings 8:11; 2 Chronicles 5:14), " And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple." … "and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of God."

… So this second temple was filled with the "glory" of God:

John 1:14: "The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth" He was "… veiled in the flesh (as it were in the cloud) at Christ’s first coming, when He entered it and performed miracles there.
Matthew 21:12-14: "Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. "It is written," he said to them, "‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ‘den of robbers.’The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them"

" … But that "glory" is to be revealed at His second coming, as this prophecy in its ulterior reference foretells:

Malachi 3:1. "See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come," says the LORD Almighty."

And so God reassured the people that what they saw wasn’t what they had. The Temple they were building was simply part of a progression that would one day culminate in the Millennial Temple. They shouldn’t be discouraged, since God was with them. He was working through them. The focus wasn’t to be on appearances, but on God. And when we are struggling with the fact we aren’t what we want to be, we should also not be discouraged, because God is with us and will complete the good work He has begun in us.

"The LORD is in His Holy Temple. Let all the earth keep silent before Him." Habakkuk 2:20

To be continued

Comments or Questions?

[email geoff] GKragen@aol.com