Hope in the Temple Tale

God is good at bringing something glorious out of something that is terribly disappointing. It happens in the lives of his people. It happened in the history of his temple.

 

Haggai 2:9 – The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.’ ”

 

During the days of Haggai, the people of Judah were working on finishing the rebuilding of the temple. Under the Babylonian Empire, the temple dedicated by King Solomon was destroyed. After the captured people returned, they were to rebuild that glorious place of worship.

 

Sadly, the house that was rebuilt was far smaller and far less grand than was the original. People wept at the sad little sight when compared to the splendor of Solomon’s temple. And, I am sure, people wondered if things would ever be right for the people of God again.

 

Then God made the promise of verse 9 above. He promised that the glory to come to the temple was greater than anything that the temple had ever seen before. Think of the depth of that promise. When Solomon dedicated the temple, a cloud of the glory of God settled on it. How could this smaller, less beautiful, less magnificent temple experience a greater glory than the cloud?

 

The answer comes in the New Testament. You see, there is a glorious day when the Lord Jesus enters the temple that was dedicated during the days of Haggai. It is nearly five-and-a-half centuries later. King Herod had modified the structure of the temple and the hillside on which it rested. Herod added treasure, but not glory to the temple. But, when the Lord Jesus walked into the temple, the new temple saw something that had never before been experienced. God in flesh, the God-man, walked into the temple. He displayed the glory of God in a new way, an unexpected way. He showed that God had come to rescue his people and to open his family to all nations.

 

What situation do you face that seems irredeemable? Where do you look at a world that is smaller than it should be, less beautiful than it should be, and more hopeless than it should be? Perhaps you can learn from the promise to Haggai fulfilled. God said that he would bring greater glory to that new temple even though it looked impossible. God does that, you know. He fulfills his promises. And, when Jesus enters a life, there is greater glory than you could have ever imagined.

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