Tuesday, 08 November 2022
“Is there anyone among you who can still remember how splendid the Temple used to be? How does it look to you now? It must seem like nothing at all. But now don't be discouraged, any of you. Do the work, for I am with you.” -Haggai 2:3&4
In connection with the restoration of the glory of the Temple in our reading today, we believers, the temple of God in whom the Holy Spirit resides, are to take an inward look—God is asking each of us today, if we can remember how splendid the temple of the Living God looked when the Holy Spirit first came to reside in us? How does the temple look to us now? In pointing out the lost glory of the Temple, God encourages them with His plans to reinstate His glory, by saying “But now don't be discouraged, any of you. Do the work, for I am with you.”(v.4) Looking at ourselves: Why did the working of His might in us diminish? Do not worry! Our God is a God of restoration as He encourages us to cooperate with Him. Throughout the Bible we see that messages from God are always a mixture of rebuke and encouragement.
What is the work He is asking us to continue doing? It is the work of the cleansing of His temple by allowing the pure Word to wash us (Eph.5:26). As He promised we have His Holy Spirit (Eph.1:14) to help us to clean up so that His glory can shine forth. Before Jesus entered the Holy place, He cleansed the outer courts of all the squatters (John 2:13-22). Unfortunately in our lives, we allow a lot of squatters to walk in, so that the latter house is worse than the former house. We allow entry to unwanted things- thoughts, actions, wrong doctrines that trespass into our lives and make us captive. We thus try to justify our actions and disobedience to God’s Word. Sanctification then becomes difficult because renewing of the mind (Rom. 12:2; Eph. 4:23) is the way God has ordained the temple to be cleansed.
Isaiah 55:10-11 says, that God sends His word to water His people to accomplish His purpose in them. It sanctifies, transforms, and conforms us to Christ’s image. Remember, the glory of God is seen in the face of Christ Jesus.
Verses 15 -17 reminds us of the book of Ruth where there was a famine in the land of Bethlehem (House of Bread). The Word of God is to sustain us daily. If we do not use the Word that we receive from the Lord by meditating and applying it in our lives, the flow will be interrupted, and a famine is inevitable. During a famine you will find two kinds of people—the ones that stay and sow and reap a harvest (Isaac- in Genesis 26:12) and the ones that leave like Elimelech and family. The famine continued in their lives as all the breadwinners in the family died and finally Naomi had to return to the House of Bread for God had blessed it once again.
Dear friends, has there been a famine in your life- has God’s Word diminished in its role to rejuvenate you? Let us take heed to the warning given in verse 10-14, getting rid of all uncleanness. Let us not allow in any leaven (Galatians 5:9) that would lead to ungodly behavior, defiling the temple, bringing shame to the Almighty. That is the first step to restoration! And in His goodness, God wants to restore- come back to Him, continue studying and applying the word of God and then as He says in Vs.19: “But from this day I will bless you.” He has put His words in you to obey so that you will regain the dominion that was lost through disobedience over self and the enemy (2 Cor.10:6). Be ready to be renewed!
Think on: “The new Temple will be more splendid than the old one, and there I will give my people prosperity and peace.” The Lord Almighty has spoken. – Haggai 2:9