Daily Encouragement

December 20 – What’s So Important About the Temple?

Haggai 1:1-2:23
Revelation 11:1-19
Psalm 139:1-24
Proverbs 30:15-16

Haggai 1:1 — This is the same year as Ezra 4:24 (520 BC). Haggai is the first prophet to the returned remnant. We’ve read about Zerubbabel and Joshua in Ezra 3:2.

Haggai 1:4 — Interesting priorities. It wasn’t time to build the LORD’s house, but it was time to build “ceiled houses.” These houses were “roofed with costly woods;” some think “with the very cedar provided for the rebuilding of the Temple” (Ezra 3:7).

Verse 4 – For you, O ye; for you, yourselves; such as ye are (see Zechariah 7:5). He appeals to their consciences. You can make yourselves comfortable; you have time and means and industry to expend on your own private interests, and can you look with indifference on the house of God lying waste? Your ceiled houses; your houses, and those ceiled – wainscoted and roofed with costly woods (1 Kings 7:3, 7; Jeremiah 22:14), perhaps with the very cedar provided for the rebuilding of the temple (Ezra 3:7).

Pulpit Commentary

Haggai 1:5-7 — From Earl Martin:

Haggai 1:9 — We’re told that God doesn’t dwell in temples (Acts 7:48, Acts 17:24). God did not need a temple, but this is indicative of the hearts of the people. Construction stopped for 16 years because of opposition (Ezra 4:24), but instead of seeking the LORD, they built their own houses. So, what was so important about this Temple? For the Israelites to obey God, they must follow His rules and that includes the sacrifices. Well over a hundred of the Torah laws dealt with the Temple. Under Babylonian captivity they had an excuse, but now there was no excuse.

Haggai 1:14 — God has put it in some people’s spirit to do the work of the house of the LORD God. Let’s do the work today; remember His last command (Matthew 28:19-20)!

Haggai 2:3 — This building was not going to rival Solomon’s Temple, but God still encouraged those building it (Haggai 2:4) because He would fill it with His glory (Haggai 2:7). He even promised that it would be more glorious than Solomon’s (Haggai 2:9).

Haggai 2:9 — How would this humble building rival Solomon’s Palace? Because in this place God would give His peace. If you’re interested in learning how that happened, check out this article yours truly did on the Peace of Christmas.

Haggai 2:19 — Blessing comes from obeying the LORD (Haggai 2:18). Now, what is the blessing? Is it always health, wealth, and prosperity? Lutheran Satire matched up present day “religious affirmations” with martyrs of church history in a provocative video. God’s blessings undo the ceremonial uncleanness (Haggai 2:13-14) and His chastening (Haggai 2:17).

Revelation 11:1 — We read about something similar in Ezekiel 40:3.

Revelation 11:3 — Who are the two witnesses? They have the power to shut heaven like Elijah (1 Kings 17:1), and their enemies are destroyed like Moses’ enemies (Numbers 16:32).

Revelation 11:10 — Welcome to Alternative Christmas – the celebration of the death of two intolerant bigots! What could be more joyous than the termination of people who didn’t get along with the Antichrist’s political correctness?

Revelation 11:15 — The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ! And He shall reign for ever and ever! Hallelujah!

Psalm 139:1 — Welcome to the greatest psalm on omniscience! God knows me (Psalm 139:1), my goings (Psalm 139:2), my ways (Psalm 139:3), and my words (Psalm 139:4). What is my response? Psalm 139:14 – I will praise Thee!

Psalm 139:17 — This verse forms part of the chorus to the song, “I Have Been Blessed.”

Psalm 139:23-24 — The song, “Search me, O God,” is based on these two verses.

Proverbs 30:16 — There is a harsh pain in those who want to have children but cannot, even from biblical times (Genesis 30:1).

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