Haggai 2* Greater glory promised to the second temple than to the first.(1-9) Their sins hindered the work. (10-19) The kingdom ofChrist foretold. (20-23)1-9 Those who are hearty in the Lord's service shall receiveencouragement to proceed. But they could not build such a templethen, as Solomon built. Though our gracious God is pleased if wedo as well as we can in his service, yet our proud hearts willscarcely let us be pleased, unless we do as well as others,whose abilities are far beyond ours. Encouragement is given theJews to go on in the work notwithstanding. They have God withthem, his Spirit and his special presence. Though he chastenstheir transgressions, his faithfulness does not fail. The Spiritstill remained among them. And they shall have the Messiah amongthem shortly; "He that should come." Convulsions and changeswould take place in the Jewish church and state, but firstshould come great revolutions and commotions among the nations.He shall come, as the Desire of all nations; desirable to allnations, for in him shall all the earth be blessed with the bestof blessings; long expected and desired by all believers. Thehouse they were building should be filled with glory, very farbeyond Solomon's temple. This house shall be filled with gloryof another nature. If we have silver and gold, we must serve andhonour God with it, for the property is his. If we have notsilver and gold, we must honour him with such as we have, and hewill accept us. Let them be comforted that the glory of thislatter house shall be greater than that of the former, in whatwould be beyond all the glories of the first house, the presenceof the Messiah, the Son of God, the Lord of glory, personally,and in human nature. Nothing but the presence of the Son of God,in human form and nature, could fulfil this. Jesus is theChrist, is He that should come, and we are to look for no other.This prophecy alone is enough to silence the Jews, and condemntheir obstinate rejection of Him, concerning whom all theirprophets spake. If God be with us, peace is with us. But theJews under the latter temple had much trouble; but this promiseis fulfilled in that spiritual peace which Jesus Christ has byhis blood purchased for all believers. All changes shall makeway for Christ to be desired and valued by all nations. And theJews shall have their eyes opened to behold how precious He is,whom they have hitherto rejected. 10-19 Many spoiled this good work, by going about it withunholy hearts and hands, and were likely to gain no advantage byit. The sum of these two rules of the law is, that sin is moreeasily learned from others than holiness. The impurity of theirhearts and lives shall make the work of their hands, and alltheir offerings, unclean before God. The case is the same withus. When employed in any good work, we should watch overourselves, lest we render it unclean by our corruptions. When webegin to make conscience of duty to God, we may expect hisblessing; and whoso is wise will understand the loving-kindnessof the Lord. God will curse the blessings of the wicked, andmake bitter the prosperity of the careless; but he will sweetenthe cup of affliction to those who diligently serve him. 20-23 The Lord will preserve Zerubbabel and the people ofJudah, amidst their enemies. Here is also foretold theestablishment and continuance of the kingdom of Christ; by unionwith whom his people are sealed with the Holy Ghost, sealed withhis image, thus distinguished from all others. Here also isforetold the changes, even to that time when the kingdom ofChrist shall overthrow and occupy the place of all the empireswhich opposed his cause. The promise has special reference toChrist, who descended from Zerubbabel in a direct line, and isthe sole Builder of the gospel temple. Our Lord Jesus is theSignet on God's right hand, for all power is given to him, andderived from him. By him, and in him, all the promises of Godare yea and amen. Whatever changes take place on earth, all willpromote the comfort, honour, and happiness of his servants.
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