Haggai 2

* Greater glory promised to the second temple than to the first.

(1-9) Their sins hindered the work. (10-19) The kingdom of

Christ foretold. (20-23)

1-9 Those who are hearty in the Lord's service shall receive

encouragement to proceed. But they could not build such a temple

then, as Solomon built. Though our gracious God is pleased if we

do as well as we can in his service, yet our proud hearts will

scarcely let us be pleased, unless we do as well as others,

whose abilities are far beyond ours. Encouragement is given the

Jews to go on in the work notwithstanding. They have God with

them, his Spirit and his special presence. Though he chastens

their transgressions, his faithfulness does not fail. The Spirit

still remained among them. And they shall have the Messiah among

them shortly; "He that should come." Convulsions and changes

would take place in the Jewish church and state, but first

should come great revolutions and commotions among the nations.

He shall come, as the Desire of all nations; desirable to all

nations, for in him shall all the earth be blessed with the best

of blessings; long expected and desired by all believers. The

house they were building should be filled with glory, very far

beyond Solomon's temple. This house shall be filled with glory

of another nature. If we have silver and gold, we must serve and

honour God with it, for the property is his. If we have not

silver and gold, we must honour him with such as we have, and he

will accept us. Let them be comforted that the glory of this

latter house shall be greater than that of the former, in what

would be beyond all the glories of the first house, the presence

of 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 the

Christ, is He that should come, and we are to look for no other.

This prophecy alone is enough to silence the Jews, and condemn

their obstinate rejection of Him, concerning whom all their

prophets spake. If God be with us, peace is with us. But the

Jews under the latter temple had much trouble; but this promise

is fulfilled in that spiritual peace which Jesus Christ has by

his blood purchased for all believers. All changes shall make

way for Christ to be desired and valued by all nations. And the

Jews 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 with

unholy hearts and hands, and were likely to gain no advantage by

it. The sum of these two rules of the law is, that sin is more

easily learned from others than holiness. The impurity of their

hearts and lives shall make the work of their hands, and all

their offerings, unclean before God. The case is the same with

us. When employed in any good work, we should watch over

ourselves, lest we render it unclean by our corruptions. When we

begin to make conscience of duty to God, we may expect his

blessing; and whoso is wise will understand the loving-kindness

of the Lord. God will curse the blessings of the wicked, and

make bitter the prosperity of the careless; but he will sweeten

the cup of affliction to those who diligently serve him.
20-23 The Lord will preserve Zerubbabel and the people of

Judah, amidst their enemies. Here is also foretold the

establishment and continuance of the kingdom of Christ; by union

with whom his people are sealed with the Holy Ghost, sealed with

his image, thus distinguished from all others. Here also is

foretold the changes, even to that time when the kingdom of

Christ shall overthrow and occupy the place of all the empires

which opposed his cause. The promise has special reference to

Christ, who descended from Zerubbabel in a direct line, and is

the sole Builder of the gospel temple. Our Lord Jesus is the

Signet on God's right hand, for all power is given to him, and

derived from him. By him, and in him, all the promises of God

are yea and amen. Whatever changes take place on earth, all will

promote the comfort, honour, and happiness of his servants.

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