My husband’s mom could out cook anyone I know. Her fried chicken cooked in heart stopping lard, chicken and dumplings, and one of my favorites, brownie pudding cause my mouth to water just thinking about them. For my youngest son, her sweet juicy blackberry cobbler remains his favorite. These fond memories raise one problem. Tom’s mom cooked without recipes, which leaves us trying to duplicate the original according to our memory of taste. No matter what we try the memory wins over our efforts every time. It can get discouraging and even cause a person to quit trying.
Haggai faced a similar dilemma when a remnant of Jews returned to Jerusalem from Babylonian captivity. Enthusiasm reigned when the work on the temple began, but then we hear the Lord saying,
“This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD’S house should be built.” Haggai 1:2.
After the temple foundation had been laid, 16 years passed with nothing more done. The size or beauty of this second temple held no comparison with the grand memories of Solomon’s elaborate gold filled temple. It left the people discouraged and apathetic.
The Lord instructed Haggai to speak to Zerubbabel, the governor, Joshua, the high priest, and to the remnant that returned.
“Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? And how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing…
Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel…
and be strong, O Joshua…
and be strong all ye people…
For I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts…
my spirit remaineth among you;
fear ye not.”
The people looked at the building forgetting what truly made the first temple grand. That temple and this one would be nothing if the Lord did not dwell among them. He reminds them,
“The silver is mine, and the gold is mine,
saith the LORD of hosts.
The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former,
saith the LORD of hosts:
and in this place will I give peace,
saith the LORD of hosts.”
The Lord didn’t need the silver and gold but the house did need His glory. He promises this temple would be greater than Solomon’s.
Jesus is the glory that filled the temple, that made it greater than Solomon’s.
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us,
(and we behold his glory,
the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,)
full of grace and truth…
And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart.
And was transfigured before them:
and his face did shine as the sun,
and his raiment was white as the light…
For he received from God the Father honour and glory,
when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory,
This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased…
who commanded the light to shine out of darkness,
hath shined in our hearts,
to give the light of the knowledge
of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
(John 1:14;Matthew 17:1,2;2Peter 1:17;2Corinthians 4:6)
The majority of the people missed the glory among them in Jesus’ day. His glory not only filled the temple each time He set foot in it, but it filled every step He took, was manifested in every miracle, and finally revealed in His death, resurrection, and ascension.
The Romans destroyed Herod’s temple in 70 A.D. An eternal temple is in the process of being built. It proves to be the most glorious.
In Christ’s first coming the chief cornerstone was laid.
“…it is contained in the scripture, BEHOLD, I LAY IN SION, A CHIEF CORNER STONE, ELECT, PRECIOUS: AND HE THAT BELIEVETH ON HIM SHALL NOT BE CONFOUNDED.” 1 Peter 2:6
Jesus is the,
“living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious.” 1 Peter 2:4
Those who believe on Jesus are the living stones used in building this temple.
- “Ye, also, as lively stones,
- are built up a spiritual house,
- and holy priesthood,
- to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5
The foundation was laid through the apostles and prophets.
“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets,
Jesus Christ himself
being the chief corner stone;
In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth
unto an holy temple in the Lord;
In whom ye also are builded together
for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”
As our chief cornerstone the Lord Jesus brings His glory into each living stone chosen. He is in our midst. Take courage. The Lord of glory is here among His people. He is building His temple, filling it with His glory. Apart from Him there is only an empty structure. He is the temple and we are His building material. For we are filled with His glory.
“And the glory which thou gavest me
I have given them;
that they may be one,
even as we are one:”
Jesus is the eternal temple John saw in Revelation 21:22,23.
“And I saw no temple therein:
for the Lord God Almighty
and the Lamb
are the temple of it.
And the city had no need of the sun,
neither of the moon, to shine in it:
for the glory of God did lighten it,
and the Lamb
is the light thereof.”
And we are invited to bask in His glory. What a wonder. A greater than Solomon is among us. Be careful not to miss Him.