by M. Jolaine Szymkowiak

Building a Temple
M. Jolaine Szymkowiak, MA
Haggai 1: 2-11; 2:3, 4c-5, 7b-9

In studying Haggai, we learn that the people had put aside all plans of rebuilding God's temple. Instead they were busy building expensive houses, adding to their own coffers.

We learn what happens to a people when they leave God behind and go after their own desires. We also learn what happens when those desires are directed toward God and the blessing received. Haggai is a very short book but packed with information addressing our time in History as well.

We find this is the time for all Christians to again bring our attention back to building God's temple. Individually, God's temple within us gives the Holy Spirit a glorious place to dwell instead of the wreck and ruins that may be found. Corporately, as the body of Christ, we are to build a temple to the Glory of God.

The people in Haggai's day had gone their own way, acquiring more and more land, exceeding in wealth, building expensive homes, remodeling their homes and placing expensive things within them. Their thoughts were on the material, human things of life. The spiritual had been put aside, especially the rebuilding of the temple (Haggai 1:2-4).

Solomon's temple had been destroyed at the invasion by Babylon. However, in 538 BC the conqueror of Babylon, Cyrus king of Persia, issued a decree allowing the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple. About 50,000 Jews returned to Jerusalem and just two years later had completed the foundation with great rejoicing. The Samaritans and other neighbors, fearing the political and religious implications of a rebuilt temple and a thriving Jewish community, opposed the project so vigorously that the work was halted for over 16 years.

Then in the second year of Darius the Great, king of Persia, 520 BC, being interested in the religions of his empire, the Jews were again encouraged to rebuild the temple. The Jews were as much to blame for their inact ...

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