December 5 – The New Temple

Haggai 2:6-9: For thus says the Lord of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land.  And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts. The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.

Through the prophet Haggai We learn about the plan that God has for his people. When talking about the temple of the Lord, he talks about how he will make a temple even greater than that of Solomon’s temple. Solomon’s temple would pale in comparison. This was THE temple. Solomon went all out on this temple. He invested into it with might of his wealth. It was the envy of those around him. In fact, it was so good: when later kings showed off the treasury to Babylon, Babylon decided that it was worth the effort to ransack. It was quite a treasure.

God uses the phrase “Treasures of all nations shall come in” in reference to the new temple. This is a call-back to Solomon and the queen of Shiba. Solomon had become well-known for his wisdom, and news of his wisdom spread to Africa. The Queen of Shiba came north to test his wisdom. When Solomon answers wisely, she gives gifts of gold. The imagery of all the nations pouring into the temple would have been inspiring to a people who looked wistfully at the site of the temple’s destruction. Although God is quick to remind the people that the treasure is His. It’s not a promise for them to become wealthy, or that they will be better off in the future. The treasure is His. This means it is also up to God to decide what to value as treasure. In our minds, we tend to precious metals, but it doesn’t mean that it is.

This message talks of a time that is better than what we have. It is very easy to look back and long for days gone by. It’s easy to look at the past golden age, and long for a repeat, but that’s not what God promises. He promises a temple better than the original. The future being brighter than the past. It’s easy to look forward with hope knowing it will get better. This is a refreshing moment for the people coming out of exile, trying to rebuild their country. It is also a hope for us as well. God was giving hope back to his people, this same hope that He extends to us.

 

Prayer:

Dear God,

Thank you for filling your people with hope. You know our situations and feelings of dread and disappointment, and you call out against it. You say that there are better times coming. Help us to recognize your hand at work in our lives, and the plan you have.

In Jesus name,

Amen

 

Carol of the Day:

Good Christian Men, Rejoice!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GE4PH_Kjy0I

 

Family Activity:

Christmas Nativity

Christmas Nativity

Attached is a coloring page of the Manger scene. Some may have a nativity set that gets put out every year. Today would be a great day to do that (if you haven’t already). This coloring page would be a less expensive option to take its place. While setting it up, talk about each of the pieces and explain their role in the scene.

 

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