It’s Time! 5. Time to Give God Glory
Haggai 2: 6 - 9
A kindergarten teacher was observing her class while they were drawing. As she walked around the room, she came to a girl who was working diligently. She stopped and asked what the picture was about. The girl replied, “I’m drawing God.” The teacher paused and said, “But no one knows what God looks like.” Without missing a beat, the girl replied, “They will when I’m done.”
Haggai had rallied the remnant to get back to work and rebuild the Temple. Undoubtedly, this would be for their good, but ultimately it was for God’s glory, so that the watching world would know what God was like. Haggai 2 reminds us that it’s not about us. Ultimately it’s about God and His glory. Here’s the main point for today: God works His way and His will for His glory.
2 weeks ago in we learned to remember the past while embracing the present so we can be faithful in the future. We must avoid comparing with the past, stop focusing on flaws and overstating issues. We’re called to be strong, to get back to work and to not fear. We can do that because God is with us, for us, and within us. We were challenged to live in the “good now days” as God does a new thing in our midst. When I remember the past as better than it was, the present will seem worse than it is. It’s OK to look at the past, but I can’t live in the past.
We’re going to see that a focus on the future will help us deal with discouragement today because God is not finished with us yet.
This passage is a bit difficult to understand
The focus is on the future
The word “glory” is used 3 times
God is referred to as the “Lord Almighty” 5 times in just 4 verses. It’s used over 270 times in the Bible and 14 times alone in this brief book! It’s fascinating that this name for God appears about 90 times in the 3 last books of the OT!
After reading and meditating on this passage I wrote down 3 words that form a progression of thought. Shaking leads to Salvation, which results in Shalom.
1. Shaking v. 6
This shaking will affect everything – heavens and earth, the sea and dry land. Isaiah 13: 13 “Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place.” It won’t be long and will come suddenly. It might not be immediate but it is imminent, meaning it could happen at any time.
This could be referring to the judgment that took place on the Persians, and then the Greeks and then the Romans. I actually think there are multiple fulfillments, with the ultimate one coming when Jesus returns to earth. It’s at that time that the heavens and the earth are going to be shaken as never before.
Close your eyes - Revelation 16: 18 - 21 “And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake.
The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath. And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found.
And great hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe.”
Imagine being in an earthquake. Haggai is a seismologist of sorts because he’s predicting a coming quake that will wipe out everything that is not eternal.
Here’s the application. Don’t pin your hopes on the here and now because this is all going away. Don’t lock into the past and don’t anchor everything to what you can see in the present because it’s all going to crumble and fall. Hebrews 12: 28, 29 - clarion call for born again believers to be thankful and to worship God with all that we have: “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” God shakes us so that the things that cannot be shaken will remain.
If you don’t know Jesus Christ, there is a shaking coming unlike anything you have ever experienced before. Whatever you’re going through right now, or have gone through in the past, this is a message to repent and get right with God because God works His way and His will for His glory. Most people will not come to the Saviour without some sort of shaking taking place.
Sometimes God shakes us up personally in order to get our attention. The first word is shaking. The second is …
2. Salvation v. 7
This shaking will not only involve our whole planet but will also shake all the people on the planet. Ezekiel, Jeremiah and Joel all use the imagery of the trembling of the nations as the inauguration of the coming of the Messiah, the promised one.
2 Peter 3: 10 “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.”
There are two ways to understand “the treasures of all nations shall come in…”
This refers to Jesus. KJV -“the desire of all nations.” Charles Wesley - “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” - “Come Desire of Nations, come; fix us in our humble home.”
This refers to the wealth of the nations. This may be a reference to nations bringing their gold and riches, much like the Egyptians did when they gave their wealth to the departing Israelites. Isaiah 60: 5 “The wealth of the nations shall come to you.”
Haggai 2:7 ends with a promise: “…and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of Hosts.” The people were unsettled and dissatisfied when they put themselves at the centre. If they focus only on the beauty of a building for God, they will miss out on the glory of God. God wanted them to be unsettled and dissatisfied with the Temple so that they would long for something more…for a time that God “would rend the heavens” and come down.
v. 8 the Lord of Hosts declares: “The silver is mine, and the gold is mine.”
God owns everything and I am his money manager. Psalm 24: 1 “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” When I honour God with my wealth I am declaring that He owns me, and everything that I have.
My heart always goes where I put God’s money. We tend to think that our money follows our heart but Jesus said it’s the other way around - Matthew 6: 21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Money leads; hearts follow. By giving to God first and by giving him my best, I make sure my heart is focused on heavenly things. We show what we love by what we do with what we have.
God prospers me not to raise my standard of living, but to raise my standard of giving. When we get more we can give more. The church at Corinth experienced this - 2 Corinthians 9:11 “You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”
As we move out by faith into the future, let’s hold on to the truth that God has in His hand everything we need to do what He would have us to do: “The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of Hosts.” God owns all things, and rules all things. He is possessor of all things and omnipotent over everything. When we live and give for the glory of God, we will never lack the means to do His work.
“The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the LORD of hosts.”? How could that be? This temple was obviously not as ornate as Solomon’s because this second temple was outwardly inferior to the first. There were a lot of things missing. Haggai is pushing them forward in their thinking, out to the future. God was getting them to focus on the future coming of Christ and the glory that would fill His house.
This temple, though smaller than Solomon’s, was later renovated by Herod and became beautiful once again. But what made it really beautiful was that it was filled with the glory of the Lord
Jesus Christ. The greatest glory of the Temple took place when the Son of God entered the Temple. We know that Jesus went to the temple when he was 12 to instruct the religious leaders. He taught in the temple on several occasions during His ministry and he even cleared it out when He saw people using it improperly.
The main point here is that Jesus provides salvation. If you have not settled your salvation, it’s time to do so right now. It’s not about moralism…or church attendance…or trying to be good because you will never be good enough. God’s been shaking you up and now He wants to save you before the real shaking begins.
Shaking leads to salvation, which results in …
3. Shalom v. 9
While God is referring to the temple here or maybe even to Jerusalem, ultimate peace comes only from being in a relationship with Jesus Christ. Shalom means “completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony and the absence of agitation or discord.” It is rooted in a focus on God and His holiness and comes to us as we honour His holiness. This is what’s behind the blessing in Numbers 6: 24 - 26 “The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.”
We can have shalom because peace has been paid for by the shed blood of the Saviour who died as our substitute on the cross. His death fully satisfied the holy wrath of a righteous God, resulting in shalom for those who are saved. If you have never been saved, you will never have shalom.
I am speaking to some very discouraged and disappointed people who wonder why God has allowed certain things to happen. Perhaps you’ve been through a series of events that have shaken you deeply.
Let me speak to some of you who are being shaken right now: Whatever you do, don’t turn away from God. Allow the shaking to lead you to salvation so that you can have shalom. Your disappointment may be God’s appointment to bring you to the cross for forgiveness and salvation. God works His way and His will for His glory.
Oh friends, flee from the wrath to come! A time of shaking is coming which you will not be able to withstand! Jesus is saying something like this today: “Are you thirsty? Are your insides starting to shrivel up? Are you parched for purpose in life? Then drink Me.” Like water, Jesus goes where we can’t. His Spirit satisfies by flushing our fears, dislodging our disappointments, and purifying what is putrid. Jesus makes this invitation to “anyone” who is thirsty. Are you anyone? If so, step up to the fountain because you qualify. Welcome Him into the inner workings of your life. Let Christ be the water of your soul.