2009-07-01 - What is the Glory?
Haggai 2:7, "`And I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations; and I will fill this house with glory,' says the Lord of hosts."
The book of Haggai is a series of four short messages from the Lord, through the prophet Haggai, to the people who have returned from exile. The post-exilic Jews, in the book of Haggai, set about to complete the Temple. It was the second Temple for Israel. Solomon's Temple had been destroyed. This second Temple would not be as glorious as Solomon's at least to the eye. It would not have the physical majesty that Solomon's Temple displayed. It did have something else, however. We see it in this verse above, "I will fill this house with glory." This Temple was to have something that Solomon's Temple never had. It was to have an internal glory that far outshined the glory that Solomon's Temple, even in its most glorious hour, ever achieved. The second Temple did not have the gold or size of the first Temple but it would be greater than the first.
Why? It would have the presence of Jesus Christ. This Temple would have the Gospel of salvation preached in it by the Apostles. The glory of this Temple would be that Christ, to whom all sacrifices pointed in the Old Testament, would enter it. He who ended the need for the shedding of bulls and goats through the shedding of His own precious blood for sin He would come to this Temple. His presence alone would "fill this house with glory." The second Temple is not of the architectural grandeur of the first, but it would have a glory that far outshined anything Solomon's Temple ever knew, and to which Solomon's Temple could only point Jesus Christ.
Christ is the wealth of all nations. He cannot be equaled and He has no rival. He alone, among all who have ever walked this earth, has first place in the hearts of those whom He has redeemed. When we think of Philippians 2:5-11 and remember what it is that Christ gave up to secure our souls for eternity, we must wonder at his deep love towards us in the sacrifice He has made for us. This Temple, that we read of in Haggai, would, many years later, be visited by Christ. Christ is the end of any need for Temples, sacrifices, or High Priests. Christ now gives His people the office of priesthood to all who come to Him in faith (1 Peter 2:5, Rev. 1:6, 5:10).
Christ has done much for those who follow Him. To those who come to Him by faith He not only gives a peace that is beyond our understanding, but He grants new life. There are treasures like this in God's Word that we are too prone to miss. We can read this verse in Haggai, "I will fill this house with glory," and think, "Ah, yes. I am sure it was a glorious place." If we do we have missed the great meaning to be found here. What is the glory of it? What is it that will make this Temple full of glory? We only understand this verse when we recognize that the glory in view here is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ.
Soli Deo Gloria,