Friday, December 15, 2017

Come Desire of All Nations

Wise men worshiping Jesus - William Hole
Wise men worshiping Jesus - William Hole
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Haggai 2:1-9

TO CHEW ON: "For thus says the Lord of hosts: once more (it is a little while) I will shake the heaven and earth, the sea and dry land. And I will shake all nations and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory, says the Lord of Hosts." Haggai 2:6-7

Imagine having a clear sense, on a particular day, that God wants to use your tongue for His message. That seems to have been Haggai's experience "on the seventh month, on the twenty-first of the month." Thanks to his cooperation, we have his words to ponder these many years later.

As we read his prophetic message, we get the sense of double, perhaps multiple fulfillments. Some of these predictions came true shortly after Haggai's time, some were for a time in the distant future and some for the end of time. Even in our short  focus passage we see this.

"And I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land. And I will shake all nations" (vs. 6-7) brings to mind passages we have recently read about the great end-of-earth disturbances Jesus predicts in Matthew 24:7,29.

"..and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations ..."(vs. 7) sounds Messianic. It reminds us of Jesus coming to earth as a baby and how representatives of the earth's nations came to Bethlehem to honour Him as King (Matthew 2:1-12).  But there is also a future picture here—one we see in John's vision (Revelation 7:9-10).

"… and I will fill this temple with glory"
is a prophecy that also has multiple fulfillments.

It was fulfilled in a sense when Haggai's contemporaries completed the temple and worship resumed there.

Jesus interpreted "temple" on several levels: the actual building standing in Jerusalem and His own body. His double meaning led to Him making controversial statements like  "'Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up' " (John 2:19)— claims which eventually became part of the case that ended in His crucifixion (Mark 15:48; Matthew 26:61) and his body-temple being changed to one of resurrected glory.

My Bible's introduction to Haggai explains how this is also a prophecy  for the future:
 "… what God will do in the new temple will one day gain international attention. After an upheaval among the peoples of the Earth, the nations will be drawn to the temple to discover that they had been looking for: the One whom all the nations have desired will be displayed in splendour in the temple. The presence of this One will cause the memory of Solomon's glorious temple to fade so that only Christ's glory remains…" Sam Middlebrook, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1241.

As we celebrate the coming of the Desire of All Nations to earth as a baby, let's not lose hope in the fulfillment of the parts of Haggai's prophecy that have yet to be realized.

PRAYER: Dear Desire of All Nations, thank You for coming as a baby. We look forward to the day You return in glory and bring peace. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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