Empty Pockets

totuschristus-sAfter the altar was rebuilt and the foundation for the Temple was restored, local opposition and intimidation brought a halt to construction. God’s people compromised and there was peace, but it was the stillness of stagnant water. The Lord used two witnesses, Haggai and Zechariah, as shoulders to lift the capstone.

Haggai dealt with the practical consequences of the people’s failure to complete the Temple. No matter how hard they worked, the Lord made sure their pockets had holes. Without making the house of God a priority they could not prosper. Haggai also encouraged them with promises, which included a prediction that the Lord would soon shake the nations and bring their riches to Judah. James Jordan pictures this as the Lord holding a man upside down and shaking all the money out of his pockets.

Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares the Lord. Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the Lord. Work, for I am with you, declares the Lord of hosts, according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not. 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… (Haggai 2:4-7)

The fulfilment of this is recorded in the book of Esther. The author of Hebrews understood the pattern. He quoted Haggai before the next great plunder of the Lord’s enemies (Hebrews 12:26), but in that day the plunder, and the house, would be spiritual and eternal.

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