Summary: The Prophet Haggai to encourage Zerubbabel, Joshua and the people to “be strong and work because God is with them and promises to fill His house with Glory” There will be Glory after this!
Sermon – There Will Be Glory After This (I Will Fill My House with Glory)
Scripture Lesson – Haggai 2:1-9
Introduction: Today’s lesson focuses on a remnant of Jews that were returning form the Babylonian Captivity with a new assignment from God. God himself, had moved Cyrus, king of the Medo-Persian empire to release the Jewish captives and to allow them to return to their homeland. The Jews had an assignment to rebuild the temple at Jerusalem. Not only was King Cyrus moved, God moved the hearts of more that 50,000 Jewish captives to return and carry out his assignment. Many of the Captives choose to remain in Babylon.
The called congregation of Jews was a mixed crowd; the old and very young, from skilled craftsmen and common labors, from priest and Levites, and others from every walk of life. The seniors could still remember the temple, temple worship, and all the former glory and splendor of the house of God. The young who had grown up in Babylon had never seen the temple nor had they attended a worship service. Solomon’s temple was something to behold! Its beauty attracted visitors from all over the known world. Yet, God would use the band of Jews to rebuild His temple. Sometimes God will choose the most unlikely candidate to do His greatest work. God chooses to use the Prophet Haggai to encourage Zerubbabel, Joshua and the people to “be strong and work for two good reasons. First, ‘I will be with them”. My promises and my covenant are as sure now as they were from the beginning. Secondly, “I will fill my house with Glory” You are concerned about the outer beauty, I am concerned with Glory!
1. The Church Has a Glorious Future
Ezra 3:10-13 And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets, and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals, to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Israel. 11 And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks unto the LORD; because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever toward Israel. And all the people shouted with a great shout, when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. 12 But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy: 13 So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.
Ezra allows us to see the reaction of the people as the foundation was completed. Many of the Priests, Levites, and chief fathers, who were ancient men, begin to weep, as many of the younger men rejoiced. Why is this important? The incidence reveals the importance of perspective. We may find the same reaction today in many churches. Those who have witness the former glory of Church, the hymns, the form and appeal of high church are sadden and even dare to criticize the church of today. All they can see is what seems to be missing from the church. All they seem to see is weakness, ungodliness, and worldliness. They criticize the preachers, the choirs, the modern music, their salvation experience, their Holy Spirit experience and many other things. God is still in charge of his church. It is easy to forget that this the Lord’s church and the Lord know how to make His ready for His coming. Read Eph 5:26, 27 “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”
2. The Lord God Himself Will Glorify the Church
God has a plan for a glorious Church without a spot or wrinkle. God’s plan has not been altered or changed because of the condition of the church or the condition of the world. God will glorify His Church. He will shake the devil out of the Church and shake the world out of the world. We are reminded in Ecclesiastes that we are not the first to feel this way, E Ecclesiastes 7:10 “Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this.” Many reminisce and call the former days better. Yet today, there is more revelation, understanding, and insight into pleasing God.