"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 2:7
Haggai spoke for the LORD to the Jews after their return to Israel from Babylon. In Ezra 1, Cyrus the king of Persia grants the captive Israelites freedom to return home. In Ezra 1:2-4, Cyrus' stated purpose for sending the exiles back to Israel was the rebuilding of the house of the LORD. He went so far as to say God had charged him with this responsibility. Not only did he encourage the Israelites to return and rebuild the temple, but he also gave them all the instruments of worship which the Babylonians had removed from Solomon's temple.
The LORD, speaking through Haggai in chapter one, confronts the people for not rebuilding the temple. They had built houses for themselves, but the temple was in ruins. Because of their disobedience, God had brought poverty upon them even though they had exerted much effort to get out of that position. In chapter two, the temple is rebuilt, but it appeared insignificant in comparison to Solomon's. In verse three, the LORD asks, "Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Is it not as nothing in your eyes?" Ezra 3:11 says, "Many...old men who had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice...though many shouted aloud with joy...the people could not distinguish...the joyful shout...from the people's weeping." Those who had seen the splendor of Solomon's temple wept because of the lost glory in the second temple. Then the LORD made a promise, "I will shake the heavens...sea...dry land...the treasures of all nations shall come...I will fill this house with glory...The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former...In this place I will give peace." (Haggai 2:6-9)
God's promise of the coming greater glory of His temple has caused much thought and discussion. Ezekiel 40-43 provides a vision of a temple that has yet to be built. Chapter 43 describes the glory of the LORD filling this temple. In verse seven, He describes this temple as the "place of my throne and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the people of Israel forever." 2 Thessalonians 2:3-4 speaks of a temple in which the "man of lawlessness...the son of destruction" takes a seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.
In John 2:18-22, the Jews ask Jesus for a sign to prove His authority for clearing out the temple. He says "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." The Jews thought He was referring to Herod's temple (which was a renovation and addition to the temple built by the Israelites who returned from Babylon), but we know He was speaking of His body.
Ephesians 2:19-22 explains another temple that the LORD is building. Paul, describing believers, says, "You are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit." This temple is currently being built with "living stones" according to 1 Peter 2:4. Peter says Jesus is not only the cornerstone of this building but a "living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious.” With Him, believers are being built up as a spiritual house (temple).
With President Trump's recent acknowledgment of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, you will find a discussion on the internet of the possibility of a "third" temple being built. I enjoy discussing the history of the temple, discussing the possibility of a future temple and especially the one currently being built, since I am a small rough stone used in the construction. But the temple I am most concerned about is the one found in 2 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT). "Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So, you must honor God with your body."
Discussing these physical temples suddenly seems minor in comparison to my responsibility for the temple God has made me. I house the Spirit of the Living God within me!! I am not my own because Jesus paid a high price for me. Therefore, He has the right to expect me to honor His Father and my Father in the body He created.
Holy Father, forgive me for treating my life as if it were my own, taking my physical existence for granted. Holy Spirit, I don't want to live my life just going about my business as if on autopilot. I surrender myself anew today for You to guide and direct so that I may bring glory to my God through my body. Thank You, Jesus, for submitting Your body as the perfect sacrifice so that my body would be a dwelling place for Your Spirit.