I love seeing the Old Testament and the New Testament connections. I love the reminders that God's plan did not change from Old Testament to New Testament. Today I was reading Haggai Chapter 2 when I came across this awesome passage:
"'This is what the Lord Almighty says: 'In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and the desired of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,' says the Lord Almighty. 'The silver is mine and the gold is mine,' declares the Lord Almighty. 'The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,' says the Lord Almighty. 'And in this place I will grant peace,' declares the Lord Almighty." Haggai 2:6-9.
Do you see this amazing news? God is going to shake things up and bring all nations into His temple! When you read this remember that He is talking about a physical temple. God is encouraging the people of Israel to rebuild the temple. But when you read this remember that He is also talking about the temple as a picture of the Kingdom.
God will bring the desired of all nations into His Kingdom and He will fill the Kingdom with glory.
The nation of Israel was a foretaste of what was to come. Israel was a microcosm of the Kingdom that was to come and that has begun but is not completed. To prove this point let's go to the New Testament.
"... remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ." Ephesians 2:12, 13
"Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone. In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in Him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit." Ephesians 2:19-22
You see, Paul, the writer of Ephesians, understood Haggai. God is shaking things up. What Israel was a microcosm of is happening now. God is rebuilding the temple to include the desired of all nations.
First of all, if you are a Christian you are one of "the desired". That should blow your mind, but I don't have time to write about that now.
Secondly, so what? What role do I have in the rebuilding of the temple, in the coming of God's Kingdom?
"The silver is mine and the gold is mine,' declares the Lord Almighty." According to Haggai God has all the resources needed to rebuild the temple, to make His Kingdom come. That being said we have a role in the job.
"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10
Ok, what are these good works? What would God will us to do?
"He (God) has made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure... to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ." Ephesians 1:10
See, God has the resources and He has prepared us for the task of building His Kingdom. We are to bring all things together under His rule. Now, He is with us doing this too as He said in another part of Haggai Chapter 2. But we all have a role in doing this. Your role and my role in rebuilding the temple, making His Kingdom come, may be different but they are the roles we were made/prepared to do. That's awesome!
God is shaking things up. He desires to bring you and the desired from all nations into His new temple, His Kingdom. Beyond that, He wants you to be a part of the holy process. Do you want to be a worker in the temple reconstruction? Do you want to be a part of making His Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven? Do it. Let's do things that build the temple today.