Haggai 2:1-9 The Glory Of The LORD’s House.
The LORD had stirred up the spirits of everyone to begin the building of His house (1:12-15), but now they needed to be encouraged to continue, so once again He spoke His word through His messenger, the prophet Haggai (2:1). Again, he was commanded to speak to the political and religious leaders, and the remnant of His people (v. 2). Some no doubt reflected on the glory of the previous temple, and in light of it perhaps had second thoughts or some despondency about what they may be able to accomplish (v. 3). As Ezra also noted, those who remembered the first temple wept, perhaps because they yearned for the day that the foundation would once again be laid (3:12ab), but others “shouted aloud for joy” (v. 12c).
In the same manner, many in our day weep when we see the state of the true church today, because we have read and know of times in the past when the church was revived, and the LORD had stirred up the spirits of all, to build His house. However, they could have also wept, as some also do in our day, when they see the work begin on that which they have yearned for so long. This is also surely what happened with the renewal of the covenant in the new administration. The apostles and prophets were the foundation laid, prepared as they were to receive the Lord Jesus Christ, the chief cornerstone (Eph 2:20). In Haggai’s day there were also those who shouted for joy that the foundation had been laid (Cf. Zech. 4:10).
It was good to take a pause, as it were, to weep and rejoice that the foundation had been laid, but now the LORD commands them to be strong, not in their own strength, rather they were to work because the LORD of hosts was with them-the central covenantal goal of building His house (v. 4 Cf. Zech. 4:9; 8:9). This same encouragement was given to David before the building of the first temple (I Chr. 22:13), a message which he also passed on to his son Solomon (I Chr. 28:20). This message through Haggai was ultimately according to the word that the LORD had “covenanted” with the His people, when they came out of Egypt. Now the LORD had brought them back from captivity to rebuild His house.
These are “covenanted” words. As such He also promised that His spirit would remain among them, even as He was present during the exodus (Neh. 9:20), and that therefore they should not fear (v. 5 Cf. Is. 63:11, 14)! The goal is ultimately that He would dwell among His people-they His people, and He their God (Cf. Ex. 29:45-46). As the LORD had stirred up Cyrus, even so He would shake up all nations, and all nations will come to join with His people and worship in His presence (vv. 6-7). These very words also found their ultimate fulfillment with the coming of the Son and the building of that house and kingdom which cannot be shaken (Heb. 10:26). In the midst of the shaking His house stands fast (Cf. Joel 3:16).
The LORD’s house is the place where His Glory-Presence dwells, and it is His presence which will be the desire of all nations, a desire that will be ultimately fulfilled with the coming of the Son, the Anointed One, the Messiah. Furthermore, the devotion of the nations will also be seen in the silver and gold which they shall give back to Him for the good of His house, where His glory dwells, and by this He also is glorified (v. 8). Whereas some may have reflected on the previous temple and wept for the prospects they envisioned for the rebuild, the LORD promised that the glory of the latter house would be greater than the former, as the new would be greater than both as their fulfillment, and it will be a place of peace (v. 9 Cf. Ps. 85:8-9; Lk. 2:14; Eph. 2:14).