Haggai 2:10-19 Covenantal Cursing And Blessing.
Again Haggai describes the word of the LORD as coming ‘by’ him. It wasn’t his word, it was the LORD’s. It wasn’t just for him, but for those to whom the LORD was sending him as His messenger. Finally, he was simply the LORD’s instrument through which He communicated to His people, as awesome and sobering as this was for Haggai (v. 10). His first address here was to the priests, and the LORD wanted him to ask them a question concerning the law, since this was their job, what they were trained and called to do (v. 11 Cf. Lev. 10:10-11; Dt. 33:10). Next to the prophets, they were also His messengers (Cf. Mal. 2:7). Nothing can be made holy simply by touching something which the LORD has declared and made holy, although one can be made unclean by touching that which is unclean (Cf. Lev. 22:4-6; Nu. 19:11, 14, 22).
“The questions directed to the priests show that while ceremonial holiness is not transferable (v. 12), ceremonial defilement is (v. 13). Haggai then applies the lesson of the preceding questions to his hearers (v. 14). They defiled the work of the temple and their offerings because their estrangement from God was deeper than they realized. The mere presence of a rebuilt temple would not render them holy as a people (cf. Jer. 7:3-7); God demands genuine change of heart and life, not mere outward conformity” (NGSB p.1462). “To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure; but even their mind and conscience are defiled” (Titus 1:15 Cf. Lk. 11:41; Rom. 14:14). Lying words and unclean acts won’t be made right simply by appearing in the temple (Jer. 7:8-11).
The people needed to understand what the temple was all about, and what was necessary of them, not only as they were rebuilding it, but to understand where their hearts and consciences needed to be, and keep this before them after the work was completed (v. 15 Cf. 1:5-7; 2:18). They must not forget those curses of the covenant which they suffered, because they had failed to maintain covenantal fidelity in their hearts, their words, and their actions (vv. 16-17 Cf. 1:11; Dt. 28:22; I Kgs. 8:37; Amos 4:4-15; Jer. 5:3; Mal. 3:10). However, now if they continued their work from pure hearts, though their was no fruit, their would be an abundance of fruit that would come as blessings to them according to the LORD’s word of promise (vv. 18-19 Cf. Ezra 5:1-2, 16; Zech. 8:9-13; Ps. 128; Jer. 31:12-14).