Scripture Reading: Haggai 1:1-2:23 / 2 John / Proverbs 29:19-27
King Solomon’s greatest achievement was the erection of the Temple. Solomon spared no expense when building the Temple as he imported enormous amounts of cedar wood from the kingdom of Tyre. Solomon had the choicest of stone quarried to build the temple. The Temple had magnificent carvings throughout it and pure gold was used to overlay much of it.
The Temple was a monument to God, the only place designated for sacrifice and a permanent home for the Ark of the Covenant. It was a beautiful edifice but was destroyed by the Babylonians 400 years later. Fifty years after Israel was taken captive to Babylon, the king allowed 43,000 Jews to return to their homeland and granted the Temple to be rebuilt. They enthusiastically undertook rebuilding but stopped after they encountered hostility and political opposition. They rebuilt their own homes while the Temple site remained in ruins.
Fifteen years later, the prophet Haggai encouraged the Israelites to finish the task of rebuilding the Temple. Those who saw the first temple knew the rebuilt temple was smaller and would not be as magnificent as the first yet God promised them, “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 glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house.” (Haggai 2:7,9)
When Solomon dedicated the Temple, the glory of God filled the place so the priests could not even stand to minister. God promised a greater glory to fill the rebuilt Temple…it would be visited by the long awaited desire of Israel, The Messiah! Jesus physically entered the Temple but when He gave His life on the cross, the Temple curtain was torn by God to reveal His glory to the whole world!
The birth, ministry, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ shook the world. The heavens rejoiced at His birth, man took notice of His powerful ministry, the earth shook at His death, hell shook at His resurrection and the early church was shaken at his ascension. The glory of His Spirit rested upon His followers on the Day of Pentecost and placed within them. Today, the glory of God is found within Christians as He makes us Temples of His Holy Spirit!
The glory of God radiated from that Temple through the early church and has reached around the world. A temple for sacrifice is no longer needed as the sacrifice for sin has been made by the cross once and for all. A temple to house His presence is no longer needed as He lives within His children. A temple on earth cannot house his glory for His glory covers the whole earth. One day we will forever be in the continual presence of the long desired Christ in heaven... what a glorious reunion and eternity that will be!