Haggai Chapter 2:1-9 The Shaking of The Nations
Haggai 2:1 In the seventh month, on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet:
Haggai 2:2 “Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to all the remnant of the people, and say,
Chapter 2 begins with the next message from the Lord thru Haggai. The 1st message to Israel rebuking them for indifference and commanding them to rebuild was on the 1st day of the 6th month. The 2nd message encouraging them was 23 days later, the 24th day of the 6th month. The third message now begins roughly 3 weeks later, on the 21st day of the seventh month or October 17th 520 B.C. Which would have been the final day of the feast of tabernacles. All the prophecies of Haggai take place over a 4-month period.
Haggai 2:3 ‘Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Does it not seem to you like nothing in comparison?
The remnant was in captivity to Babylon for 70 years. Some of the elderly captives that returned were alive to see the luxurious construction of Solomon’s temple. When the foundation stone of Zerubbabel’s temple was laid some of the Israelites were filled with joy and sang, others however wept bitterly (Ezra 3:12-13). They were comparing the glory of Israel and Solomon’s temple, to the lackluster construction of Zerubbabel’s temple combined with the poverty of the returned remnant. Zechariah the partner of Haggai claimed they were despising the day of small things (Zech 4:10). How often do we look down on something the Lord might see great value in? How often do we belittle certain members in the body of Christ as if the eye could say to the ear, I have no need of you? When In reality, the weaker parts of the body in God’s eyes are indispensable (1 Cor 12:21-23). Let us always remember that God is the judge. He who is faithful with a little will also be faithful in much (Luke 16:10); and what is highly esteemed in the eyes of man is an abomination to God (Luke 16:15).
Haggai 2:4 ‘But now take courage, Zerubbabel,’ declares the LORD, ‘take courage also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and all you people of the land take courage,’ declares the LORD, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ declares the LORD of hosts.
As the building project continues and the people demonstrated their obedience to God the Lord began to encourage them. He tells them to gather courage and reiterates the promise that he will be with them. The prophet Zechariah when speaking on this theme said the temple would be rebuilt not by human might or power but by the spirit of God (Zechariah 4:6-10). The great confidence of the saints is the Lord; he is our strength, he is our righteousness, he is the one who does our good works for us, and unless the Lord builds the house then we all labor in vain (Is 26:12; Jer 23:6; Ps 28:7; 127:1). We have seen from chapter one that we are called to labor, that is clear but never in our own strength. When Christ gave the church the great commission what was his encouragement? The exact same words spoken in Haggai’s day, Jesus promises us ‘’lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Apart from Christ we can do nothing, yet through Christ we can do all things!
Haggai 2:5 ‘As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear!’
Yahweh to comfort and encourage the people reminds them of who he is, and the promises he has given them. He is not some impersonal deity to them; he is Israel’s God. The one who saved them from bondage to the Egyptians. This is the Lord who plagued their enemies with frogs, turned water to blood, thundered from heaven against Pharaoh, and sent hail to destroy the land; Yahweh decimated the Egyptian empire to deliver them. All thru ought the Bible, The Lord describes himself to Israel as the one who brought them out of Egypt (Ex 29:46). Yahweh not only provided manna from heaven to eat and water from the rock to drink; he also gave them his good Spirit to instruct them (Neh 9:20). This is a personal, loving, sovereign God who carried them on eagles’ wings and brought them to himself (Ex 19:4). Furthermore, the Lord reminds them that his Spirit is among them. Yahweh promised them when they came out of Egypt, that he would abide with them and dwell among them (Ex 29:45-46). Faith should always be looking at the promises of God which are fulfilled in Christ (2 Cor 1:20). The whole point of rebuilding the temple is to keep the focus of the people on dwelling with God. Recall how it was the spirit of God in the first place that led to the rebuilding of the temple (Hag 1:14). The people of God should take great comfort in who God has revealed himself to be. As Paul says in the New Testament if God is for us who can be against us?
Haggai 2:6-7 “For thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. I will shake all the nations...
As part of the message of encouragement the Lord reminds them that there is coming a time when Israel will return to her former glory as the leader of the nations (Deut 30:5). The timeline is important as the remnant of Jews would have had the entire book of Daniel at this point. In our Daniel series we learned of a vision in chapter 2 depicting a great statue which represents the gentile nations of the world. The vision explains how a stone cut out without hands (Jesus Christ), will one day destroy all the gentile nations. Then the God of heaven will establish a kingdom that shatters all other kingdoms, and his kingdom will endure forever (Dan 2:44).
Daniel chapter 7 unfolds another vision of 4 great beasts that also represent the gentile nations of the world. The chronology of both visions of the prophet Daniel as well as Haggai’s match up. First the gentile kingdoms are destroyed then the kingdom is given to the saints forever (Dan 7:27). The Lord is encouraging the Israelites with promises concerning the coming kingdom of God.
This “shaking” of the nations is what Jesus spoke about during his Olivet discourse in Matthew 24. Many of the prophets describe a global cataclysmic event or “shaking” that will happen when the Lord returns. Ezekiel said on the day of the blazing wrath of the Lord a great earthquake will take place in Israel (Eze 38:19). Isaiah said on that day the Lord’s anger will burn, the heavens will tremble, and the earth will shake (Is 13:13). The final bowl of God’s wrath in the revelation foretells the greatest earthquake ever to take place (Rev 16:18). Haggai is prophesying about the great day of God’s wrath when Jesus comes back to strike the nations (Rev 19:15). On that day the sun will be black and the moon as dark as blood, stars will fall to the sky, men’s hearts will fail them for the fear of what is coming upon the earth, The Lord will roar from Zion and the heavens and the earth will tremble, men will beg for the mountains to crush them to hide themselves from the wrath of the Lamb (Rev 6:12-17; Joel 3:16; Luke 21:26). As we study the coming day of God’s vengeance, we need to remember our mission to plead with people to come to him while it is still the day of salvation (Isaiah 61:2). Haggai 2:6 is the only verse in Haggai quoted in the New Testament (Hebrews 12:26-28). This passage of scripture reveals that God is going to shake the universe so that the things which cannot be shaken will remain. Furthermore, it reveals the Church is receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and therefore should serve God with reverence and awe. The Kingdom of God was a source of encouragement to the Israelites as they combatted a sense of fear and despair. Even so, Christ tells his little flock not to fear, for it is the Father’s good pleasure to give us this kingdom (Luke 12:32).
Haggai 2:7 ‘I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts.
Haggai 2:8 ‘The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares the LORD of hosts.
After the judgement of the nations, the Lord will take their wealth and give it to Israel to glorify his temple. Many prophets speak of a time when Israel’s fortunes will be restored (Zeph 3:20). Haggai is one of the last prophets and therefor the remnant of godly jews would have been searching the scriptures at this time for encouragement. The prophet Zechariah speaks of a time when the nations would gather to make war against Jerusalem (Zech 12:9), when the Lord himself at his 2nd coming will go forth and fight against those nations (Zech 14:3), and on that day the gold and silver of the nations would be gathered in great abundance (Zech 14:14). Just as when the Hebrews came out of bondage to Egypt, they plundered them (Exodus 12:36). After the battle of Armageddon, the wealth of the nations will be given to Israel. The prophet Isaiah speaks of the restoration of Israel as a time when they will rejoice as the wealth of the nations is handed over to them (Isaiah 60:5). How the gentiles will one day bring Israel both gold and frankincense just as the magi did at Christ’s birth (Matthew 2:11). Then the flocks of various tribes throughout the earth will be brought to Israel to sacrifice and the Lord will again glorify his temple (Isaiah 60:7). Israel again will be a light to the world and will boast in the riches of the nations (Isaiah 61:6). The prophet Micah speaks of a time when the nations of the world would assemble against Jerusalem. These nations will be clueless as they rush upon Israel to destroy her, they fail to realize it is the Lord’s sovereign plan. He will gather them to the battle of Armageddon in order that they might be destroyed, and their wealth devoted to the Lord of all the earth (Mic 5:11-13; Rev 16:14).
Haggai 2:9 ‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ declares the LORD of hosts.”
The Lord is encouraging the remnant of Israelites as they build that the glory of this latter temple will be even greater than Solomon’s. The Jewish people viewed the temple as a single structure existing under different forms. When God is speaking about the former glory of Solomon’s temple or the latter glory of Zerubbabel’s’ temple, it is simply called, “this house.” In one sense the Tabernacle in the wilderness, the Temple of Solomon, Zerubbabel’s temple, and the final millennial temple are all connected.
In our series reviewing the temples of the Bible, we learned how the Shekinah glory of God was manifested to Israel in a cloud. The glory cloud rested upon the tabernacle of Moses and the temple of Solomon during their dedication. However, when Israel fell away from the Lord the prophet Ezekiel saw the glory of the Lord depart from Solomon’s temple (Eze 10:18). The visible glory cloud of the Lord never returned to Zerubbabel’s temple; but rather Jesus who is the radiance of God’s glory and exact imprint of his nature, walked in it! (Hebrews 1:3). Jesus himself said to his parents they should have known he would be in his Father’s house (Luke 2:49).
However, a time is coming when the Lord Jesus Christ will return, after he shakes the nations, and will rebuild the city of Jerusalem. Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth and the mountain of the Lord will be called the Holy Mountain (Zech 8:3). Then he will sit on the throne of his father King David and the glory of the Lord will return to the millennial temple (Eze 43:2). The survivors of all the nations will go up every year to worship the Lord Jesus Christ during the feast of tabernacles (Zech 14:16), the very feast day that this vision was given To Haggai. What an incredible unity the scriptures provide!
Haggai 2:9 …, ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ declares the LORD of hosts.”
Finally, when The Lord comes back and dwells in Jerusalem, he promises to give peace. Not merely the peace we have with God thru believing in Christ although that is paramount. Nor some false global peace that can be attained politically before Christ comes. But rather, as the prince of peace after the judgement of the nations at the battle of Armageddon, Christ will usher in a time of universal world peace and prosperity. This will be a time of unparalleled blessings as the world returns to an Eden-like state. There will be no end to the increase of his government, or of peace as he sits on the throne of David and reigns over the nations (Isaiah 9:5-7).
1 Peter 2:9 But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;
I would like to conclude with a few thoughts on how these promises pertain to the Church. We need to remember that although Israel and the Church are two distinct groups of God that does not mean we are completely detached from each other. You are sons of Abraham thru faith in Jesus Christ, not sons of Genghis khan or some other gentile ruler. The Bible describes Israel and the Church as two distinct branches of one tree (Rom 11:17).
In the letters given to the Churches we see Jesus describing himself as the one who has the key of David (Rev 3:7). He gives the church a promise that if we overcome, we will be given authority over the nations (Rev 2:26-27). Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus that formerly they were separated from Christ and alienated from the commonwealth of Israel. However, now that they were saved, they were no longer strangers and aliens, but citizens with the saints and are of God’s household.
Jesus himself said to the group of Jews who rejected him that the kingdom of God would be taken away from them and given to a people producing the fruit of it (Matt 21:43). The Church is that group, we are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, and a Holy Nation (1 Pet 2:9). The Lord warned Israel during the time of Moses that they would turn away from him and provoke his jealousy. Therefor he would make them jealous with a nation that is not a nation, a foolish nation, a group of individuals saved out of every tribe and tongue and people and language (Duet 32:21; Rev 5:9-10). The Church is that nation.
God has given the nation of Israel many promises, he has also given the Church many promises and often it appears they overlap. the Church is not Israel, and Israel is not the Church, but we are also not completely detached from one another. I cannot tell you exactly what activities the church will be doing in the millennial kingdom, nor the activities of Israel. But I can encourage you to look forward to the time when we will rule the nations with Christ. Our great God and savior who purchased us with his own blood. Oh, Lord may your kingdom come, and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.