Pod Prep: July 30, 2016
Please Build the Third Temple
The Book of Ezra contains the background for Haggai. The Jews had been in captivity for about 70 years when Cyrus the King decided that the Jews could go back. He was even willing to pay for the Temple in Jerusalem. About 42,000 people returned to Jerusalem. When they arrived the first thing they did was offer a sacrifice to God. Then they celebrated the Feast of Tabernacles. Some of the foreigners who lived in the area did not like the idea that the Jews were rebuilding the Temple. Some elderly Jews didn’t think it could be as good as the first one and were disheartened. Ezra 3:10-13. Opposition arose among the other people living in the area who sent a letter to the new King of Persia, Artaxerxes saying that the Jews were making trouble and rebellion. Artaxerxes checked the records and found out that the Jews had indeed been rebellious so he stopped the rebuilding of the Temple. At this point Haggai (520BC) came on the scene. The work on the Temple had been stopped for about 15 years and so had the blessings from God.
National Blessing Are Withheld for Not Building the Temple
Israel was in economic stagnation because they were not trying to rebuild the Temple. Note Haggai 1:3-6. The entire book of Haggai exists to encourage Judah to complete the second Temple. It is that important to God. It was as if Israel had a bag with money in it that had a hole in it because of God’s curses. The money just drained away.
Will Judah be economically and politically blessed if and when they build a third Temple? If Judah gives God higher priority in their nation’s life they will be blessed. This may defy political wisdom of this day but it also did in the time of the second Temple. See Haggai 1:7-9. This second Temple was very crucial and important to God. We could argue that the future third Temple is almost as important as the second Temple because of end time prophecies. Note Luke 21:5-6 and II Thess 2:2-4 and II Thess 2:9-11. It is believed by the Jews that part of the second Temple still exists, the Wailing Wall. The third Temple could be in a way a rebuilding of the second Temple or a physical touch point with the past glory.
If this Third Temple is vital to God’s plan then won’t Judah be blessed for building it and cursed for not building it? Jesus and his Apostles would preach in this second Temple making it the most important Temple!
Therefore would they be blessed for building the third Temple again in a hostile environment? The answer is yes! See Haggai 1:9-11. Would America also be blessed as well if we both support Israel and give God higher national priority than we do now? Are some of our weather blessings for instance being withheld?
Haggai’s Message was Be Strong and Trust God
They were under great threats in days of the prophet Haggai. These threats were from some of the same enemies of Judah as today. Note Haggai 2:2-5. See Zeph 2:4. God says trust me and be bold brave and strong. This Temple is worth the battle. It will be greater than Solomon’s Temple. Israel was cursed because of their faulty priorities; putting God’s work secondary. See Haggai 2:17. All of us individually and nationally would be blessed if we put God first. This applies to both the nation of Judah and the United States of America. Read Ezra 5:1-2, 6:1-3, 7-8. They followed Haggai’s words while under pressure and started building again and while under a cease and desist order not to rebuild the Temple. God blessed them and got the Emperor to force their enemies to help them. Could that happen again? Could the King of a United Europe help Israel to rebuild the Temple?
Wonderful Blessing Are Coming to All Mankind at Christ Second Coming
Note what Paul said if the blinding of the Jews with regard to Jesus was the calling of many gentiles. Then the full end time calling of Judah and the probable repairing of the then war damaged third Temple will be the salvation of all nations. It will be glorious. Read Romans 10:1-2 and 11:1, 12, 25-26. It will be the enriching of all us. If little Judah is to be blessed, they should obey Haggai and build the Temple. If big America is to be blessed, help Israel. Both Israel and America should put God higher in our national priorities just like Haggai insisted upon for blessings.
Somehow someway the Third Temple will be built. It is God’s will! The story of that rebuilding maybe quite an intricate surprise.