Haggai 2: Not Measuring Up
As we read Haggai 2, it struck me that we can get far too wrapped up in material things. We can worry that our building might not be as nice as the building next door. In fact, this can occasionally creep in as competition between churches. Who has the nicest building or light display or projection system can become a source of rivalry. It shouldn’t happen, but I have heard of it happening.
For these people in Jerusalem, there were some that were concerned that the Temple that they were being told to rebuild was not going to be anywhere near what had been built by Solomon. Notice that that is not what God cared about.
Hag 2:2 Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and to the residue of the people, saying,
Hag 2:3 Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?
Hag 2:4 Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts:
Hag 2:5 According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not.
The people are advised to be strong, and God tells them to work because He is with them. He does not tell them to not bother trying. Obviously Solomon did build a beautiful Temple. Nobody would deny that. Nobody would also argue that the new Temple was a copy of the old one. It was not the same level of craftsmanship by any means.
It is significant however that God did not tell them to stop trying. Remember in the last chapter that He asked them why they weren’t dedicating their resources towards the Temple. The important part is the dedication to God rather than the size of the building. Maybe we need to remember that today as well.