Haggai 2:7
I will shake all the nations, and they will come with all their treasures, and I will fill this house with glory, says the LORD of Hosts.
Sermons
God's Temple Filled with GloryT. Whitelaw Haggai 2:7
The Desire of All NationsCharles Haddon Spurgeon Haggai 2:7
Returning Despondency and Renewed StimulusT. Whitelaw Haggai 2:1-9
Christ ExpectedArchibald Boyd, M. A.Haggai 2:6-7
Christ Suited to All NationsA. Maclaren, D. D.Haggai 2:6-7
Christ the Desire and Glory of His ChurchC. Bradley, M. A.Haggai 2:6-7
Christ the Desire of All NationsHenry A. Boardman, D. D.Haggai 2:6-7
Christ the Desire of All NationsG. Huntington, M. A.Haggai 2:6-7
Christ the Desire of All NationsJ. F. Osborne.Haggai 2:6-7
Christ the Hope of the WorldEdwin Dukes.Haggai 2:6-7
Christ the World's DesireAlex. Marshall, M. A.Haggai 2:6-7
Christmas-Day SermonGeo. Stradling, S. T. P.Haggai 2:6-7
Divine AgencyThe StudyHaggai 2:6-7
Divine ShakingsT. V. Moore, D. D.Haggai 2:6-7
The Advent of the Lord Ushered in Amidst the Shaking of the NationsJ. G. Lorimer.Haggai 2:6-7
The Desire of All NationsT. Bowdler, A. M.Haggai 2:6-7
The Desire of All NationsJames Wolfendale.Haggai 2:6-7
The Desire of All NationsR. Fuller, D. D.Haggai 2:6-7
The Desire of All NationsJohn N. Norton, D. D.Haggai 2:6-7
The Desire of NationsW. H. Lewis, D. D.Haggai 2:6-7
The Glory of God's HouseJoseph B. McCaul.Haggai 2:6-7
The Glory of the Presence of ChristJob Orton.Haggai 2:6-7
The Glory of the Second TempleArchibald Boyd, M. A.Haggai 2:6-7
The Moral Progress of the WorldHomilistHaggai 2:6-7
The Nations ShakenArchibald Boyd, M. A.Haggai 2:6-7
The Nations Shaken, and the Desire of All ComeA. Bonar.Haggai 2:6-7
The Presence of the Messias, the Glory of the Second TempJ. Tillotson, D. D.Haggai 2:6-7
The Presentation of Christ in the TempleEdmund Venables, M. A.Haggai 2:6-7
The Shaking of the NationsJulius C. Hare, M. A.Haggai 2:6-7
The Moral Progress of the WorldD. Thomas Haggai 2:6-9
The Prophet's Messianic ProphecyT. Whitelaw Haggai 2:6-9
And I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts.

I. VIEW THIS DIVINE PROMISE AS FULFILLED IN THE ADVENT OF CHRIST TO THIS PARTICULAR SANCTUARY FOR GOD.

1. Thither the Child Jesus was taken in his infancy by Joseph and Mary, that they might present him before the Lord. So far as material splendour was concerned, no trace of it was to be seen in this introduction of the Child Jesus to that house. The rich were required to bring a lamb as an offering when they came to present their children thus, but Joseph and Mary were too poor to bring so costly an offering, and hence they brought the humbler gift the Law required. But whilst earthly glory was lacking on this occasion, a higher glory was expressed. See those distinguished servants of God! And as you behold old age gazing with holy joy upon that helpless Babe, regarding him as the Deliverer of Israel, as in imagination you witness the one, Simeon, taking that infant form into his arms, exclaiming "Lord, now lettest," etc. (Luke 2:29), and as you behold the other, Anna, "giving thanks to God, and speaking of the Redeemer to all who looked for redemption in Jerusalem" (Luke 2:38), do you not see the promise realized, "I will fill," etc. (ver. 7)?

2. When he attained the age of twelve years, we find him again in that temple, sitting as a learner, hearing those who gave instruction there, and asking them questions. We can form no idea as to the nature of the questions he proposed to the masters in Israel; but when we think of those teachers as being confounded by the questions and answers of that Galilaean Youth, when we remember how that all who heard him were astonished at his understanding, and when we reflect upon the Divine light and knowledge which was then communicated, we see how that on the day when the sorrowing parents were searching diligently for their lost Son, God was fulfilling the promise made ages before to his people, "I will fill," etc. (ver. 7; Luke 2:42-51).

3. Whenever he entered that temple it became filled with the glory of the Lord. This was so, no matter whether he approached it for the purpose of performing some of his mighty works, or to give utterance to his wondrous words, or to drive from the shrine those who were desecrating it and causing it to become a den of thieves. Never did he enter it without imparting to it a glory such as was unknown to the temple of Solomon. That temple in all its glory could not hear comparison with this second, when this latter house was favoured with the visits and the holy influence of the Christ of God; and it was not until they who ought to have rejoiced in the light he imparted and in the halo his presence shed had rejected and crucified him that the glory departed from this temple as from the former one, and that irreparable ruin was brought upon the house which had been repeatedly filled with the glory of the Lord.

II. VIEW THIS DIVINE PROMISE AS HAVING ITS APPLICATION TO EVERY SANCTUARY IN WHICH GOD IS WORSHIPPED IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH. Every such structure is as much God's temple as the Jewish temple ever was. The Christian worshipper may adopt, in reference to the sanctuary to which it is his happiness to repair, such utterances as Psalm 84:1; Psalm 65:1, 2; Psalm 122:1, 2; and he can apply to these modern sanctuaries the grand old promise of his God, "And I will fill," etc. (ver. 7). There is but one essential in order that any sanctuary may be filled with glory, even the presence of Christ, not the visible, but the spiritual, presence of the Divine Redeemer. Let this be wanting, and it is immaterial how magnificent may be the structure reared or how imposing the outward form. Vestments may be worn, the whole assembly may assume a reverential aspect, the music may be of the most attractive character, the pulpit may be occupied by one who may charm and captivate by his eloquence; yet if the presence of Christ is not realized, the house will not be lighted up with the true glory; whereas much of this may be wanting, but if Christ's presence is realized, glory shall fill the place. What a contrast there was between this temple and the upper chamber in which the chosen disciples were assembled, waiting for the fulfilment of the promise of their risen Lord! And yet, on the second sabbath after the Ascension, a glory filled that upper chamber such as was unknown to the Jewish temple, simply because he who had been driven from the temple, and who, during his appearances there, had been invariably rejected by its worshippers, was a welcome Guest in that upper room. His presence was fully realized there, and hence the place was filled with the Divine glory, and was rendered "the very gate of heaven." The spiritual presence of the Divine Redeemer thus constitutes the true consecration of any building reared for Christian worship and teaching; this is what is needed in order that any sanctuary in our own day may be filled with God's own glory. Then, clothed with true sincerity of spirit, partaking of his love, his purity, his spirituality, his consecration, walking as he walked, honestly, uprightly, consistently, and so fulfilling the conditions upon which his manifestation depends, may we feel him near, as in the sanctuary, dear to us by hallowed associations, we engage in acts of worship; near us the Imparter of a Divine life, the Inspirer of all our songs, our prayers, our words, our toils; the Bestower of large blessings upon us and upon all who come within the range of our influence. "Now therefore arise, O Lord God," etc. (2 Chronicles 6:41). - S.D.H.







&&& Yet once... and I will shake the heavens.
What are these shakings? They have generally been referred to the establishment of the New Testament dispensation, from the text in Hebrews. This interpretation we cannot receive, because —

1. The designation of the interval before their commencement as "yet only a little while" leads us to look for a nearer future than five hundred years.

2. The force of the Hiphil participle here is properly to denote a continuance of shakings for an indefinite time.

3. The same phrase in vers. 22, 23 obviously refers to something outside of the Messianic kingdom, and not inside of it.

4. The usual meaning of this symbolical act is that of a visitation of vengeance on the enemies of God, and not an unfolding of His dispensations of mercy. And —

5. The future establishment of the Messiah's kingdom would not be as directly comforting to them as the nearer and more closely connected even to which the prophet alluded. This event was the speedy shaking of the social and political systems that were around and above them, before and beneath which they were in such dread as to hesitate about going forward in their work. That this fact would be an encouragement to them is obvious. They trembled before the consolidated power of Persia, and the craft of Samaria that might bring that power upon them again in restraint, if not in vengeance. The prophet assures them that they need not tremble, for in a little time this stupendous fabric would totter, and others be thrown up in its place. As these powers were soon to be prostrated, the people of God need not fear before their enemies, that were so soon to fall before them. This gives the key to all history. God will allow men to rear the loftiest fabrics, as individuals and as nations, but He will shake them down, that they may then seek for some immovable basis on which to rest.

(T. V. Moore, D. D.)

They who know that the Spirit of God remains with them, will not fear when God shakes the earth. What will a wise man fear? Nothing but that which would draw him away from God. Least of all would he fear that which is meant to bring him nearer to God. But this is the very purpose for which God shakes the earth, that He may burst the doors of our earthly prison, and the chains which bind us to the earth. This is the end for which God will overthrow a man's health, that he may learn how fleeting a possession bodily health is, and may seek that spiritual health which will abide with him for ever. It was by shaking the earth and the nations that God brought Israel out of Egypt, and established a people upon earth who were to be the shrine of His presence, the tabernacle of His law. It is by the shaking of our hearts and souls that the Son of God is made manifest to us. He shakes our earthly riches that we may be led to desire heavenly riches, which will never make themselves wings and flee away. This is the one great lesson which we may learn from our text, that they whom God shakes, if the Spirit of God remains with them, will not fear; because they know that, through this shaking, the desire of all nations will come to them, and fill their souls with His glory.

(Julius C. Hare, M. A.)

Three things are foretold in this remarkable prediction.

1. Great commotions and tribulations in the earth.

2. Wonderful and unexpected revolutions.

3. The glorious and happy issue of all these commotions, in the final triumph of Christ and His Gospel.He is properly called the "desire of all nations," because the whole creation groans for deliverance from guilt, for an interposing Mediator, who can make atonement for sin, satisfy Divine justice, and give peace to a wounded conscience. To Christ, therefore, and to His religion, this prophecy belongs.

I. TEXT REFERS TO THE PERIOD WHEN JESUS WAS MANIFESTED IN THE FLESH. To prepare the way for this grand event, we may see the omnipotent Jehovah shaking the heavens, earth, and seas.

II. VIEW TEXT AS RECEIVING ITS ACCOMPLISHMENT IN OUR OWN DAY.

1. He is shaking many kingdoms by awful judgments and unexpected revolutions. Concerning the shaking of the nations, note three things —(1) They are from God.(2) To the nations visited, the judgments of God are in wrath, and correctors of iniquity.(3) The effect of these visitations will be either unfeigned repentance and reformation, or utter ruin and destruction.

2. Though the shaking of the nations bring deserved calamity on guilty lands, yet the final issue of all will be the wide extent of our glorious Redeemer's kingdom, and the universal triumph of His Gospel. These predictions are now being fulfilled. All these present tumults and desolations are connected with events which shall bring peace, and righteousness, and joy to the whole earth.

(A. Bonar.)

We find here two things spoken of —

1. The arrival of Him who is called "the desire of all nations": and

2. The introductory circumstances, "I will shake all nations." The one of these clauses was meant historically to be introductory and precursory of the other. We have, in this verse, a set of antecedent circumstances, and a given result and fulfilment.

I. THOSE NATIONAL CONVULSIONS WHICH PRECEDED THE ADVENT OF MESSIAH. The expression.. "the shaking of the nations," is put to signify other things besides mere national and mere political convulsions, but it clearly includes these. Sometimes it means those mental commotions that over spread the minds of individuals. We all know what is meant by a person being "disturbed in thought." "That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled," etc. Sometimes it means a removal of religious dispensations, as in Hebrews 12. Apply to the five centuries which lay between the utterance of this prophecy by Haggai, and its fulfilment in the coming of our Master. What changes were there, both political, mental, and religious, precursive of the Christian dispensation. Give account of the Medo-Persian Empire, of Alexander's conquests, of the military power of Rome. Great thought-leaders arose in this period, and their opinions always bred convulsions. Philosophical schools were always at enmity with one another. Opinions held by some were utterly repudiated by others. As far as intellect was concerned, there was a desperate shaking of the nations. And as to religion, everything seemed to tell that Judaism was fast passing away. It was doubted by its own adherents.

II. THE CONNECTION OF CHRIST'S ADVENT WITH THESE SHAKINGS. One great object of Christ in coming to the world was the establishment of peace. He was to be the Prince of Peace. He designed to establish a reign of peace. All His teachings go to the same point. How is it then, that though eighteen centuries have passed, the empire of peace has not come? The answer is that the world has not accepted the principles of Christianity. It is one thing to say that a step is taken towards the effectuation of an object, and another to say that the object has been effected, because there may be impediments put in the way of the effectuation which, while they hinder the fulfilment, by no means at all nullify the statement that the original intention was to produce that effect. A second object of our Master's coming was, the resolution of all those doubts and misgivings that keep the minds of men in perpetual agitation, If the Master came to resolve doubts, why do doubts still exist? Because men love darkness rather than light. Another object of our Saviour's coming was to do away with Judaism. This was to be accomplished by an act of supplantation. When instead of a Jewish priest there came a real priest; when instead of the typical sacrifice there came the real sacrifice; when instead of the prostration of body there came the sanctification of the spirit, the substance of Judaism was reached, and the type of Judaism might pass away. Learn —

1. That though we are living in times of great disturbance, we may take this comfort, as convulsions introduced the first advent, so other convulsions may introduce the second.

2. There may be some whose hearts are disquieted, distressed, disturbed by many anxious spiritual cogitations; and we tell you to cease to be your own master, and let God's Bible teach you. Make it your comfort, stay, director, instructor. There is a time coming when mystery shall be dispelled, for it is written in the page of Scripture, "Then shall I know even as also I am known."

(Archibald Boyd, M. A.)

The desire of all nations shall come
As the prophet's affirmation was not verified in a material sense, Christian commentators of all schools have generally agreed that it must refer to the actual presence of the Redeemer in the second temple. The title, "Desire of all nations," requires some explanation. It is reasonable to suppose that it has some respect to the design of the Father in sending Him into the world. The Jews could not believe that salvation was intended for any but themselves. But this fond conceit was at variance with their own Scriptures. While Christ has not, up to this time, been the actual desire of all of every nation, nor even of all of any one nation, yet very many-of different nations have owned and adored Him as their Lord. A spectator of that scene at Pentecost could scarcely have repressed the feeling, "Surely, the desire of all nations has come." He is the only being that has appeared in the world of whom this could be affirmed. Every nation, pagan, Mohammedan, and Christian, has its heroes and sages. Within their respective countries they have received general homage — in some cases, indeed, a world-wide celebrity. But for none of them could it be claimed that he was the desire of all nations in the sense in which this title is challenged for Jesus of Nazareth. Christ is the one paramount desire of those who have scarcely anything else in common. Men who are the poles apart on other topics, — on questions of literature, of politics, of trade, of metaphysics, of Church government, — use the same language when they bow before the mercy-seat, sing the same psalms of praise to the Redeemer, and labour with the same zeal to make Him known to others. Where He is concerned, all their hopes and aspirations coalesce, like needles pointing to the same pole. This, however, seems to apply only to those who have a personal knowledge of Christ as their own Redeemer. Is He, in any wider sense than this, the desire of all nations? He cannot be the conscious desire of nations who have never heard of Him, but He may be, He is, their unconscious desire. He is their desire —

1. Inasmuch as they long for a competent and infallible Teacher. The love of truth is natural to man. There is a latent yearning that is not to be pacified until it finds the truth which God has appointed as its nutriment. Left to their blind guides the nations have lived and died, wandering sadly through the mazes of error. Worn and wearied with perpethal disappointments, humanity has longed for the advent of one who could resolve its doubts, allay its fears, and re-inspire its hopes, by unfolding to it immortal truth.

2. They long for a clearer manifestation of the Deity. Man must have a God. If he cannot have the true God, he will fashion gods for himself. Man has hoped, in some way, to behold God as a sharer of our humanity. This universal yearning is alone met in the mission of Jesus Christ.

3. Christ is the desire of all nations in His redeeming work. Universal is the sense of sin and danger: a feeling of exposure to penalty; the dread of an offended Deity. The needful expiation has been made, once for all. In the Cross of Christ is that which will satisfy even these yearnings — the deepest, the saddest, the most abiding, the most universal known to fallen humanity. Then —

1. No nation can enjoy true and permanent prosperity except by receiving and honouring Him.

2. The cause of missions deserves our support as the great interest of earth. If Christ be the desire of all nations, what is He to us individually?

(Henry A. Boardman, D. D.)

The ancient Jews regarded this prophecy as relating to the advent of the Messiah. It is remarkable that the prophet should describe the Messiah as the desire of all nations. He foresaw a salvation which Should reach to the end of the earth.

I. THE NEED ALL NATIONS HAD OF A REDEEMER. No one can look abroad into the state of the world, either as it is recorded in history, or reported by travellers of the present day, without seeing with grief and horror their general ignorance of God; their devotion to idolatry; their ignorance of a future state; and their vicious practices, particularly their impurity and cruelty. If we lead you to the morality of the heathen, how dreary, or how disgusting is our report! In these things, in which the nations of the world so greatly needed a Divine instructor, the religion of Jesus was peculiarly calculated to supply their wants; to remove their ignorance, to purify their hearts, to soften their ferocity. With the preaching of the Gospel a change was effected, like that which is wrought by the mightiest powers of the natural world. Both Jews and Gentiles had need of One who should reconcile them to God, and bring them to the knowledge of the truth. That One is found alone in Christ.

II. THE EXPECTATION OF A REDEEMER WHICH SUBSISTED PREVIOUS TO CHRIST'S APPEARING. We find everywhere prevailing an idea of the need of a mediator between God and man, either to reveal the will of the former, or to render the prayers and offerings of the latter acceptable. The wisest philosophers confess that the Deity must Himself reveal His will if it is to be known. This idea the Almighty suffered to be promulgated by means of oracles, auguries, divinations. Everywhere is the desire to propitiate the Deity by offerings and sacrifices. As proofs of an actual expectation of this Divine Person, take the testimonies of two Roman historians, Suetonius and Tacitus. Both say that "some One coming out of Judea should possess the empire." Some rays of Divine light illuminated even the thickest darkness; some remains of a former promise lived in the minds of the heathen; some Divine impressions showed them their wants, and their inability to supply them; some gracious communications instructed them whither to look for deliverance from ignorance and superstition. These faint gleams were lost in that glorious light which burst upon the earth when the Sun of Righteous ness rose to bring wisdom, and sanctification, and redemption. But they served to guide many a wandering traveller through the thick night which enveloped the Gentile world, and to preserve the doctrine of a Divine providence. How glorious""y did our blessed Lord relieve all doubts, and satisfy all expectations. But the great things which have been revealed kindle in our hearts a hope of future mercies.

(T. Bowdler, A. M.)

I. THE TIME WHEN OUR LORD WAS TO COME. "It is a little while." Yet it proved to be five hundred years. A short period compared with the time the Church had already been kept waiting for the Messiah. It was short in Jehovah's own sight.

II. A SOLEMN CIRCUMSTANCE THAT IS TO ATTEND THE MESSIAH'S COMING. "I will shake," etc. What is this mighty shaking? The language has been interpreted as pointing out those political convulsions and changes which agitated the world between the uttering of this prophecy and our Lord's birth, one great empire giving way to another, and that in its turn yielding to a third. St. Paul applies it, in his Epistle to the Hebrews, to the uprooting and destruction of the whole Mosaic dispensation. We may put another interpretation on this prediction. There may he a further reference in it to those moral and spiritual effects which have ever attended and followed the Gospel in its progress through the world. Wherever it has come, it has come with a shaking. It has startled the world, surprised it and changed it. Let the Gospel find its way into a sinner's heart, what a convulsion, what a complete uprooting and change does it often effect there!

III. A DESCRIPTION OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST." The desire of all nations."

1. In the sight of God He is desirable for all nations.

2. Some of all nations have desired Him. But we must look forward for a full explanation of this title.

3. All nations will desire this Saviour. Imagine these prophecies fulfilled, let this glorious scene be realised, bring before your minds a holy and rejoicing earth, and then cast your eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ, its holy and rejoicing King — what would you call Him? Just what the great God, the Lord of hosts, calls Him here, "The desire of all nations," the joy of the sons of men, the one great blessing, hope, and comfort of a regenerated world.

IV. THE GLORIOUS CONSEQUENCE OF THE PROMISED REDEEMER'S ADVENT. "I will fill this house with glory." "The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former." The former house was Solomon's. How was this magnificent promise fulfilled? The promise seemed to have no fulfilment. At last an Infant enters that temple, brought thither from a stable and a manger, and borne in a peasant's arms. Here in this second temple God Himself was manifest in our mortal flesh. A twofold application —(1) It shows us wherein consists the chief glory of any Church. In the presence and manifestation within it of the Lord Jesus Christ. A real spiritual presence.(2) It tells us wherein consists the chief happiness of every really Christian heart.

(C. Bradley, M. A.)

The Church engages our thoughts both on the first and second advents of our Lord. For we, like them of old, are "waiting for the consolation of Israel." We exhibit Messiah as the desire of all nations with respect to both His advents. There are two kinds of predictions in the Holy Writings; the one anticipating a dispensation of grace and mercy, the other speaking of awful and tremendous judgments, seasons of tribulation such as the world had never before witnessed. Though our Lord was the Prince of Peace, yet through human perversity the result of His mission was a sword, the kindling of the fire of evil passions, the setting of the members of a household one against another. Whatever we expect hereafter, here we look not for the fulfilment of our hopes. Knowing the issue, the perpetual feud between the Church and the world, the weary persecutions by which the faithful have been harassed, how can the bringer-in of such a dispensation be the desire of all nations? Still less, seeing what must be the result of His future manifestation, how can He assume this character as the righteous Judge of an apostate world? The distinction may be thus made. The prophets do not say that when He appears, the desires of all nations shall be satisfied; but that He who is the desire of all nations shall come; He, that is, whom they desire by anticipation. With respect to His first coming, it is certain that, from the Fall downwards, the sons of men have ever looked for some mighty deliverer. However deeply men might err as to the object of faith, — however speculative their notions as to the nature of the:Eternal Godhead and their own nature, — however depraved their ideas how they were to propitiate the Supreme Being, — they could not avoid the conviction that, if they were to be saved at all, it must be by the advent of a Son of God in human form, as the connecting link between the Creator offended, and the creature sinning. Such foreshadowings of the truth, originally impressed upon the human mind, the sacred oracles confirm. The streams of tradition and Scripture unite in one deep channel of expectation. But how did He, in whom these anticipations centred, fulfil them? Not in the way in which the sons of men imagined He would. If, dwelling on the train of miseries which the destroyer has brought upon the earth, and unable to reconcile what they saw around and felt within them with His righteous rule whose offspring they knew themselves to be, they yet had faith to see that He in whose bands their destinies lay, ever brings good out of evil, and that every affliction happens to man as part of a discipline of love, and will one day cease altogether — if such were their thoughts, then their fulfilment in God's good time was verily assured to them. The proof that Christ's kingdom has been set up, is seen in the rescue of men from the bondage of slavery and sin; in the daily, hourly, victories gained over the powers of darkness by those in whose weakness His "strength is made perfect.." The same desires which Messiah so graciously met, so far as our necessary trial admits, at His first advent, will receive their full and complete satisfaction only at His second coming. One point more. It is to the temple of the Lord that the desire of all nations shall come: it is there that He shall take up His abode. The words of Haggai end Malachi find their primary accomplishment in the presentation of the infant Jesus. But the true temple is our humanity. We know that He is with us, whether we assemble ourselves together to worship and adore Him, to pour out the plaints of our hearts in holy litanies, to praise Him "in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs," or whether we bend our knees in the silence and privacy of our closets. Let me ask you, then, have you such desires as the Lord at His next coming will be likely to satisfy? Ye have seen what they are. They are such as earth, and the things of earth, cannot fill

(G. Huntington, M. A.)

This is one of the most difficult, yet most interesting texts of the Old Testament. Many critics would rob the passage of its Messianic element, and degrade the glory of the temple into material gifts and privileges. They assert that the translation is not correct.

1. "The desire of all nations" should be "the desirable things of all nations," as the LXX τά ἐκλεκτά πάντων τῶν ἐθνῶν The prophet describes, say they, not the coming of a person, but the contributions made to the rebuilding of the second temple (ver. 8; Isaiah 60:5), "the forces of the Gentiles (the wealth of the nations) will come to Thee," i.e, be brought to Jerusalem. The Hebrew word Khemdath (from Khamad, to wish or desire) signifies wish or desire (2 Chronicles 21:20), and as applied to persons means the best, the noblest, and most precious. "A man of desires," i.e, as the margin, one desired or desirable (Daniel 9:23; Daniel 10:3, 11). "He is altogether lovely" (Song of Solomon 5:16). In Hebrews the same word as here is used, "all desires," or object of desires. But if the term refers to things, the glory of the second temple could not excel the glory of the first, for it wanted many treasures which the first contained (cf. Ezra 3:12).

2. It is objected that a singular noun is followed by a plural verb "shall come"; hence the text should be altered and amended by ancient versions. But if we have any right at all to alter, have we not as much right to change the verb in number as the noun? The Vulgate agrees with the Eng. Ver., "desideratus cunctis gentibus." Why not take the word as a collective noun, and understand the Messiah as concentrating all excellences in His person, in whom the desires of all nations find their centre and satisfaction? This title seems to suit prophecy concerning Him (Genesis 49:10); and Christ was called by the Jews "the hope of Israel," "the blessing of Abraham to the Gentiles" (1 Timothy 1:1; Titus 2:3; Acts 28:20; Acts 26:7, 8; Galatians 3:14). It is not likely that the gifts of proselytes and worshippers, contributions from heathen princes, and the devotion of surrounding countries, would be esteemed by Jews greater glory than the magnificence of Solomon's temple; and is it not unreasonable to think that the prophet would direct men to material treasures as constituting the "greater glory"? In what can this august prediction find its fulfilment if not in the Saviour of the world, who alone could give the "peace" mentioned in verse 9? If we carefully examine its words and catch its drift, the difficulties may not all be cleared away; but this sense seems to be furnished by collateral evidence, to agree with the context, and is in harmony with the spirit of the prophet, and with the exordium of his prophecy. "The desire of all nations" we believe to be the Saviour of the world, whom the Magi from the East and the Greeks from the West desired to see. Moral and physical changes prepared for His coming. The "greater glory" was exhibited in the presentation, teaching, and personal ministry of Jesus. The nearness of the time appears to oppose this view. "Yet once, it is a little while," or yet a little while, lit., "one little," only a brief space. But with the Lord a thousand years are as one day. The Divine mode of reckoning is not like our own. We are to look beyond the first to the second temple — from the present to the future — from the beginning to the end of these grand events. Sacrifices were abolished, the temple ritual was completed, and "peace" was given in the doctrine, and by the death of Christ. Hence, God's Spirit remains with His people (ver. 5). Wherever Jesus dwells, He imparts a glory surpassing the splendour of the Shekinah and the glory of Solomon's temple. He can transform the character and beautify the soul. We need Him. Shakings within must prepare for His reception. He has been once, and He will come a second time. Do we desire Him? Have we found Him? May Christ dwell in our hearts the hope of glory!

(James Wolfendale.)

Homilist.
I. It requires great social REVOLUTIONS AMONGST MANKIND. "Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land." Revolutions in society seem to me essential to the moral progress of the race. There must be revolutions in theories and practices in relation to governments, markets, temples, churches. How much there is to be shaken in the heaven and earth of Christendom before the cause of true moral progress can advance! May we not hope that all the revolutions that are constantly occurring in governments and nations are only the removal of obstructions in the moral march of humanity?

II. IT INVOLVES THE SATISFACTION OF THE MORAL CRAVINGS OF MANKIND. "The desire of all nations shall come." The moral craving of humanity is satisfied in Christ, and in Christ only.

1. Man's deep desire is reconciliation to his Creator.

2. Man's deep desire is to have inner harmony of soul. Christ does this.

3. To have brotherly unity with the race. Moral socialism is what all nations crave for. Christ does this. He breaks down the middle wall of partition. He unites all men together by uniting all men to God.

III. IT ENSURES THE HIGHEST MANIFESTATIONS OF GOD TO MANKIND. "I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord."

1. God will be recognised as the universal proprietor. Silver is Mine, and gold is Mine," etc.

2. God will be recognised as the universal peace giver. "I will give peace, saith the Lord of hosts."

(Homilist.)

The desire for a revelation of God is a desire of all nations. Men have never been able to rest satisfied with the bare knowledge or assurance that God is, they have ever yearned for some conception of what God is. What are all the gods of the heathen but human answers to the question, "What is God?" That question has, as yet, found no true answer. There is still a desire as deep as man's need, as universal as humanity itself, to know what God is, to see a revelation of the Deity. It is fulfilled in Christ. His mission is to satisfy the desire of all nations to see God. Let us take our place at the feet of the God revealing Christ. The desire to be reconciled to God is a universal longing in the heart of man. In Christ is the fulfilment of this desire. In all its stages, here and in heaven, we see in Christ reconciliation between man and God, so that, as the way to the Father, He satisfies the desire of all nations. To all men, conscious of these restless longings and desires, Christ's invitation is, "Come unto Me, and I will give you rest."

(Alex. Marshall, M. A.)

How was this prophecy fulfilled? The second temple was never equal to the first in outward appearance. How, then, could the glory of the second temple exceed that of the first? God incarnate, in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, stood in the second temple, and that made its glory greater. The text foretells the coming of Christ, and says that coming should be preceded by great commotions. How truly this prophecy was fulfilled in Christ those who know the history of the period before His coming will understand. It would seem as if neither civil nor religious benefits could ever be bestowed upon our world except as preceded by such commotions. Whether it is that men become so rooted down in old prejudices in favour of existing evils, that nothing short of bloodshed and .evolution will tear them up, or whether God thus punishes old errors, and by His chastening produces a reformation, certain it is, that civil liberty and religious progress have usually dated their most important epochs from seasons of war and political disturbance. So let us regard the present crisis. Let our eye be directed upward to Him who rides upon the storm, and our prayer to Him be, that this, and every other which passes over our globe, may purify more and more, until earth shall have the very atmosphere of heaven. Scripture teaches that the millennial day is to be preceded by a great shaking of the nations. The text has an individual application to ourselves. Christ is, or ought to be, the desire of every heart. Just as God shakes the nations before the desire of nations comes, so does He arouse sinners before Christ can enter into their hearts.

(W. H. Lewis, D. D.)

The text foretold a strange phenomenon. It declared that the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity would be seen among sinful men.

I. DESIRE, AS REFERRING TO THE EXPECTATION OF THE WHOLE HUMAN FAMILY. It is a fact deserving attention, that among the nations there has ever existed a widespread, if not universal expectation of a glorious Person, to be the renovator of mankind, and to impress a new character on the spirit, habits, and morals of the earth. The expectation was not confined to the Jews.

II. DESIRE, AS REFERRING TO THE WANTS OF THE WHOLE HUMAN FAMILY. Wherever a human being is found, there will be found a conscience, a moral sense. Let men seek by repentance to atone for guilt, it is in vain. Everywhere the imploring cry is heard for some medium, some mediator between God and man. To the want produced by guilt, add that created by the corruption which sin hath shed through our nature.

III. DESIRE, AS REFERRING TO THE HAPPINESS OF THE WHOLE HUMAN FAMILY. Jesus alone can confer true happiness; because the mind of man can rejoice only in truth, and Christ is" the truth; because the heart of man can only be satisfied with objects worthy of it; and because God is the life of the soul, and Christ alone reveals this Being, and reinstates us in His favour and love.

(R. Fuller, D. D.)

I. WHY CHRIST MAY JUSTLY BE CALLED THE "DESIRE OF ALL NATIONS."

1. Because of the general expectation that prevailed in the world previously to His coming.

2. Because all mankind required such a Saviour as He is, whether they knew Him or not.

3. Because the Lord Jesus is so attractive in Himself, that all would actually desire Him if they knew Him.

4. Because many, in all nations, have actually desired Him.

5. Because ultimately all the families of the earth shall be blessed in Him.

II. HOW DID CHRIST'S PRESENCE RENDER THE SECOND TEMPLE MORE GLORIOUS THAN THE FIRST? In the second temple Jesus displayed the condescension, wisdom, power, and glory of the Deity, in such a manner as far more than made up for its want of external magnificence or internal memorials. The former temple had seen grand men, but now a sinless man. There is yet another temple which is honoured with the presence of Christ. Christians them selves are a building, fitly framed together, and growing unto a holy temple in the Lord. There is yet another temple which is filled with the same glory, n the temple which is above, and in which believers serve God day and night.

(J. F. Osborne.)

Here was a distinct prophecy of the Saviour's coming, and it can be appropriately referred to Him alone. That such a Divine personage was looked for by the Jews is seen. in the uniform testimony of their prophets. He was the "desire of all nations," because He only could bestow those precious blessings which the world needed. Without Christ human nature was guilty, polluted, wretched, lost. He was to be the regenerator of that nature; the author of its deliverance, its happiness, and its eternal rest. The Lord Jesus was, emphatically, "The desire of all nations," because all nations shall one day be made happy in Him. His blessed reign is to be that of righteous. ness and peace, and the song of universal joy which shall swell forth at last in harmony with harps of gold, will be, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ." For four thousand years the accom plishment of the prophecy had been looked for, and at last, in the fulness of time, the long-expected Messiah came. He appeared —

1. At the very period marked out for His birth.

2. In the very manner which had been foretold.

3. He came for the performance of the very work which had been before marked out for Him. Certain remarkable events should distinguish the Messiahs coming.

(1)All nations were to be shaken.

(2)The Jewish temple should be filled with His glory.In several important particulars the second temple was far inferior to the first. It was not in riches, nor in outward splendour that the superiority of the second temple would consist, but in the personal presence of the Divine Redeemer. He was the infallible oracle, making known God's will: the perfect sacrifice for sin, faintly shadowed forth by the mercy-seat of the ark; the true fire, to rekindle the expiring flame in the perishing soul. In that second temple the Prince of Peace appeared, making peace between God and man, and pro claiming the Gospel of peace, whose provisions of mercy are freely offered to all.

(John N. Norton, D. D.)

Though heaven be God's throne, and earth His footstool, and all space His temple, yet, in condescension to human weakness, He who fills immensity deigns' to manifest Himself in a temple built by human hands.

I. A GREAT PERSON, THE DESIRE OF ALL NATIONS, SHALL COME. There was no human probability that this part of the prophecy would be fulfilled. Who is the desired object It can be none other than the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Christ may literally be said to be the desire of all nations, inasmuch as He was the object of their earnest expectation: because to all He was and is most desirable. That the promise of His coming to the temple was fulfilled, see the records of our Lord's visits to the temple, as given in the Gospels.

II. THE PREPARATION FOR CHRIST'S COMING. "I will shake all nations." God bids us look for the precursors of His Son in the shakings of nations. This was prophetical, and has been exactly fulfilled. When God is about to introduce any great improvement into His Church, any era of light and enlargement, He generally precedes it by one of trouble and commotion. This often removes serious obstacles to the establishment and welfare of the Redeemer's Church.

III. THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE COMING OF THE DESIRE OF ALL NATIONS. "I will fill this house with glory." This is prophetical. Any one who had seen the temple of Solomon, would hesitate in believing that anything could surpass its glory. Christ now comes to His Church in remarkable dispensations of providence. As part of the Church visible, we have a great deal to do for Christ, in endeavouring, both at home and abroad, to prepare the temple for the advent of the Lord.

(J. G. Lorimer.)

This text is a prophecy and prediction of our Saviour's incarnation. The Jews indeed pervert this text. We apprehend it as a prophetical prediction of that great benefit and mystery of our religion that the Christian Church doth this day celebrate.

I. WHAT OCCASIONS THE PROPHET NOW TO MENTION OUR SAVIOUR, AND FORETELL HIS NATIVITY? The mentioning of Christ's incarnation comes in without any straining or impertinent digression. The prophet finds the people in a low condition, and the main consolation he ministers to them is this gracious assurance that the Messias was ere long to be born, and to come among them. This promise of Christ had a threefold virtue in it that made it seasonable in the time of distress. It sweetened their sorrow in their present affliction. It revived their hope of a full restoration. It prevents and removes all doubts and suspicions that their fear may forecast against their deliverance. Shall their temple be built again out of so great ruins? There may be doubts whether such a restoration can be possible, and whether God can be so good as to accomplish it.

II. WHAT IS THE NATURE, CONDITION, AND SUBSTANCE OF THIS PROMISE? Conceive the words as a lively description of our Saviour's coming.

1. Here is a solemn preparation for it. "I will shake all nations." The times before Christ were troublesome times; nation dashing against nation, and all subdued by the Roman Empire.

2. There was a stirring up of the nations to the expectation, and looking for, of the Messiah.

3. This Shaking foretells a shaking of all things unto a great alteration. The coming of Christ wrought a great change.

(1)In statu return.

(2)In moribus dominum.

(3)In mode rituum.

4. This shaking is a powerful drawing of men to a Christian conversion. The second subject to consider is the gracious performance of this blessed promise. "The desire of all nations shall come." Christ is the desire of all things in heaven and earth, and His incarnation that great work that all things looked for.

1. He was the delight and joy of His Father.

2. He was the desire of the angels.

3. He was the desire and longing of all creation.

4. The desire of the patriarchs.

5. The desire of the nations.Desire implies longing and wishing; attaining and possessing; enjoyment and fruition. This is not a single promise, but a promise pregnant, it includes and implies other promises with it. Here is a door set open for the Gentiles: it concerns us nearly I it is the tenure we hold by. All nations pitched upon one desire; all expect the same common salvation. Christ's Church shall be gathered out of all nations. Desire fulfilled and accomplished turns to joy, and that is the happy condition of the Christian Church.

(Geo. Stradling, S. T. P.)

Regard Christ as satisfying the craving of mankind for a perfect ideal of goodness.

I. SUCH A YEARNING UNIVERSAL. Man made to look upward. Distinguished from lower animals by capacity for indefinite advance.

1. For this advance an ideal is necessary, up toward which men may struggle. "Intense admiration is necessary to our highest perfection." Nothing is so ennobling as looking up.

2. The absence of this upward tendency is a sure precursor of moral ruin. Too common now, especially among young men. Thought "fine" to crush down all admiration; to carp and sneer at goodness. This lie against man's instincts terribly revenges itself.

II. THE POWER OF THIS INSTINCT PROVED. By the reverence felt by all nations for their legislators, philosophers, generals.

1. The abiding power over the human mind of Solon and Lycurgus, Confucius, Buddha, Mohammed, shows the preparedness of the human heart to welcome One whose moral standard is higher than its own. The secret of this influence is that each manifested some features of the desire of all nations, some rays of the "light that lighteneth every man," some fragments of the truth that all are yearning after.

2. Show in the passionate devotion of soldiers for their generals.

III. BUT ALL THESE COME SHORT OF THE TRUE DEVOTION TO THE ONE PERFECT IDEAL.

1. Napoleon's estimate of the superiority of the influence of Christ.

2. Secret of this universal power — the Incarnation. The "desire of all nations" must be at once man and God. Nothing short of perfection of sympathy and perfection of holiness will satisfy man's demand. In Jesus Christ, "the second Adam; the Lord from heaven," etc., we see One whom we can love, adore, and imitate. The faultless pattern is set before us that we may copy it. In Christ, our brother-man, we see what God is, and by His Spirit's help we may strive to copy Him.

(Edmund Venables, M. A.)

The words of the original do not refer at all to Messiah, but to the glory of the second temple, which was then being erected and into which it is foretold the riches of the Gentiles should be brought. The words may, however, be used as the motto of a sermon. Can the words, "the Desire of all nations," be justifiably employed in regard to our Lord? None of the names of Christ is more appropriate. The Messiah has always been the Desire of all nations. More or less vaguely a Christ was universally hoped for and expected. How noble a conception we obtain of the relation between an universal Saviour and universal need!

I. CHRIST IS THE WORLD'S GRAND IDEAL, FOR WHOM IT WAITED, AND IN WHOM IT HOPED. It is a historical fact that all nations have desired to see such a person as our Lord Jesus Christ. Notice three ideas in which this desire to reconcile man to God became embodied.

1. There grew up the doctrine, or tradition, asserting the union of God and man in one person. The doctrine of the Incarnation is not peculiar to Christianity.

2. The belief that there would come a time of familiarity between God and man.

3. That there would come, or had come, a perfect God-man to better the condition of the human race in this world, and to teach them about the next. Whole races have believed that certain men were heaven-sent prophets, Divine teachers. Heathen records show that birth from a pure virgin has been attributed to several of these founders of religion. This is related both of Buddha and of Zoroaster. The story of Osiris is even more remarkable. He is represented as visiting the earth, suffering and dying, and rising again to become judge of quick and dead.

II. CHRIST IS FITLY SPOKEN OF AS THE "DESIRE OF ALL NATIONS," BECAUSE HIS WORK IS SUCH AS MEN HOPED TO SEE PERFORMED.

1. The world hoped that One would come who should establish justice, peace, and truth in the earth. It was such a moral kingdom that Jesus came to found.

2. The world was craving deliverance from powers of evil to which they felt themselves to be in bondage.

3. Men longed for some means of securing pardon of sin. Consider a summary of the theory of sacrifice among the heathen, and see how it points, in company with the Mosaic system, to the Lamb of Calvary.(1) In this act they symbolically offered up themselves.(2) It was necessary that the life of the victim should be taken, and the blood must be shed, for "the blood is the life." Life for life is the first principle of the theory of sacrifice.(3) The victim must be faultless when brought to the altar.(4) More noteworthy still is the fact that sacrifice meant the giving up of that which was valued and beloved. These views with regard to sacrifice have prevailed almost universally. The faultless and treasured offering was to appease the wrath of heaven. It scarcely needs that I remind you how precisely our blessed Lord is the embodiment of this phase of the world's faith.

4. The world longed to see harmony and peace restored in place of the discords of human life, and in place of apparent incongruities in the natural world. Men saw so much around them that was problematical. Human life was so strange a puzzle. "There shall come," wrote a Persian prophet, a "righteous King, whose reign shall be universal. At His advent, poison and poisonous weeds and ravenous beasts shall be expelled from the earth, tie shall make streams break forth in the desert, and there shall be no more a hot simoom. The bodies of men shall be unsubstantial, and shall cast no shadows. They shall need no food to sustain their life. That King shall cast out for ever poverty, sickness, old age, and death." What but the work of our King can fulfil such aspirations? Some argue against the triumph of Christianity, But Christ shall surely triumph; not one tittle of prophecy shall pass till all be fulfilled. But not as we expect may it come about. God's way of governing the world differs very widely from our very rational-looking theories of how it ought to be done.

(Edwin Dukes.)

If you want to know what it is that makes the living centre of Christianity, go and ask a missionary what it is that he finds it best to tell people that gather round him. Is it not the one story — the universality of sin and the redeeming Christ? Wherefore we say with confidence, and I wish it were deeper in the hearts of all of us, that Christianity — not all the minutiae of reticulations of the net in which we carry it, but the treasure which we carry in the net — that our Christianity is the only religion on the face of the earth that has got stamped upon it universality. Mohammedanism bears the stamp of Mahommed, and dissolves before Western civilisation. It is needless to ask whether Buddhism or Brahmanism can live beyond certain degrees of latitude and longitude, or outside certain stages of human thought and progress. They are all like the vegetation of the countries in which they had their origin. You cannot transplant palm trees and bamboos into our northern latitudes. But the seed which the great Sower came to scatter is like the bread-corn, an exotic nowhere, and yet an exotic everywhere, the bread of God that came down from heaven. All these other religions are like water that is strongly impregnated with the salts or the mineral matters which it has dissolved out of the strata through which it rises; but the river of the Water of Life that proceedeth from the throne of God and of the Lamb has no taste of earthly elements in it, and in spite of all the presumptuous crowing of some whose wish is father to the thought, it will flow on till it covers the earth, and every thing shall live whithersoever the river cometh.

(A. Maclaren, D. D.)

1. There was spread over the whole of creation a universal expectation of some One called in this place the "Desire of nations." Three great wants were pressing upon the minds of men, and these wants became fulfilled in the advent of our Master.

1. A distinct knowledge of the true God.

2. Answer to the question, "How can man be just with God?"

3. Light on the mystery of the future world.Put these wants together — the true nature of God; the true nature of an expiation; and a true knowledge of immortality, and you see the void, or vacuum, in the human soul.

2. How far was this threefold want met by the Lord Jesus Christ in His advent? Outside of Jesus Christ no true and adequate knowledge of God can be possessed. When Jesus Christ came to the world as Mediator between God and man, Be fulfilled all the required conditions of expiation. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus gives the satisfying light on the mystery of immortality. Christ thus met the world's needs, and we may say, the "Desire of all nations" has come.

(Archibald Boyd, M. A.)

And I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts
The glory here spoken of was not any external splendour, pomp, and beauty, for in this respect the second temple fell vastly short of Solomon's. It must therefore refer to the presence of Christ, His personal appearance again and again at the temple; which was a greater glory to it than any external ornaments could possibly be. It was not, however, the mere bodily presence of Christ, but the heavenly doctrine which He preached, and the miracles which He wrought there; the pains He took to rescue the Divine law from the corruptions of the Jewish teachers, and especially the spiritual blessings which He so freely offered to all who were willing to receive them. It was, in one word, the manifestation of the goodwill and mercy of God made by Him, and the influence of His Spirit, which accompanied His preaching and miracles, to turn men from darkness to light, and bring them to repentance, faith, and holy obedience. Infer, that the brightest ornament and truest glory of any place of worship is the spiritual presence of Christ in it; or, the influences of His Spirit, accompanying the means of grace, to make them effectual for the edification and comfort of the souls of men. The thing to be anxious about, as a Christian Church, is, that we may have the special and gracious presence of Christ with us, to fill His house with His glory. The evidences of this presence are — regular and careful attendance upon all the ordinances and institutions of Christ; serious and devout behaviour; worship of the Father in spirit and in truth; singing God's praises with understanding and lively devotion; fixing the attention and engaging the affections with Divine truth. Particularly when, at the Lord's table, the thoughts are fixed upon the sufferings and love of Christ, and grateful affections are excited towards Him; and when their souls are filled with love of the brethren.

(Job Orton.)

The Study.
1. Divine agency in the affairs of the world. "I."

2. Divine order. "I will shake." Disturbance precedes repose; war, peace; death, life. This law is seen in the operations of nature, in the government of nations, in individual life, and in the Church of God. The prophecy of the text was fulfilled. The wars of Alexander the Great, of his successors, and of Rome, shook the world. Political, social, and religious convulsions prepared the way for the Desire of all nations.

3. Christ's advent. When He appeared the temple of Janus was closed. The world, weary and worn, was unconsciously longing for His presence. The cry of all religions was reconciliation with God. For this, temples were erected, altars built, priests maintained, sacrifices offered. Christ alone is the Reconciler, Mediator, Prince of Peace.

4. Christ the glory of the temple. The old men wept at the inferiority of the second temple. But of it God said, "I will fill this house with glory." The Jews say five signs of Divine glory were in the first temple, which were wanting in the second, — Urim and Thummim. Ark of covenant. Fire upon the altar. The Shechinah. And the spirit of prophecy. But in Christ all these signs of the Divine glory were united and signally manifested. Thus by His coming to the second temple Haggai's prophecy was fulfilled. And He is still coming m like manner to hearts, to churches, and to nations; but He will come yet more gloriously. All changes, revolutions, and convulsions are preparing the way for His triumphal chariot.

(The Study.)

le: — The modern Jews will by no means have this text to be understood of the Messias. The ancient Jews did so understand it. The Messias is He whom all nations had reason to desire, because of those great blessings and benefits which He was to bring to the world. Show how the several parts of this prediction agree to our blessed Saviour, and to no other.

I. THERE SHOULD BE GREAT CHANGES AND COMMOTIONS IN THE WORLD BEFORE HIS COMING. This was fulfilled in a most remarkable manner between the time of this prophecy and the coming of our blessed Saviour. In those four hundred years happened greater commotions, and much more considerable revolutions, than in above two thousand years before, and in almost two thousand since.

II. THE WORLD SHOULD BE IN A GENERAL EXPECTATION OF MESSIAS AT THE TIME OF HIS COMING. The Jews were in general expectation. Their tradition was, that Messias would appear at the end of the second two thousand years. Some Jewish doctors determined that the Messias would come within fifty years of their time. And Suctonius and Tacitus voice the heathen expectation.

III. HE WHO IS FORETOLD, WAS TO COME DURING THE CONTINUANCE OF THE SECOND TEMPLE. Not long after Christ's death this second temple was destroyed to the ground. Then it could have been no other than Jesus who "filled this second temple with glory."

IV. THE COMING OF MESSIAS WAS TO BE THE LAST DISPENSATION OF GOD FOR THE SALVATION OF MEN. "Once more" implies "once more only." The inference may be thus expressed, "See that ye refuse not Him that speaketh." What could God have done more for us than He hath done?

(J. Tillotson, D. D.)

I. WHEREIN THE GLORY OF THE FORMER HOUSE CONSISTED. Properly speaking, there were three temples in Jerusalem. From Joshua to Solomon there was no permanent edifice. The tabernacle was fitted to the needs of a wandering people. Nearly five hundred years passed before the project of building a permanent house for worship could be carried out. Solomon's temple is familiar. It was destroyed after an existence of over four hundred years. The second temple was founded by Ezra. The third was built by the munificence of Herod. It was strictly no new house, only a reparation of the old. Notice the magnificence of the first temple with regard to its materials. The whole world was laid under contribution, so to speak, for the erection of that magnificent edifice. Notice the contents of this temple. There were three of surpassing magnificence — the ark, the altar, and the light. Each of these was symbolical of a deeper and more recondite truth. Consider its dedication by the coming to it of the sign of God's presence — the cloud symbol. One other fact added to the magnificence of the temple. It was the spot where God chose to hold communion with man.

II. WHEREIN DID THE GREATER GLORY OF THE LATTER HOUSE CONSIST? Here we find there is a passing from the material to the spiritual. Things symbolical and things material were in no respect to constitute the glory that belonged to the second temple. The peculiar glory of the second temple consisted in this- the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. The material glory, the splendour of the former house, was all eclipsed in this consideration, that to the second temple came God manifest in the flesh. It was in the second temple that the world's peace was made. In the first temple the voice of prophecy was heard, but in the second it was altogether silent. At last the voice of prophecy came. The Master said, "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, for He hath anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor." Jesus Christ, in uttering His prophecies in that temple, made that temple still more glorious by the character of those utterances. His word came with power. The subject teaches the manifest glory of the spiritual over the material.

(Archibald Boyd, M. A.)

The glory of Israel consisted in God's visibly dwelling in their midst. The rabbis remind us that the second temple was inferior to the first in five essential particulars: —

1. The original ark of the covenant, containing the two tables of Sinai, and the Mercy-seat, were lost.

2. The Shechinah, or Divine presence, appeared no more.

3. The Urim and Thummim, connected with the miraculous breastplate of Aaron, had vanished.

4. The holy fire, which God Himself had kindled upon the altar, and which was ever kept burning, and from whence the sacrifices were to be ignited, was extinguished for ever.

5. The Holy Spirit of prophecy spake no longer as in times past; it was silent for four hundred yeasts after Malachi's removal. These causes conspired to damp the fervour of the people in the work of restoration. Haggai was bidden to acknowledge the visible inferiority of the second temple; but he was to say that the deficiencies were only apparent. The true essentials of worship, the veritable consciousness of God's faithful guardianship, the unseen consolations of His Spirit, should more than compensate for the absence of the former tokens of His proximity. And to this, at present, unpretending shrine the Lord of hosts Himself would come; the Prince of peace should adorn it with His own life-giving presence. The dearest aspiration of all nations — for that is the meaning of the Hebrew word translated "the Desire of all nations" — should be realised in the person of Jesus the Messiah. Here, then, was true glory; here was substantial consolation! Here was consolation amply sufficient to counterbalance the absence, not only of material splendour, but also of the gorgeous symbolism, the departed externals of God dwelling in their midst. The consolation offered by Haggai consisted in the assurance that the temple which they were rebuilding should witness the arrival of the promised Saviour of the world, even of Him who should "gather together in one all the children of God that were scattered abroad." Salvation, and not the symbols and types thereof, is the one thing needful.

(Joseph B. McCaul.)

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