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I Will Fill This House with Glory
Dr. Tony Chute, Lead Pastor
Overview: The book of Haggai opens with a call for God’s people to place Him first in their lives by completing construction on the second temple. This project was necessary because the first temple had been destroyed, and the encouragement to continue was necessary because the post-exilic remnant had given their attention to more immediate needs. The Lord captured their attention by preventing them from enjoying the fruits of their labor and motivated them to resume building the temple by assuring them of His presence and pleasure. The completion of the second temple, however, received mixed reviews in comparison to the first temple. The Lord thus assured His people that He would improve upon this temple immensely with His glory and in His time, such that it would far exceed the previous temple. Their responsibility then, like ours today, was to continue living faithfully before the Lord in joyful anticipation of His mighty works to come.
01. Let’s prioritize worship knowing that the Lord is worthy of worship, has prescribed how to be worshiped, takes note when He is not worshiped, and promises to bless those who worship Him.
02. Let’s persevere in worship, trusting that the Lord is with us in our sorrows and joys, is present through His Word and by His Spirit, and is at work fulfilling His purpose and His promises.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
1. What was the purpose of the temple for Israel? How did it represent the presence of God among His people? How did its external appearance reflect the true glory of God? How did its internal glory surpass the external glory? See Exodus 40 and 1 Kings 7-8 for further insight. What examples of church buildings (historical or contemporary) can you think of that reflect the church’s view of God?
2. Note how the years of Babylonian exile produce a longing to return to the Promised Land. See Psalm 137 for an example of the pain of exile and longing to return. Given this longing to worship the Lord at the temple, why was construction on the temple halted before it was eventually completed? See Ezra 4-5 for further insight. Do you long to be with God’s people each week?
3. Consider your ways, as Haggai instructs in 1:5, 7. How often do you get off track in your priorities with the Lord? How does He get your attention? What would you say to someone who is trying to get ahead in life without putting God first? In what ways can you invest in the lives of others at Northpoint to help them prioritize their walk with the Lord?
4. How important is corporate worship for the church today? Since God cannot be contained in a building, why is gathering together still essential? What sacrifices are necessary on the part of God’s people to demonstrate the priority of worship in our lives today? See Romans 12 for examples of making personal sacrifices for worship and service to others.
5. Trace the fulfillment of God’s promise in Haggai 2:6-9 through to the New Testament. In what way was the external glory of the temple enhanced? How did the presence of Jesus in the temple fulfill this promise in ways yet unforeseen by Haggai’s audience? How do these examples of promise/fulfillment encourage you to look for God’s blessings in ordinary and extraordinary ways today? See Luke 2:22-52 for further insight.
For Further Reading: Bryan Chapell, Christ-Centered Worship: Letting the Gospel Shape Our Practice (Baker, 2017)