Day 235 – August 23, 2021
Scriptures: Ezra 3-5, Haggai 1-2
The temple project is in full swing in Ezra. God’s people are blessed by and encouraged by King Cyrus to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. It comes to a halt after the surrounding nations realize the threat it posed. The God of this temple is mighty and strong and will oppose the foreign kings and nations around it. The building of this lackluster temple (by comparison to its predecessor) comes to a halt.
Haggai is the perfect companion to the Ezra text. A direct mention of Haggai in the text obviously lends itself to our connection between texts. But it is the onward looking hope of Haggai that I’d like to make mention of, looking for the Christ connection.
A day is coming, the Day of the Lord in which the Kingdom of God will be established. We believe the dawning of the kingdom was brought about in Jesus’ Christ’s life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. The story of the good news breaking into the world is the Kingdom established through Jesus. In Haggai, this is looked at as the future hope of redemption:
20The word of the Lord came to Haggai a second time on the twenty-fourth day of the month:
21“Tell Zerubbabel governor of Judah that I am going to shake the heavens and the earth.
22I will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms. I will overthrow chariots and their drivers; horses and their riders will fall, each by the sword of his comrade.
23“ ‘On that day,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”
A time will come when God will set the world to rights. That world, is the Kingdom of God.
Enter into the kingdom of God through his grace, mercy, hope and love.
Jordan Ickes, Minister of Etna Green Church of Christ.