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Today's reading

December 20, 2023

Picture: Desire of Nations

Haggai 2:6-9; Hebrews 12:18

Desire of Nations
00:00 / 03:52

Thousands of people made the arduous journey from Babylon to Jerusalem. With each step, the shackles of 70 years of captivity were falling off and the strength that it would take to rebuild life in a shattered city was rising. When the new citizens arrived, they were shocked. The cities walls were broken down and the glorious temple that Solomon had built had been toppled and ransacked. Their first task would be to rebuild the temple. Within one year, the foundation for the temple had been laid. But as the Israelites surveyed the footprint of the edifice that would house the glory of God, there were mixed reactions. Some raised voices in excitement, but old men and women who remembered the former glory of the temple began to weep. In their eyes, this new structure would pale in comparison to what they once had. The mixed reviews and the stress of survival among the rabbled walls halted construction for years. Finally, God sent the Prophet Haggai to confront the Leaders of the Jewish people. He explained that the time had come to rise up and build; to step forward in confidence. To let go of the comparisons of what they once had. Then he shared a vision of the future to motivate them.

“For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts. 'The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place, I will give peace,’ says the Lord of hosts.”

 

Haggai 2:6-9 (NKJV)

God through Haggai is explaining that one day a King will rise who will shake the foundations of the earth with His power and glory and establish a kingdom that will be unshakeable.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.

 

Hebrews 12:28 (NKJV)

This King and His kingdom are the ones the nations have desired throughout history, but never recognized.

"He is the one, the true Reformer, the true rectifier of all wrong, and in this respect the desire of all nations. Oh! if the world could gather up all her right desire; if she could condense in one cry all her wild wishes; if all true lovers of mankind could condense their theories and extract the true wine of wisdom from them; it would just come to this, we want an Incarnate God, and you have got the Incarnate God! Oh! Nations, but ye know it not! Ye, in the dark, are groping after him, and know not that he is there.”

 

- Charles Spurgeon

Just as wisemen from far away nations gathered to see the unadorned King, all people will gather before the Glory of the King of the universe, the Desire of Nations.

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