Not long after the Israelites put down the foundation for the new temple, they were opposed and forced to stop. The foundation remained untouched for almost 100 years before they began rebuilding. What does it take for God’s people to worship again and why is it necessary for their life?
1. Worship Defines Our Opposition
God’s church has always faced opposition to worship yet only in America do we not really sense this. We’re much closer to the apathy of Israel living around temple ruins, forgetting why worship matters in the first place. How much of our lack of opposition toward our worship reveals how careless our attitudes are toward honoring and glorifying God?
2. Worship Demands Our Repentance
If we desire the presence of God, we must worship. That often means learning to repent from our prevailing postures. This is not simply grieving over our disobedience but also entrusting ourselves to God again in worship, knowing He is good. Very often, worship and repentance go hand-in-hand with one leading to the other.
3. Worship Displays God’s Victory
The prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah immediately play out as the Babylonians help supply the building of the temple in the reconstruction. It’s God’s Word immediately bearing fruit. Yet the beauty is that the greater victory promised in their promises would fully bloom in Jesus Christ, our true temple where we encounter God’s gracious presence and receive His peace.
Reflection and Application
What does opposition to worship look like to you today? What are the “options” you have in life that often tempt you from wanting to worship?
Do you feel like you’re building on the foundation of faith in your life or has it remained untouched for quite awhile now? What is worship necessary to change that?
What is the relationship between repentance and worship? Why do they need one another?
Why is worship not an option for the discouraged and the broken?
How is Christ the true fulfillment of Haggai’s and Zechariah’s prophecies to re-establish the temple of God?
What does it mean in Heb. 12:28 to receive a kingdom that cannot be shaken? How should this affect how we worship?