“But even this dark hour was not without hope for those whose trust was in God. The prophets Haggai and Zechariah were raised up to meet the crisis. In stirring testimonies these appointed messengers revealed to the people the cause of their troubles. The lack of temporal prosperity was the result of a neglect to put God’s interests first, the prophets declared. Had the Israelites honored God, had they shown Him due respect and courtesy, by making the building of His house their first work, they would have invited His presence and blessing.”—Ellen G. White, Prophets and Kings, pp. 573, 574.
“The second temple was not honored with the cloud of Jehovah’s glory, but with the living presence of One in whom dwelt the fullness of the Godhead Bodily—who was God Himself manifest in the flesh. The ‘Desire of all nations’ had indeed come to His temple when the Man of Nazareth taught and healed in the sacred courts. In the presence of Christ, and in this only, did the second temple exceed the first in glory.”—Ellen G. White, The Great Controversy, p. 24.
- In class, discuss your answer to Monday’s question regarding the presence of Jesus on the earth. Think through the implications of not just His presence but His self-sacrifice for the sins of the world. Think through what these things mean about our value as individuals. Think through, too, just how different a view this presents of humanity in contrast to the atheistic evolutionary views so common in certain parts of the world.
- Isaiah talks about the proud king of Babylon who, at the height of his power, made “nations shake and the earth tremble” (Isa. 14:16-17). How different is that shaking from the Lord’s intervention as described by Haggai in chapter 2 of his book?
- Ancient Israelites often were disobedient to the messages proclaimed by God’s prophets. Prepare to share with your class members some of the ways in which God’s people today are resisting the messages which the Lord is sending to His people.
- The Bible is very clear: the ancient temple and its sacrificial system lost all value, once and for all, after the death of Jesus. What do Hebrews 8 and 9 tell about the things that Christ has done and is doing for us that the early sanctuary never could?