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Friday, February 10, 2017

Haggai 1:2

Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD's house should be built.
For further study - Haggai 1:1-15

We could well rehearse the words of a previous devotional when I wrote that prophecy is not only prophetic but practical as well. This you can discern as you read the extended portion of our devotional today.

Haggai and Zechariah are two of the three prophets that had ministry after the return of the Jews to Jerusalem from the Babylonian captivity. Both of these men exhorted the Jews to rebuild the Temple. Remember, Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonian army had destroyed the first temple, Solomon's Temple.

Now, the Jews, around 50,000 of them, who had returned to Jerusalem with Zerubabbel, had done so for the purpose of rebuilding the Temple and once again offering sacrifice and worship in this "worship center" in Jerusalem.

Haggai challenged the people to not focus on their own homes, Haggai 1:3-9, but instead move quickly to rebuild the Temple, the place to worship the God of Israel. Haggai reminded the people of the Lord's chastisement on them for not rebuilding the Temple, Haggai 1:10-11.

There had been a major draught upon the land of Israel so that the needed foodstuffs were in much lesser supply, even the provision for the cattle. Under Haggai's ministry, the Jewish people got their hearts right by fearing the Lord, with a "reverential fear", and the Lord stirred the spirit of Zerubabbel to lead the people in the rebuilding of the Temple.

As in Haggai's day, there is need for a Temple in the city of Jerusalem today. The Jewish people who have returned to the land God promised them have been concerned about their own houses, their livelihood and not rebuilding the permanent worship center for the Lord.

Although that is the case with most Jews in modern-day Israel, there is a group of religious Jews that believe the Bible and believe that there needs to be a Temple in Jerusalem. In fact, the leaders of these dedicated Jews are preparing to rebuild the Temple.

All preparations have been made and they could start construction of the Temple at any time. However, the Bible teaches that the Rapture must take place first, Daniel 11:45, and then the next Temple will be built.

With all the activity surrounding the preparations to build the next Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, we have the evidence that the Rapture is close at hand, in fact it could happen today, keep looking up!

PRAYER THOUGHT: Help me to set my priorities in light of the fact that Jesus will soon call Christians to join Him in the air at the Rapture.