December 2 - Messiah - Haggai 2:6-7

Sunday, December 2, 2012

December 2 - Messiah - Haggai 2:6-7

Thus saith the Lord, the Lord of hosts: Yet once a little while and I will shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. And I will shake all nations; and the desire of all nations shall come.

You might notice that I’m using what seems to be the King James version of Scripture.  These are taken straight from the libretto of the Messiah, which was written by Charles Jennens. Incorporating texts from both the Old and New Testaments, he also used the Book of Common Prayer for the texts of the Psalms and made small changes in the text in order to combine passages.

It was Jennens who brought his libretto to Handel. They had worked together on several projects previously and Jennens was in awe of Handel’s work, collecting every piece of music he had written and traveling to London often to hear his pieces performed.  Handel had used two other texts and Jennens was preparing this collection of scripture for a period of time in which Handel had chosen not to write. The subject?  The Messiah.

The text from Haggai comes from a passage in which the author is trying to stir the people into excitement at the daunting prospect of rebuilding the Temple as they return from Exile.

Haggai reminds the people that it is from the Lord that all blessings are given.  If they choose to listen to Haggai, they are listening to the word of the Lord and if they choose to reject him, they are rejecting the word of the Lord. So, when Haggai says, “Thus saith the Lord,” he is declaring that his words are important for the people of Israel. They are more than just words from a prophet, they are the words of the Lord of hosts.

Haggai told the people that the Lord would shake the heavens and earth, the sea and dry land. There will be nothing that the Lord won’t do to bring this Temple back into being and establish a means by which the people of earth can worship Him.  As the earth shakes, the nations of the world would supply the funds to rebuild the Temple.

Isaiah 60:5 also speaks of the wealth of nations being sent to Zion, “Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come.”

The nations of the world will help to rebuild Jerusalem and its Temple, a place in which all of humanity can worship the Lord.

Jesus Christ is the desire of all nations.  The Temple itself was about to be rebuilt and Cyrus of Persia would supply the funds by which that happened, and while this allowed the Israelites to return home and have a place where they could worship the Lord of Hosts, it wouldn't be until the desire of all nations, the Messiah arrived, that the world would find its way to worship God, the Creator.