There are numerous songs and poems written about it. In 1982, the United Nations declared a day in September set aside for it. People meditate and medicate in hopes of achieving it. It’s a social movement, and Nobel Prizes are given to those who are really, very good at it. We have festivals and gardens that promote it. And John Lennon just wanted everyone to give it a chance. But despite all our efforts to attain it ourselves, we can only receive it from God.
- How do you find or experience peace?
READ THE WORD: HAGGAI 2:6-9 (ESV)
6 For thus says the Lord of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land.7 And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts. 8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts. 9 The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.’”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- How many times does the phrase “the Lord of hosts” occur in this passage? Another way of saying this is “the Lord who rules over all.” In repeating this descriptive name, what was God powerfully communicating to his hearers?
- Make a list of all the things God said he “will shake” or disrupt. What would happen as a result of these earthquakes or supernatural events (vs. 7)?
- Take note of how many nations’ wealth will come into the temple (vs. 7). What did God say belonged to him (vs. 8)?
- How did God describe the temple of the future, and what did he say he would give there (vss. 7-9)? How would this be an encouragement to the people?
- How can the certainty of a glorious future give you peace and encouragement now?
RESPOND TO GOD
God’s chosen people had endured much in Babylonian captivity. Now back in Jerusalem, the visible symbol of God’s presence among them (the temple) was in ruins. Surely they wondered, How can any of this truly be restored? With three simple words, “I will shake,” God reminded them of his charge over all things. The temple would not remain in an inglorious state, and his glory and peace would permanently reside there. It was an astonishing glimpse of things to come, and it was certainly needed encouragement. We can reap our own encouragement from these words. If we long for peace, he remains as the God of glory who gives it.
- Acknowledge today that God is “the Lord who rules over all.”
- Thank God for being the giver of peace. Pray that his peace would reign in your heart.