We’re not sure what the aged exiles were expecting as they viewed the construction of the new temple. But whatever it was, it fell far short of what they’d hoped to see. Even though their memories of the first temple (built by Solomon) were now nearly 65 years in the past, they couldn’t forget what they’d seen—immaculate quarried stone, finely cut cedar, and more gold than they could possibly imagine!
This new temple couldn’t even begin to compare. It was inferior, inadequate, and depressing. The vision of what they’d hoped it would be wasn’t going to happen.
The problem was comparison. The temple they hoped for didn’t match the crushing reality of what they saw. It often happens to us as well when we “rebuild.” A “project” we began, we now realize, will fall far short of the outcome we’d planned.
What Haggai knew, and what we need to be reminded of again, is God is at work no matter what we see or hope. He’s the One who determines the result and his results always work to fulfill his purposes and to show his glory.
Today, around your dinner table or with your small group later this week, discuss the One Big Question: What happens when you’ve given your best and you now see your best won’t accomplish what you’d hoped?