SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 4 (EGW)


Chapter 2

1-9, 11, 12. Parables Showing What God Endorses—In speaking of the building of a house for God, the prophet Haggai shows in parables what God endorses and what He condemns. 4BC 1176.2

[Haggai 2:1-9, 11, 12 quoted.] 4BC 1176.3

This is a parable. The sacrifice, spoken of as holy flesh, was a representation of Christ, who was the foundation of the Jewish economy, and who is ever to be regarded as the One who makes possible the purification of man from sin (Manuscript 95, 1902). 4BC 1176.4

9. Superiority and Purpose of Second Temple—[Haggai 2:9 quoted.] The outward glory of the temple was not the glory of the Lord. Instruction was given as to what constituted the blessing that was to rest upon the temple. Its restoration in a plainer style than that of the first temple, was to place before the people in a proper light their past error in depending upon the pomp and splendor of outward form and ceremony. The temple was to be erected at this time, also, to remove the reproach of their disloyalty to God. Haggai instructed the people that by heartfelt repentance and by a speedy completion of the temple, they were to seek to be cleansed from the sin of disobedience that had led away from God and had delayed the carrying out of the command to arise and build.... 4BC 1176.5

In neglecting the temple, which was the mirror of God's presence, the people had greatly dishonored God. They were now instructed to hold His house in sacred honor, not because of its magnificence, as did the Jews in the days of Christ, but because God had promised to be there. And this second temple was to be superior to the first because in a special sense the Messiah would honor it with His personal presence (The Review and Herald, December 12, 1907). 4BC 1176.6

10-13, 14. Acceptable Service—In order that the builders of the second temple might make no mistakes, the Lord plainly instructed them, in the form of a parable, regarding the nature of service acceptable in His sight.... [Haggai 2:10-13 quoted.] 4BC 1176.7

A soul corrupted by sin is represented by the figure of a dead body in a state of putrefaction. All the washings and sprinklings enjoined in the ceremonial law were lessons in parables, teaching the necessity of a work of regeneration in the inward heart for the purification of the soul dead in trespasses and sins, and also the necessity of the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit [Haggai 2:14 quoted] (The Review and Herald, December 19, 1907). 4BC 1176.8

14-19. The Heart Unveiled—[Haggai 2:14-19, quoted.] In this scripture the heart is unveiled. The Lord takes cognizance of all the works of the children of men. He can diminish; He can increase and bless. 4BC 1176.9

Professing believers who reveal by their actions that they are still clinging to selfish practises, are working upon worldly principles. The principles of justice and integrity are not carried into the life-practise (Manuscript 95, 1902). 4BC 1177.1

23. Pebbles or Polished Gems—Christians are Christ's jewels. They are to shine brightly for Him, shedding forth the light of His loveliness. Their luster depends on the polishing they receive. They may choose to be polished or to remain unpolished. But every one who is pronounced worthy of a place in the Lord's temple must submit to the polishing process. Without the polishing that the Lord gives they can reflect no more light than a common pebble. 4BC 1177.2

Christ says to man, “You are mine. I have bought you. You are now only a rough stone, but if you will place yourself in My hands, I will polish you, and the luster with which you shall shine will bring honor to My name. No man shall pluck you out of My hand. I will make you My peculiar treasure. On My coronation day, you will be a jewel in My crown of rejoicing.” 4BC 1177.3

The divine Worker spends little time on worthless material. Only the precious jewels does He polish after the similitude of a palace, cutting away all the rough edges. This process is severe and trying; it hurts human pride. Christ cuts deep into the experience that man in his self-sufficiency has regarded as complete, and takes away self-uplifting from the character. He cuts away the surplus surface, and putting the stone to the polishing wheel, presses it close, that all roughness may be worn away. Then, holding the jewel up to the light, the Master sees in it a reflection of Himself, and He pronounces it worthy of a place in His casket. 4BC 1177.4

“In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, will I take thee, ... and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the Lord of hosts.” Blessed be the experience, however severe, that gives new value to the stone, and causes it to shine with living brightness (The Review and Herald, December 19, 1907). 4BC 1177.5

Life Hidden in Christ Preserved—God will not suffer one of His true-hearted workers to be left alone to struggle against great odds and be overcome. He preserves as a precious jewel every one whose life is hid with Christ in God. Of every such an one He says, “I ... will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee” (Manuscript 95, 1902). 4BC 1177.6