Topical Studies

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What the Bible says about Building God's House
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Jeremiah 29:1-16

What is the timing? It is the same as "the good fig, bad fig vision" (Jeremiah 24:1-10). This was after the early ones were taken away for their good and before the bad ones were destroyed. To put it in terms we can understand, it occurs after the apostasy but before the Tribulation. One can see a parallel between then and now. It is as if Jeremiah is writing this letter to us. We do not have seventy years of exile, God willing, but it still fits because we are in our own exile. Jeremiah advises us what to do.

At first, it seems to run counter to what we should be doing. For instance, the first chapter of Haggai says, "Do not build your house, build My house." But remember we are looking at this from a spiritual standpoint, not physical. So we have to translate Jeremiah's physical advice into spiritual advice. If we study it from that angle, it fits very well.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
How to Survive Exile

Haggai 1:7-11

This is quite pointed. When our ways do not please God, He says that He sends drought. These people were practicing a form of idolatry: They were worshipping themselves, their houses, and the works of their own hands. Basically, they were ignoring God by putting His work second or third or last.

They were getting the finest materials for themselves and not giving a hoot about God's House, which still lay in ruins after Nebuchadnezzar and his army had come through many years before. The ruins of God's House were still there, and nothing was happening on the site. It is not clear how long the people had been back at this point, but they should have done His work first, since that was the reason He had sent them back. The original command from the king was to go back and build a House to God. They should have tackled this job immediately, despite it being a command of a foreign emperor. The command was ultimately from God. So God took affront to it and really gave it to them to motivate them back to work.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
The Two Witnesses (Part Six)


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