After tonight, we will begin looking into the New Testament. Again, this won’t be exhaustive of course. I believe I could find the deity of Christ taught in every chapter somewhere in the New Testament, but I don’t think I want to keep this going that long as I already have other topics I’d like to post on, plus I want to simply have my readers get a taste of what is in Scripture so they can go through again and look on their own.
Tonight, we go to Malachi 3:1.
1 “See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the LORD Almighty.
We’re going to go to other texts in looking at this one some tonight, but the LORD is speaking here. It’s interesting to go through the book of Malachi and see how many times the name “LORD” shows up. Now it’s a different word used for lord who comes to the temple, but still lord, and still a term of deity.
Let’s consider though who else came to the temple. This is referring to the first temple in 1 Kings 8.
10 When the priests withdrew from the Holy Place, the cloud filled the temple of the LORD. 11 And the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled his temple.
The cloud is what is called the Shekinah glory. This was when God made himself manifest in entering the temple and the presence was so overwhelming that the priests were unable to do their duties in the temple. This was central to the view of the temple which makes Ezekiel 10:17-19 so important.
17 When the cherubim stood still, they also stood still; and when the cherubim rose, they rose with them, because the spirit of the living creatures was in them.
18 Then the glory of the LORD departed from over the threshold of the temple and stopped above the cherubim. 19 While I watched, the cherubim spread their wings and rose from the ground, and as they went, the wheels went with them. They stopped at the entrance to the east gate of the LORD’s house, and the glory of the God of Israel was above them.
When God’s presence left, Ezekiel knew that it was over. Judgment was coming.
Let’s see what was said about the second temple though in Haggai 2:6-9.
6 “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. 7 I will shake all nations, and the desired of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD Almighty. 8 ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LORD Almighty. 9 ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the LORD Almighty.”
Notice that last sentence. The glory of this house will be greater than that of the first. Do we think he was talking about the building of Herod? As if having huge aspects to the temple would be better than the Shekinah Glory?
No. I think it’s Malachi 3:1 that tells us about the greater glory.
The Lord you are seeking will come to the temple.
The first temple saw God in the Shekinah. The second saw him in the flesh.
Tomorrow, we’ll learn more about God in the flesh.