God’s desire is for his glory to be on display in his temple again, for his city to be a beacon to the nations for salvation, and for his people to be out from under oppression (15).
The glory of God in the temple had left before exile (over 70 years ago) as told in Ezekiel 10, and God was ready to return to his temple. The only problem was that he didn’t have a temple to return to, thus the order to rebuild the temple.
God had not forgotten about his people. Though they were going through a tough exile, they were not forgotten by God. We need to also remember that just because we may not see or know what God is doing doesn’t mean that he has forgotten about us. Here we see that God is exceedingly jealous for Jerusalem. He is much like the father who sees his prodigal son on the horizon and is overjoyed at his return (Luke 15).
Chapters 1 and 2, like the entire book, are full of visions. The visions in these two chapters are recalling God’s sovereign hand over the nations he used to refine his people. God is also speaking of mercy and restoration (16-17) for his people. These are both real events that happened then, as well as shadows of what would be fulfilled in Jesus later.
God, like a loving father, wants to display his love and grace to the world through his children. God is worthy and deserving to be praised. He has brought mercy and restoration to us. As God’s presence in the temple was evident to the world and brought about worship to him and joy to his people, so God’s presence in our life is to be evident to the world and bring about worship to him and joy to us.