In the seventh month, on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, “Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to all the remnant of the people, and say, ‘Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Is it not as nothing in your eyes? – Haggai 2:1-3
We all need a reminder from time to time of why we’re working, serving, striving for this thing called THE GOSPEL.
We need a shot in the arm…. an encouragement to NOT GIVE UP…. to KEEP GOING…
Israel was mired in one of these moments. The people had been in exile for 66 years; they had been allowed to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple only to complete the foundation…. and then..
THE WORK STALLED.
- Outside of the city, influences sought to delay them; to keep the Israelites from growing strong.
- Inside the city, the people kept hearing stories of the first temple; of Israel’s glory days; and they became discouraged by their ruined city and discontent with pouring themselves into building an inferior replacement.
It is to THIS moment, that the prophet Haggai was sent with a message from Yahweh. God saw their discontent, their discouragement, and their complacency. In Chapter Two Yahweh says THIS to the political leaders, the religious leaders, and the people as a whole:
Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the Lord. Work, for I am with you, declares the Lord of hosts, according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not. – Haggai 2:4-5
God tells us in this passage not to give up but instead to STEP UP!
to work for His kingdom, for His Gospel, and for Him because no matter what our situation is…
God HAS NOT abandoned His PEOPLE or His PROMISE!
His Spirit is still among them just as it was leading them out of bondage and slavery.
But the prophet doesn’t stop there, he continues in verses 6-9:
For thus says the Lord of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land. And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the Lord of hosts. The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the Lord of hosts.'” – Haggai 2:6-9
This is the good news of not just this passage but it’s the GOOD NEWS for every single one of us that is seeking to serve God.
Our work DOES NOT DEPEND ON US!
God alone holds the power to bless, to grow, to save, to provide.
It’s All His!
No amount of work or sweat or tears can change the fact that until God “shakes the heavens and the earth” there will no success or victory.
So relax and FEAR NOT and DON’T GIVE UP!
God WILL bring His power, His provision, AND His peace to His people.