Well … here we are in part eight of our study of the messages contained in the book of Haggai … how those messages pertain to us, and our lifestyles today … and, the messages don’t get any easier. Last time, we looked at how important it is, who our friends are … who we “hang with” … how important it is to us, who (and what) we allow to influence us.
Now, we turn to Haggai 2:15-19, and look at the consequences of our actions. Plenty of “ouch!” space here. As humans, isn’t it odd that, often, even though we know-full well-what the consequences of our actions will be … that doesn’t stop us from doing those very actions which we know will only hurt us. And, hurt others. And, yes, even today, our actions, and the consequences of those actions can affect not just those closely around us … but … if enough people engage in enough actions … an entire nation can be affected. Or, perhaps the better word is not “affected,” but “infected.”
In verses 15-19, God reminds the people that it was due to their unfaithfulness, the people’s disobedience, that “I smote you” (verse 17). But, God is, indeed, merciful … and, His ear is always open to the cry of repentance. Depending upon our actions, the “bad news” can be turned into “good news.” When we change our purpose, our focus, our will, to His purpose, His focus, His will, His work, then the promise is there: “From this day I will bless you” (verse 19). We remind ourselves again that, in order to be blessed, we must put ourselves in a position to be blessed. This will always start-always-by being obedient to God’s Word. This hasn’t changed … nor will it ever change.
The book of Haggai closes with a promise to “Zerubbabel, governor of Judah” (verse 21), that, again, God will “shake the heavens and the earth” (verse 21). This reminds me of many times in history, when God gave a prophet a message to deliver to those in authority. The messenger had to be faithful/obedient to deliver the message. Then, the one in authority had a choice: To heed the message … or, not. What happened next strictly depended upon that choice.
As the book of Haggai closes, there is a final promise to Zerubbabel, which is a shadow/type of promise which still holds true today: God called Zerubbabel “my servant” (verse 23).
Today, we are even more than God’s servants … we are God’s sons.
God said, here in verse 23, that He “will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee.” The “signet” is a signet ring, used by those in authority for signing official documents and letters.
Here, Zerubbabel, as us today, carry God’s seal, meaning we carry the honor and authority of God-and we represent Him. As saved, children of God, we carry His seal upon us. By carrying God’s seal, we are His representatives in everything we do.
I am reminded in this verse that God “chose us first,” meaning that He first chose us to be His representative, to show forth His light to a dark world. His official Seal, and His hand, will be on us … and it should show … in everything we do.
So, as we bring to a close this study of the book of Haggai, let us “consider our ways,” in order to put ourselves in a position to be blessed. Let us remember that when we put God’s purpose and will for our lives first, He will, indeed, “shake the heavens and earth” on our behalf. Why? Because when our will and purpose become His will and purpose … everything changes. We change, and then, everything around us changes. And, yes, if enough people are influenced by this change-in us-even an entire nation can be changed. And, by so doing … yes … it can change the course of history.
Yes, there is work involved, but God has promised to be with us. His main purpose in our lives is to “build His temple” for all to see … so that others will want to come and worship Him, too.
P.S. This whole time, I really “got” the idea that God was telling us to “consider your ways.” However, God has also revealed to me that we should turn these three words back to Him: To be successful, to be blessed, we must, from our knees, look toward God, and “consider Your ways.”