HAGGAI 2:1–9 ESV
“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? Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares the Lord. Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. 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. 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.'””
I hope this has been helpful, looking at the ministry of the prophet Haggai and God using him to call the people of Israel back to making God a priority. My selfish ambition behind moving through this book with you is that you will see the importance of moving God back to the proper place in your life.
100% of the time we can ground the source of our issues in the fact that God is not at the center of the situation. With Jesus Christ at the heart of any matter, we can respond well to the good, the bad, or the ugly. For the Israelites in our text, life was not going to get better until they tapped back into their spiritual lives and God was made central.
Our text this evening deals with God’s desire to bring peace. By the end of these 9 verses, it would seem that God is almost excited about what is about to happen. He and His people are working together, building the temple and making it into something worth celebrating. God has reminded the people that the silver and gold of this world belong to Him and that these things will serve His temple by making it majestic. The house of worship that sat in ruin will now surpass its former glory. It is going to stand out and be known as the house of God.
But this will take their participation. The key terms and phrases we read in the passage are important to point out and they go like this: be strong; work; I am with you; my covenant; my spirit; fear not; these things are mine. Let’s quickly look at how they connect.
The first key term is be strong. In order for this work to pan out, to be completed, the people will need to do what they failed to do the first time. They will need to be strong and be strong in their faith. From the top down, the Lord is calling the people to engage. It will take everyone pitching in to combat the temptation to halt or stop the work.
And what are they being strong in? Their faith and work. This is the second key term. They must work in faith and it will take strength to do it, and the strength that they will work in this time, unlike last time, is the strength of the Lord, for He has declared that He is with them.
This is the third key term We’ve heard this before, in the last chapter. When the Lord is with us there is focus, there is perseverance, there is a strength beyond ourselves that gives us perspective and purpose. The people lacked that before. Remember how when they lost the fear of the Lord, the fell and faltered in their responsibilities. But when the fear of the Lord returned, they found perspective and purpose.
The fourth key term is God’s covenant. God made a promise to bless the nations using the people of Israel. But they can’t bless the world if they are not a light that witnesses to God’s glory. How can they be a worshipping people if they have dropped their faith and let God’s house stay in ruins? And so, God is reminding them of the promise He made and is stirring them to engage their end of the covenant, to be a faithful people.
The fifth key phrase is my spirit remains in your midst. God will not leave nor abandon His people. He will remain with them, in their very presence, as they work, as they worship, as they live according to His redemptive purpose. This plays into the sixth key term fear not. Because God will remain with them, they have nothing to be afraid of, for God is their strength and portion. When they run into trouble, they have but to lean on God for what they need and He will provide.
And receiving what they need is the seventh key term, as God claims the materials that are needed to make the temple a greater glory than it was in the former days. God will make this people’s witness and worship brighter than in the days before it. He has claimed the silver and the gold and all the resources that are required. He declares He will shake the nations, as if to say He will turn them upside and shake the riches of the foreign lands to fund and fix the temple properly.
Want I want for you to take away from this text tonight is that God will provide you with the peace of heart and mind to live your life successfully, according to God’s definition of success. The peace that surpasses all understating that we read about it in Philippians 4.7 is a peace and comfort that allows us to live as a witness to God’s redemption in our lives that can be others redemption if they’ll be receive it.
In Haggai, God is restoring His temple so that the world may see His glory. For us today, God is restoring the temple that is His faithful followers so that the world may see God’s glory in us. God will furnish for you and in you what is required for you to be restored and for others to be restored because of you.
You may be here tonight and need to be restored. You are a temple that has experienced rot or ruin. I want you to know tonight that you can come to Jesus and begin again. You may be person who thinks you have little or nothing to give this world, for whatever reason, and I’m here to tell you that God wants to shake the nations of this world upside down to empty their pockets in order to adorn you as a holy witness, a walking temple, that shines forth His glory to someone who needs His presence and peace within themselves.
I hope that you will be revived and restored, in your own very important way. I pray that you will welcome God into your life and see His power and glory through a vibrant and strong relationship with Jesus Christ. The Son of God desires to make you whole. Let Him complete you today. Let the peace of God come upon you. Let the Holy Spirit give you life. Amen.