In The Word
Read: Haggai 2
The Builders Encouraged
2 On the twenty-first of the seventh month, the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet saying, 2 “Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people saying, 3 ‘Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Does it not seem to you like nothing in comparison? 4 But now take courage, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord, ‘take courage also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and all you people of the land take courage,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ declares the Lord of hosts. 5 ‘As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear!’ 6 For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. 7 I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts.8 ‘The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares the Lord of hosts. 9 ‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ declares the Lord of hosts.”
10 On the twenty-fourth of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to Haggai the prophet, saying, 11 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Ask now the priests for a ruling: 12 If a man carries holy meat in the fold of his garment, and touches bread with this fold, or cooked food, wine, oil, or any other food, will it become holy?’” And the priests answered, “No.” 13 Then Haggai said, “If one who is unclean from a corpse touches any of these, will the latter become unclean?” And the priests answered, “It will become unclean.” 14 Then Haggai said, “‘So is this people. And so is this nation before Me,’ declares the Lord, ‘and so is every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean. 15 But now, do consider from this day onward: before one stone was placed on another in the temple of the Lord, 16 from that time when one came to a grain heap of twenty measures, there would be only ten; and when one came to the wine vat to draw fifty measures, there would be only twenty. 17 I smote you and every work of your hands with blasting wind, mildew and hail; yet you did not come back to Me,’ declares the Lord. 18 ‘Do consider from this day onward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month; from the day when the temple of the Lord was founded, consider: 19 Is the seed still in the barn? Even including the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate and the olive tree, it has not borne fruit. Yet from this day on I will bless you.’”
20 Then the word of the Lord came a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, saying, 21 “Speak to Zerubbabel governor of Judah, saying, ‘I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. 22 I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms and destroy the power of the kingdoms of the nations; and I will overthrow the chariots and their riders, and the horses and their riders will go down, everyone by the sword of another.’ 23 ‘On that day,’ declares the Lord of hosts, ‘I will take you, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, My servant,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you,’” declares the Lord of hosts.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
After the people of God were stirred to put God’s kingdom first and to build His house, they came face to face with the daunting task ahead of them of rebuilding God’s house. After a month of activity, they began to be discouraged. What they pictured in their mind was not what it looked like in reality. Again, the Lord sent Haggai to encourage them. The Lord assured them that He was with them and that He would supply for the work He gave them to do. Another month passed by and the people obviously needed to be encouraged again. The Lord sent Haggai to tell them that He was going to bless everything they had. He would sew up their money bags, bring rain, satisfy their desire, keep them warm, and bless the investment of their hands. The people put the right thing first, and God rewarded them for doing so.
Maybe you have been awakened to the responsibilities God has given you to carry out toward His kingdom. However, when you look at what you have and where you need to go, it seems like an impossibility to get there. Remember, if God gave you something that you could do in your own strength, you wouldn’t need Him to get it done. He gives us things to accomplish that can only be accomplished by His strength and support. So take this as an encouraging word from God that He is with you and, from this day forward, He will bless the work of your hands. If you have put the Kingdom of God first but needed some encouragement, then this word is for you. Be encouraged for God is with you!