Abiding in Hope
Bible Text: Haggai 2:1-23 | Preacher: Pastor Steve | Series: Abiding in the Lord
The work of God is begun, and we need the ongoing encouragement and power of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to keep us going!
God’s people must work together to build! We are always better together!
What we do today is foundational for God’s work tomorrow, and we need to give the Lord our best, always!
Faith sees the invisible, chooses the immortal, and does the impossible.
Putting God FIRST is the only guarantee of God’s best blessing.
Philippians 1:6…being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…
Philippians 2:13 For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
On that same day, December 18, the Lord sent this second message to Haggai: Tell Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, that I am about to shake the heavens and the earth. I will overthrow royal thrones and destroy the power of foreign kingdoms. I will overturn their chariots and riders. The horses will fall, and their riders will kill each other. But when this happens, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, I will honor you, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, my servant. I will make you like a signet ring on my finger, says the Lord, for I have chosen you. I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!
Even though the Lord speaks promises to us, there is still the obvious need and requirement for God’s people to appropriately respond with obedience!
His words to us are basically an encouragement to do His work and not sit back and watch!
God’s people had become overwhelmed:
The population surrounding them were mocking and ridiculing and intimidating them.
They were discouraged and depressed.
They were facing significant political and social oppositional pressure to not build.
Prophets Haggai and Zechariah were contemporaries
Zechariah 4:6-7 So he answered and said to me: This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD of hosts. Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain! And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of Grace, grace to it.
Grace is the free gift of God, undeserved kindness and amazing favor. Grace is a powerful force!
And despite political opposition, demoralizing remarks of the surrounding peoples, the emotional and spiritual discouragement of the people, there is NO force or power that will overcome the GRACE of the Lord!
Nothing can or will stop the work of God in us or in YOU! Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain!
Ephesians 2:7-10 Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing (THE MESSAGE).
His GRACE holds it all together!
Zechariah 4:7 And he shall bring forth the capstone with shouts of Grace, grace to it!
I am rebuilding you to completion…not by might, nor by power but by My Spirit says the Lord of Hosts!
God is with us!
Haggai 2:3-9 Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? In comparison with it, is this not in your eyes as nothing?
Hope from the Lord
Yet now be strong. Zerubbabel says the LORD; and be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; and be strong, all you people of the land, says the LORD, and work; for I am with you, says the LORD of hosts. According to the word that l covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you: do not fear!
More Hope from the Lord
For thus says the LORD of hosts: Once more l will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory, says the LORD of hosts. The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine, says the LORD of hosts. The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former, says the LORD of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, says the LORD of hosts.
God told Haggai to ask Israel (and us) three questions:
Who of you saw (knew) this house and ministry in its former glory?
How does God’s house and work look to you now?
Does it seem right to you that the Lord’s house and work is neglected?
Haggai 2:10-19 calls on God’s people to evaluate and remember their previous economic disaster that came because they disobeyed by not rebuilding and paying attention to the work of the Lord. AGAIN the people were challenged to give careful thought to (set their hearts on) their disobedience (before they started rebuilding) and the consequences of their inaction!
The Lord is encouraging God’s people to stay on the job and finish God’s work as long as we have breath!
Don’t give up! Keep on task! Continue the work of the Lord!
Haggai 2:20-23 And again the word of the LORD came to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, saying, Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying: I will shake heaven and earth. I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms; I will destroy the strength of the Gentile kingdoms. I will overthrow the chariots and those who ride in them; the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother. In that day, says the LORD of hosts, I will take you, Zerubbabel My servant, the son of Shealtiel, says the LORD, and will make you as a signet ring; for I have chosen you, says the LORD of hosts.
I will take you, the LORD will fulfill His prophetic word in us
1 Peter 2:10 …who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.
I will make you as a signet ring, the Lord will make Zerubbabel
2 Timothy 2:19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: The Lord knows those who are His…
I have chosen you, the LORD had chosen Zerubbabel as a channel
1 Peter 2:4-6…but chosen by God and precious, you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood…