Thursday, May 24, 2007



An interesting story lies hidden within the verses of the writings of Haggai, one of the Prophets that the Lord raised up to encourage the builders who had accompanied Ezra when he led several thousand Jews back to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls and the Temple.

It was a daunting task, and there was much opposition to what they were attempting to do. Discouragement reached out a slimy hand to hinder the progress. The Lord countered with the prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah.

Those prophecies, if we listen to them, can serve to encourage any one of us today who have a tendency to lose the vision of what the Lord is wanting done with, and in, and through us.

The date is: (Hag 1:15) In the four and twentieth day of the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.

The Lord is chiding the people for their discouragement, and telling them why He has sent a drought and famine upon the land.

Hag 1:9 Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.
Hag 1:10 Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit.
Hag 1:11 And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labor of the hands.

How thankful we can be that the leaders and the people hearkened to the voice of the Prophets.

Hag 1:12 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, OBEYED THE VOICE OF THE LORD THEIR GOD, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the LORD.

Listen to this next verse, for it tells us how anxious the Lord is for His people to obey the voice of those whom He sends into our midst to admonish us. As soon as they got started again on the work, God reciprocated with words of courage.

(Hag 1:13) Then spoke Haggai the LORD's messenger in the LORD's message unto the people, saying, I AM WITH YOU, saith the LORD.

(Hag 1:14) And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God,

Exactly three months later, when the foundation of the House of the Lord was completed, the Prophet again delivered a message from Heaven to the people and the leaders.

(Hag 2:18) CONSIDER NOW FROM THIS DAY AND UPWARD, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of the LORD's temple was laid, consider it.

(Hag 2:19) Is the seed yet in the barn? yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, hath not brought forth: FROM THIS DAY WILL I BLESS YOU.

The refugees from Babylon had made a small step toward the Will of the Lord. The Lord was making a GIANT STEP toward them. He will do the same for us today when we make a move toward a lifestyle that is closer to Him and His Will for our lives.

2Ch 30:9) For if ye turn again unto the LORD, your brethren and your children shall find compassion before them that lead them captive, so that they shall come again into this land: for the LORD your God is gracious and merciful, and will not turn away his face from you, if ye return unto him.

Almost always, a returning to God will bring about a change in our lifestyle, as well as a change in our relationship to the House of God, wherever that may be.

Without a regular meeting together with other believers, we will tend to flounder in our walk with God. We need the encouragement that comes from one to another when we worship together.

And we must shoulder our responsibilities for the upkeep of the House of Worship. It is an integral part of our walk with the Lord.

"--From this day and upward--- I will bless you."
(2Ch 31:5) And as soon as the commandment came abroad, the children of Israel brought in abundance the firstfruits of corn, wine, and oil, and honey, and of all the increase of the field; and the tithe of all things brought they in abundantly.

(2Ch 31:6) And concerning the children of Israel and Judah, that dwelt in the cities of Judah, they also brought in the tithe of oxen and sheep, and the tithe of holy things which were consecrated unto the LORD their God, and laid them by heaps.

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