I am a huge lover of the Old Testament. Not for the law, but for the history and the way the Lord utilized the prophets to bring about change. If you barely ever read the first half of the bible you are missing out on a lot! Especially since history repeats itself.
The book of Haggai has never been more real to me than it is now. This book is just two little chapters that is jam-packed with insight. Haggai means “festive” in Hebrew, from the root חָגַג (chagag). This is one of the twelve minor prophets of the Old Testament. The Book of Haggai urges the exiles returning from Babylonia to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem. God highlighted this chapter to me in the beginning of August. Oddly enough, Haggai’s message is dated the first day of Elul (August-September) and his last message is dated the twenty-fourth day of Chisley (December) of that same year.
As most of you have figured out by now, these last five months of 2020 are most likely going to be filled with many interesting events, spectacles, uncoverings, shakings and upheavals. Haggai is called by God to remind the people that the temple is in ruins and that they had gotten so preoccupied with fixing up their own houses that they forget His house.
4 “Is it time for you yourselves to live in your [expensive] paneled houses while this house [of the Lord] lies in ruins?” 5 Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways and thoughtfully reflect on your conduct! 6 You have planted much, but you harvest little; you eat, but you do not have enough; you drink, but you do not have enough to be intoxicated; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns wages earns them just to put them in a bag with holes in it [because God has withheld His blessing].”
Many of us have been prudent enough to prepare for the upcoming months so that we have what we need for our families, but also so we have extra to share with those who have not yet found Christ. That is awesome and important, however, we cannot ignore the house of God. In these times of economic confusion, it is not time to be stingy with the house of God. Those of you who understand the principle of tithing (Christianity 101) know that this is the best way to insure your own financial stability during times of crisis.
12 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people [who had returned from exile], listened carefully and obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the words of Haggai the prophet, since the Lord their God had sent him. And the people [reverently] feared the Lord. 13 Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, spoke the Lord’s message to the people saying, “‘I am with you,’ declares the Lord.”
Some of the people in Haggai’s time had even seen the former temple in all of it’s glory. They literally had the “before and after” picture staring them right in the face when they returned home. God’s physical house was the focus of worship through tithing for them because they were under the old covenant. During this time do not be stingy with the house of God that feeds you spiritually and please do not forget the missionaries who toil where God has sent them. Give offerings where revival is springing up as well! Sow into your heavenly bank account.
What else does this tiny book represent in 2020? What about the new covenant in Christ Jesus? Just like in the book of Haggai, the house of God is in a time of rebuilding. If you have heavenly eyes to see what the Father is doing right now, you know that He is raising up the church. He is cleaning up His bride and shifting people into new places and new positions within the Body of Christ. Under the new covenant, WE ARE THE TEMPLE! We each host the Spirit of the Living God. Multiple times in Haggai the Lord speaks through the prophet and implores the people to consider their ways. Not consider everyone else’s ways and what they are doing or not doing. WE are to consider our own ways.
Most of us are aware that we have been in a year-long plus time of confessing and repenting for ourselves, our nation, etc. This is the first step in cleaning out the temple and preparing it for the service of the Lord.
The other important point to consider in the four months we have left in 2020 is to not sit down and wait for the turmoil to pass by before you leap into what God is showing you to do. You can not wait. You don’t have time to wait. You are to be planting, cleaning up, cleaning out, restoring, rebuilding, renewing, and resurrecting everything that God has personally shown you to put your hands to. Don’t hide! Get out there and boldly build and take territory back for the Kingdom of Heaven.
4 But now be courageous, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord, ‘be courageous also, Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and be courageous, all you people of the land,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ declares the Lord of hosts. 5 ‘As for the promise which I made with you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit stands [firm and immovable] and continues with you; do not fear!’
Near the end of this beautiful Old Testament book, God tells Haggai to assure the people that even though the temple will not look the same, that the glory of the temple will be greater than that of the former temple.
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 and the dry land. 7 I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the desirable and precious things of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory and splendor,’ says the Lord of hosts. 8 ‘The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares the Lord of hosts. 9 ‘The latter [a]glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the Lordof hosts, ‘and in this place I shall give [the ultimate] peace and prosperity,’ declares the Lord of hosts.”
God, I pray that you would give specific instructions to each person reading this today. May all fear supernaturally fall off of them now in Jesus name and Jesus would You bring about a Holy boldness in them to go forth and do what You have asked them to do for Your Namesake. In Jesus name, Amen.
For the Kingdom,