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Consider Your Ways and be Reborn

Updated: Feb 3

July 18, 2021- Toward the end of the Babylonian capture of Jerusalem and Judah, a prophet named Haggai was given word by God. The word from God was that the time has come to rebuild His temple (Haggai 1:8) which was destroyed during Nebuchadnezzar's siege of Jerusalem. As part of that word, God says:

Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.

Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.

Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. (Haggai 1:5-7).

Haggai spoke this word to the son of the Governor of Judah, Zerubbabel, and to Joshua who was the son of a high priest.

In Haggai 2, we learn of God's promise to them; that the Lord will "shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come", and the new temple will be filled with the Glory of God (Haggai 2:7). The Lord says that, "The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former... and in this place, will I give peace." (Haggai 2:9).

Another word is given to Haggai where he asks the priests the law regarding clean and unclean things. Haggai asks them two questions, and both times the priests say that the items are unclean. Haggai tells them that, "So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the Lord; and so is every work of their hands; and that which they offer there is unclean." (Haggai 2:14). Haggai goes on to tell them this:

And now, I pray you, consider from this day and upward, from before a stone was laid upon a stone in the temple of the Lord:

Since those days were, when one came to an heap of twenty measures, there were but ten: when one came to the pressfat for to draw out fifty vessels out of the press, there were but twenty.

I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands; yet ye turned not to me, saith the Lord.

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. (Haggai 2:15-17)

Despite this, God decides that He is going to bless them by choosing Zerubbabel at a later time (Haggai 2:23). Zerubbabel would contribute to the building of the altar, providing burnt offerings, laying down the foundation for the new temple, and appointing Levites (see Ezra 3). He would do this as people were returning to Jerusalem after the Babylonian reign. In the book of Ezra, we are told that people were rejoicing for the new temple (see Ezra 3:8-13).

Letters, War Department
Photo by Sue Hughes on Unspalsh

Messages in Haggai

When I read Haggai, three overall messages stick out to me:

  1. Consider your Ways - Are you right with God?

  2. Being Reborn- Just as the second temple was better than the last, so are you when you are reborn in Christ. The Bible says, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." (John 3:3). Salvation is through the acceptance and the confession of Jesus Christ as your savior. In addition, consider what Paul and Timothy said in Philippians 1:6 "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."

  3. Being Chosen by God- The Bible says that, "So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen." (Matthew 20:16). In addition, 2 Corinthians 5:20 says, "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God."

Just like the high priest and the prince in Jerusalem were called to rebuild the walls in the city, the same way God is calling you to a better covenant. All things considered, the Judean kingdom had sinned against God, and for 40 years, God sent prophets to turn them from their wicked ways, and by the people not listening to the prophets (essentially the word of God), they were slain during Nebuchardnezzar's seize of Jerusalem, while those that obeyed His word were brought into captivity. The Babylonians would reign Jerusalem for 70 years, and after 70 years of judgement, God decides to reinstate them, but not without shame, pain, and sorrow. (If you have any question about this statement, you can feel free to send me a message. I would be glad to talk to you more about it.)

The main thing that we can take from this prophet is that after the sin of many, God with his infinite love, wisdom and compassion decides to reinstate them.

My brother or sister, if you are reading this, I feel in my heart that God is asking you to consider these things and consider your ways. Turn back to Him, or simply turn to Him. Jesus is calling you, for no one can go to the Father except by Jesus (John 14:6).

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