The Bible says in Haggai 2:1-5, In the seventh month, in the one and twentieth day of the month, came the word of the LORD by the prophet Haggai, saying, Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and to the residue of the people, saying, Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts: According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not. A very important spiritual lesson is taught in these Bible verses. The lesson is this: do not look at the reality of what you can see, but look at the reality of what you cannot see. When these Israelites looked at the condition of the temple, they saw a very depressing sight. They saw the site that had recently been destroyed by the Babylonians and now was very incomplete in its reconstruction. So looking at the temple site only reminded them of the fact that their enemies had been victorious over them, and that they themselves had been failures.
If we looked at what we could see with our eyes, we would see the same thing. We would see the enemies of Christ seemingly winning on every hand. The enemies of Christ thoroughly conquered the educational system. They pushed out the Judeo-Christian teachings of the Bible. They pushed out the teaching of Christian ethics and morality. Many of the leaders of government are either against the teachings of truth, or they themselves are afraid to mention truth. Look around with your eyes and see what we have come to. Other victories have been won by the enemies of Christ in regards to abortion, gay marriage, the degradation of women, the destruction of the family, and the spread of a powerful central government and thus a vast reduction in liberty and freedom and a continual march towards socialism.
After looking at how bad things are, what is the first thing that God told the Israelites? He said to them, Be strong. God said this twice in Haggai 2:4. Be strong. Believers in Jesus should be the strongest of all people. Why should we be strong? How can we be strong? The answer to these questions is found in what the Lord said to the Israelites here in the book of Haggai after the Lord told them to be strong, He said in Haggai 2:4, for I am with you. The Lord also said in Haggai 2:5, so my spirit remaineth among you. Our strength does not come from ourselves. Our strength comes from the Lord. Moses wrote in Exodus 15:2, The LORD is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation: he is my God, and I will prepare him an habitation; my father's God, and I will exalt him. Habbakuk 3:19, The LORD God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds' feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. Isaiah 12:2, Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. Psalm 27:1, The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
One of the great passages in the New Testament about being strong in the Lord is found in Ephesians 6:10-18. It says, Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints. We have no strength, but Jesus has all power. That is why we are told to be strong in the Lord.
More detail about how to be strong in the Lord Jesus Christ is given in the verses following Ephesians 6:10. When Paul wrote these verses, he was a Roman prisoner. Paul looked at Roman soldiers and understood the spiritual significance of having armor in order to be prepared for battle. First we are told that we are involved in a spiritual warfare, and the devil is trying to make us fall. We win the victory if we stand without falling down and staying down. Never forget that the Lord will always pick you back up and forgive you if you do fall, but the main goal is to not fall in the first place. It will take strength to stand: it will take the strength of the Lord. Here is how you tap into that strength. You must have the right amount of the following in order to be living in connection with the power of Christ: truth, righteousness, evangelization, faith, salvation, the Word of God, and prayer.
In addition to telling the Israelites to be strong, the Lord told them in Haggai 2:5, fear ye not. God does not want us to fear. He wants us to be confident. True faith in Jesus brings confidence: the kind of confidence you really need. Not confidence in yourself, but confidence in the Lord. You will fear nothing if you know that the Lord is with you, that He will protect you, that He will provide for you, that He will guide you and give you wisdom, and that He will fight your battles for you. Jesus used the phrase fear not many times in His teachings. Jesus said in Matthew 10:26-31, Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops. And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. It says in Luke 5:10, And Jesus said unto Simon, Fear not; from henceforth thou shalt catch men. It says in Luke 8:50, But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole. Jesus said in Luke 12:7, But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows. Jesus also said in Luke 12:32, Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy in Second Timothy 1:7, For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
We must notice that the Lord said in Haggai 2:5, According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt. God always keeps His promises. If you want to know what God is going to do in your life both now and in the future, and what He is going to do in the world now and in the future, simply find His promises on the subject. God promised Abraham in Genesis 12:2-3, And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. No matter what problems, or difficulties, or opposition that we see going on around us; another thing that is going on that maybe we do not always see is the fact that God is keeping His promises. Jesus will keep His promises to each of us just as He has kept them and will continue to keep them for the Jewish people. The reasons that God said what He said in Haggai 2:6-7 is because of His eternal purpose to fulfill His promises to the descendants of Abraham.
It says in Haggai 2:6-7, For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts. It is very obvious that in these verses the Lord God is talking about the end-times. We often see this in the prophetic books: The Lord starts talking to the Israelites and then suddenly switches to talking about the end-times. One of the reasons for this is because the real solution to all their problems will only come at the end-times when God fixes all the problems of the earth. The same is true for us. That is why we look forward to the return of Christ, not only because we will see Him, but also because He will fix all things. It is interesting that God says that the end-times will come in a little while. Over 2,500 years have passed since this was written, so this tells us something about Gods view of time compared to our view of time: there is a big difference. Why is there such a difference between the way we view time compared to the way that God views it? Perhaps it has to do with the fact that we are finite and He is infinite. We are so limited because of the few years that we live on the earth, and yet God lives in eternity with no beginning and no ending. It says about Jesus in Hebrews 7:3, Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. It says in Isaiah 57:15, For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. Jesus said about Himself in Revelation 1:8, I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. It is no wonder that the Apostle Peter wrote in Second Peter 3:8, But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. Using this method of measuring time, it has only been two and a half days since the Lord said to the Israelites in Haggai 2:6, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land.
When the Lord said, I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land, He made it clear that He would bring a world-wide calamity to this earth: something that has never before happened. The fact that He uses the word shake means that it will be a time of trouble and distress for the human race. All of mans efforts to build a utopia will come to nothing. Jesus said in Matthew 24:21-22, For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. The book of Revelation goes into great detail explaining to us what God meant by shaking the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land. For example, it says in Revelation 14:6-7, And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people, Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters. It also says in Revelation 8:5-13, And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake. And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound. The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up. And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood; And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed. And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter. And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise. And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!
The Lord God said in Haggai 2:7, the desire of all nations shall come. Jesus will return, and He will restore all things to the way they should be. Believe in Jesus and you will have a part in His wonderful kingdom.
Copyright; 2011 by Charles
F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved