Never too late – Haggai

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Haggai was born a Jew during the nation’s exile in Babylon. He lived between approximately 550-475 BC and recorded his prophecy in about 520 BC. By the time of Haggai’s prophecy, the Lord had returned His people from exile to their homeland, and they now lived in the luxury of the finest houses (Hag 1:4), while God’s temple lay in ruins. Sadly, they resisted all invitations to rebuild the Lord’s temple (Hag 1:2).

Never too late - HaggaiSo, the Lord spoke to them through Haggai, reminding them that even though they had all that they wanted, they were still not satisfied. “You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes. 7 Thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways” (Hag 1:6-7).

Courageous Haggai spoke the word of the Lord to people who were not interested. Even so, He did not dilute or smoothen out the message to prevent discomfort or a poor self-image within his hearers.

Similarly, when God wants our attention because we are ignoring Him, He often introduces difficulties, problems, and even pain. He was the same with Israel, the Lord “withheld the dew, and the earth withheld its produce. 11 And I (the Lord) have called for a drought on the land and the hills, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the ground brings forth.” “I struck you and all the products of your toil with blight and with mildew and with hail, yet you did not turn to me, declares the Lord” (Hag 1:10-11; 2:17). The problem was, Israel did not have the spiritual ability to do what the Lord asked of them, and God understood this.

Realise that this is what a loving God is willing to do, instead of leaving sinful people to isolation and independence from Himself, He graciously engages with them, turning up the volume to get their attention. Then look what happened: “Zerubbabel…  Joshua …with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God …and the people feared the LORD. 13 Then Haggai… spoke to the people with the LORD’S message, I am with you, declares the LORD” (Hag 1:12-13). What changed? What happened to cause this radical turn around?

It was the Lord who happened. First, notice where God was during this whole affair – He was with them. Even in His disapproval, the Lord did not abandon His people. Second, notice that it was the Lord who “stirred up the spirit” within every person, from the common community person to the highest-ranking leader, God happened within them. Haggai 1:14, “the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel… of Joshua…  and the spirit of all the remnant of the people. And they came and worked on the house of the LORD of hosts, their God”

Haggai was willing to be the mouthpiece of God’s message. Many would have looked on and said, “it’s too late, you are wasting your time Haggai.” But then God happened! Today as you, and the people close to you, face uncertainty and feel as if you are drowning in your lostness, invite God to happen. Acknowledge that despite your lack of spiritual sight, God is present. Invite the Lord to stir up your spirit and the spirit of those close to you, to work in your hearts the things that only Almighty God can do in turning people to Himself.

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