"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Monday, November 1, 2010

HAGGAI-written probably a few months ago

It's been awhile since we wrote. I am looking back to see what we may have written but not finished editing. This is one that I found...

I am up to Ezra and the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem during my chronological bible reading. In the middle of Ezra I was sent over to Haggai. This book is a small series of messages to the Israelites. The time is around 520 BC, August 29 to be exact I was once told…
Chapter one goes like this (thanks Dr. Larson for the teaching on this!):
1-2 It’s time! There were no more excuses for why they weren’t rebuilding the temple. The people were procrastinating; they were side tracked by many other things (mainly their own selfish desires).
3-6 God is telling them you need to set priorities-MY house is to be built before your (homes) and things for your comfort and pleasures. They were doing their way before God’s, they were more concerned with making their own homes beautiful than the Lord’s house.
7-12 This is a call to get involved in finishing the Temple- v8 also gives us the purpose of our obedience to God: He says, “that I may be pleased with it and be glorified.” In this section God takes responsibility for the drought on the land. He tells us why in verse 9-because His house lies desolate. God will do whatever it takes to get our attention sometimes!
13-15 Haggai reminds them that the Lord will be with you! This was needed encouragement to the Israelites as well as they had already had some opposition to their rebuilding of the temple, and it was a needed reminder-one will all need!
In chapter two God encourages the Israelites that the latter temple will be more glorious than the first. Some of the elders were remembering how grand Solomon’s temple was and becoming discouraged, so God was giving them a peak about His plan for this temple.
Verses 10-19 of chapter two address holiness. The message illustrates the concept of contamination and then God applies it to the nation of Israel. God requires holiness and obedience from us. When we sin, it “contaminates” and blocks the blesses of God. Because the people would (then) obey God (in building the temple), they will blessed from that day on. What a great incentive to repentance! Not only confessing your sin, but TURNING from it as well. Just what is turning from your sin? It’s walking in a new way. It’s turning from the path you are on to another path-God’s path. It’s not easy, and sometimes we fall off the path. But the Lord is gracious and kind and remembers His mercy toward us. HE helps pick us up and shake off the dust and start again.
In the last few verses Zerubbabel is a symbol of the Messiah to come. In these last few verses, God says he will destroy and overthrow the nations of the earth and the (Messiah) will be honored.
So, the questions to ask yourself are:
-How high is God on YOUR list of priorities?
-Do you have reverence for God?
-Have we lost sight of what it is like to be God’s child?

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