Scripture Readings: Haggai 2:20-23 (text); Hebrews 12:14-29
Sermon: From now on, Security
We come to the end of Haggai’s prophecy this morning. Haggai was sent to preach to Judah around 20 years after the return from exile in Babylon (around 520BC) to exhort the people to get on with the job of building the temple in Jerusalem. They had begun but become discouraged by opposition and distracted with their own private concerns. Now as he comes to the end of his message, he seeks to encourage them. In this morning’s paragraph (2:10-19), he told them that if they obey the Lord they don’t need to concern themselves about their personal affairs. The Lord will look after them, even as Jesus tells us, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things will be added unto you.” In this, the final paragraph of the book, which we look at this afternoon, he tells them neither do they need to be overly concerned about the disrupted and disruptive state of things in the affairs of the nations. They also are all under God’s control. In fact, all that goes on in the affairs of mankind, good or bad as we see it, is God shaking the nations so that, in Job’s words, “the wicked be shaken out” that “the meek inherit the earth” (Psalm 37). But it is also personal, as we shall see:
1. There will be convulsions in and between the nations; but,
2. It shall not touch you (Psalm 91); for,
3. In Zerubbabel (a type of Christ) the verdict of judgment against us has been reversed
Haggai 2:20-23 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
20 Then the word of the Lord came a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, saying, 21 “Speak to Zerubbabel governor of Judah, saying, ‘I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. 22 I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms and destroy the power of the kingdoms of the [a]nations; and I will overthrow the chariots and their riders, and the horses and their riders will go down, everyone by the sword of another.’ 23 ‘On that day,’ declares the Lord of hosts, ‘I will take you, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, My servant,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will make you like a [b]signet ring, for I have chosen you,’” declares the Lord of hosts.
Hebrews 12:14-29 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
14 Pursue peace with all men, and the sanctification without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled; 16 that there be no immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. 17 For you know that even afterwards, when he desired to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought for it with tears.
Contrast of Sinai and Zion
18 For you have not come to a mountain that can be touched and to a blazing fire, and to darkness and gloom and whirlwind, 19 and to the blast of a trumpet and the sound of words which sound was such that those who heard begged that no further word be spoken to them. 20 For they could not bear the command, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it will be stoned.” 21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, “I am full of fear and trembling.” 22 But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of [a]angels, 23 to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks better than the blood of Abel.
The Unshaken Kingdom
25 See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking. For if those did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, [b]much less will we escape who turn away from Him who warns from heaven. 26 And His voice shook the earth then, but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven.” 27 This expression, “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. 28 Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us [c]show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe; 29 for our God is a consuming fire.