Readings: Haggai 2:1-9 Hebrews 12:14-29
The Promise of the Future
Sometimes there seems to be a lot to discourage us – things in the world, things in the church, things in our own families maybe. It is then especially that we need to turn to the Lord again and see how he works in history and be encouraged. For the people of Judah were discouraged at this time. Two years after Cyrus sent the exiles back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple, Cyrus died and his successors placed a ban on the building project. But now, in 520BC, a new king, Darius has come to the throne and God sends Haggai to exhort and encourage the people to be back at work. For God is still and always at work, building the true temple, the church of his Son, his people as a unit and each one of us as living stones (1 Peter 2:5). Therefore, we need to be encouraged to “be steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that our toil is not in vain in the Lord” (1 Cor.15:58). Haggai gives three reasons why we should be encouraged:
1. We serve a covenant-keeping God who abides with us – verse 5;
2. We serve a covenant-keeping God who promises better things – verses 6-9; and
3. We serve a covenant-keeping God who has all power to bring those better things to pass – verses 6-7a.