Haggai: Obedience & Reverence

Read the Bible in 2011Week 45: Friday

“In the second year of Darius the king, on the first day
of the sixth month, the word of the LORD came by the
prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel,
governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak,
the high priest, saying, “Thus says the LORD of hosts,
‘This people says, “The time has not come, even the time
for the house of the LORD to be rebuilt.”’”

Then the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, saying, “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate?” Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, “Consider your ways! You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes.””
Haggai 1:1–6

Friday’s Bible reading is the book of Haggai. As you read notice that for a short book of two chapters there are many specific time references. This coming Tuesday the reading of the book of Ezra begins in which the circumstances leading to Haggai’s prophecy are described. Compare the opening verses of Haggai with these verses from Ezra:

“Then work on the house of God in Jerusalem ceased, and it was stopped until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.

“When the prophets, Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them, then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak arose and began to rebuild the house of God which is in Jerusalem; and the prophets of God were with them supporting them.”
Ezra 4:24–5:1–2

This is how Haggai describes the response of the people to his initial prophecy:

“Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him. And the people showed reverence for the LORD.”
Haggai 1:12

They heard God’s Word and obeyed Him. D. J. Wiseman writes:

“This is true prophecy. The source of the words in God and their consequent authority over men in acknowledged in the obedience of the people.”1

Think about that. They obeyed God’s Word because it was God’s Word. Their recognition of God’s authority over them was demonstrated by their obedience to His Word. Our obedience to God’s Word shows the reality of our acknowledgement of God’s authority over us.

“Why do you call Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?
Luke 6:46

“And the people showed reverence for the LORD.”

What about you?

Isaiah 42 Photograph: ChristianPhotos.net – Free High Resolution Photos for Christian Publication
1D. J. Wiseman, “Haggai,” The New Bible Commentary: Revised, D. Guthrie, J. A. Motyer, eds., A. M. Stibbs, D. J. Wiseman, contributing eds., p. 783.

Original content: Copyright ©2011 Iwana Carpenter

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