Haggai 2:1-9: Be strong and work

Haggai 2:1-9

Haggai’s message to the people’s collective heart: Be strong and work!

 

1. The Kingdom Does Not Suffer From Comparison 2:1-3

Ezra 3:12-13

But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice when they saw the foundation of this house being laid, though many shouted aloud for joy, so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people’s weeping, for the people shouted with a great shout, and the sound was heard far away. (Ezra 3:12-13 ESV)

 

Some who had seen the previous temple were devastated at the perceived “glory” in the stature of this new temple.

 

It suffered from comparison with the old temple, and those who saw it wept out loud at what they saw.

 

Interesting enough, those who did not know shouted for joy.

 

This contrast in response to the Lord’s work shows that man’s perception of who something should look is just that, man’s perception and does not affect the Kingdom of God.

 

The Lord’s words to the people:

A. Who saw the temple in its former glory?

1. How do you see it now?

2. Is it not as nothing in your eyes?

 

The Lord does not operate as his fallen creatures do.

 

Matthew 13:31-33

He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.

 

He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.” (Matthew 13:31-33 ESV)

 

A. Mustard Seed

1. Small yet full of life and service

 

B. Leaven (yeast)

1. Unseen, microscopic yet invasive and transformative

 

C. The Lord delights in mighty acts done through means perceived small by fallen people

 

I would go so far as to say that the Lord intentionally chooses to get large work done through means that give him the most glory. Gideon and his 300 men.

 

D. TRCC is ripe to be an instrument of the Lord.

1. What are you doing with your life that is mustard seed and yeast like?

2. How are you engaging in ministry that is transformative?

3. Are you tempted to think it inferior for any reason because of perceptions of “how

it should be”.

 

2. Be Strong 2:4-5

A. Set your mind / emotions confidently in the Lord’s purposes, and trust him

This instruction shows that God’s people should not allow themselves to be prevented from obeying God by fear (1 Jn. 4:4, 18).[1]

1. Don’t fear threats or supposed failure

2. Don’t be dejected when we do fail or circumstances threaten (the Lord never fails)

a. The Lord uses suffering and failure to grow us (Job 1 – James 5:11; Cross)

3. Don’t be frustrated beyond functionality

a. Don’t throw up your hands and walk away

4. Don’t question the Lord’s purposes to do good to his people and save the lost

a. Don’t believe the lies of Satan to cause our fellowship with the Lord in

hardship to be strained

 

3. Work 2:4-5

A. Set your hands to the building of the Kingdom

 

 

4. The Lord is With Us and Will Accomplish His Mission 2:6-9

 


[1] D. A. Carson, New Bible Commentary : 21st Century Edition, 4th ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill., USA: Inter-Varsity Press, 1994), Hag 2:1–5.

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