2004-08-15 - A New Prophecy
Haggi, Part 12 - Haggai 2:1-2
Verses 1-2: Well, its now October 17th, 520 B.C., and God has a new prophecy for Haggai to deliver. This was an interesting date for a message. It was "the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles." It was a time to celebrate the summer harvest (see Lev 23:34-43), though the crops were meager (see 1:11; cf. Jn 7:37). Solomon had dedicated the temple during this feast (1Ki 8:2). All the men of Israel came together to King Solomon at the time of the festival in the month of Ethanim, the seventh month. As with the other messages, this one is sent first to Zerubbabel. Lets recall what we learned about him last time.
Zerubbabel was an heir to the Davidic throne; and it is understandable that the magnanimous Cyrus and Darius should allow such a man to be the governor of the province of Judea. The term governor (pehah) appears only in the later parts of the Old Testament, and is a loan word from Persian, where it has the same basic meaning. God first speaks to the Zerubbabel as the civil leader, and the one in charge of the work, only then moving on to Joshua and the people in general.
We can assume there was discouragement among the returnees. If God reassures, the discouragement is self-evident. It is hard to know where discouragement springs from: the leadership, the people or even outside influences. But it is important to understand that to be discouraged isnt always a reflection of spiritual or personal failure. If it were, then why would God take the time to encourage us? Maybe it is because He knows we need to be encouraged, because life in general is difficult.
"Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching" (Hebrews 10:25).
To be continued.
Comments or Questions?