As a kid one of the things I liked was baseball. I liked playing it, watching it, and listening to it on the radio. Those were the days of the “Big Red Machine!” For you who may not be familiar with the Cincinnati Reds that was a time when they won game after game, year after year, pennant and World Series alike. At the end of each game on the radio, they used to do a broadcast the would recap the game and at the end of the broadcast the announcer would sign off by saying, “we are rounding third and heading for home.”
Well, here we are rounding third and heading for home. That is, we are finishing the third quarter of the Life Journal and heading into the fourth and last quarter of the year.
Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave the people this message from the Lord: “I am with you, says the Lord!”So the Lord sparked the enthusiasm of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the enthusiasm of Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the enthusiasm of the whole remnant of God’s people. They began to work on the house of their God, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, on September 21 of the second year of King Darius’s reign. (Haggai 1:13-15 NLT)Then on October 17 of that same year, the Lord sent another message through the prophet Haggai. “Say this to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of God’s people there in the land: ‘Does anyone remember this house—this Temple—in its former splendor? How, in comparison, does it look to you now? It must seem like nothing at all! But now the Lord says: Be strong, Zerubbabel. Be strong, Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people still left in the land. And now get to work, for I am with you, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt. So do not be afraid.’ (Haggai 2:1-5 NLT)
Today, I want to point out a couple of thoughts to you from this week’s passage out of Haggai.
First of all, I am not sure how your enthusiasm tank has been lately but notice the Lord sparked the enthusiasm of the leaders and people of Israel who he assigned to rebuild His House, His Temple. May He spark yours as well! People often think God is spanking them but in fact, he wants to spark enthusiasm in them. The Bible says this about Jesus, “ a smoldering wick he does not put out.” He loves to fan the ember of our lives into a flame again.
Secondly, God reminds the people that He has not left them. That he loves them and is for them. Notice the words, “My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt. (Haggai 2:5) His spirit is still with them just as if they had never rebelled, sinned, or been put into exile. He told them he would never leave them or forsake them. What a promise! He does not pay people back as their sins deserve. If he did, who could stand? No one.
Finally, I thought it was interesting that the dates of those prophetic messages are the same as the weeks we are in. That means this may be a timely word for you.
I hope these thoughts help you this week.
I look forward to seeing you this weekend as we start back into the book of Romans.