Summary: God called for obedience from the people and leaders, but God promises blessing to those who are willing. In this passage, Zerubbabel is promised by God that He would shake all of heaven and earth to protect and bless him if he would remain obedient to Go
In v.10-19 that we covered a couple of weeks ago, we saw how God was speaking to the religious leaders and the people of the nation directly… He wanted them to know that holiness came FROM Him and that they were not holy because they were associated with Him, but that they were holy because OF Him… Only God can make things holy, but as sinners they could take what was holy and make it unclean… so God is calling them to live a righteous and holy life… God wanted His people to live like His people… to shine His light to the world around them!
This applies to us today… what we DO does not make us holy, but what we do CAN make us sinful and unclean before God. God and God alone can make us holy, forgive our sin and use us in His plan… we are called to live a righteous and holy (set apart) life so that the world will see God’s glory through our living…
But God was not finished with His message on that day… in v.10 the Bible tells us that the Word of the Lord came to Haggai on the 24th day of the ninth month in the 2nd year of King Darius… and Haggai delivered that message to the people and the religious leaders, but beginning in v.20 we find a 2nd message on that day, let’s look at those few verses as we finish up our study in the book of Haggai…
200The word of the LORD came a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, 21"Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I am about to shake the heavens and the earth, 22and to overthrow the throne of kingdoms. I am about to destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations, and overthrow the chariots and their riders. And the horses and their riders shall go down, everyone by the sword of his brother. 23On that day, declares the LORD of hosts, I will take you, O Zerubbabel my servant, the son of Shealtiel, declares the LORD, and make you like a] signet ring, for I have chosen you, declares the LORD of hosts."
Now what I want us to do is to look at these verses and glean the meat that God has placed in them for our spiritual growth… this is great stuff!
200The word of the LORD came a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month,
I truly wish Haggai would have ‘time-stamped’ his prophetic utterances on this day… however, I don’t believe that these two utterances from the Lord came separate… There is just no way to write things simultaneously!
Haggai rec’d two words from the Lord and I believe God gave them to him and told him… relay them in this order! And I believe we can see ‘logic’ in the order in which these messages are delivered. Haggai had delivered the 1st message and now he was delivering the 2nd… however, what was different about this message was its audience… this message had a very narrow and specific audience, it was meant for ONE person, the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel! Let’s look at v.21-22
21"Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I am about to shake the heavens and the earth, 22and to overthrow the throne of kingdoms. I am about to destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations, and overthrow the chariots and their riders. And the horses and their riders shall go down, everyone by the sword of his brother.
This message is clearly directed at the leader of the nation… the person to whom all the rest of the world would associate with the nation of Israel. God sent this message directly TO and FOR Zerubbabel, and God assures him that He is going to do a great work for Israel…
21"Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah,
God had just detailed to the nation that only in HIM could they be holy, and that they should submit in obedience to Him as their God… now God is telling Zerubbabel that when they submit… when they obey…when they make Him the true God of their hearts, then THIS is what is going to happen! God makes a solemn promise to the leader of the nation of Israel…
saying, I am about to shake the heavens and the earth,
From this point of v.21 and all the way through v.22, God issues what I would call His proposed protection plan for the nation of Israel. This plan would be in effect as long as the nation was serving God and putting Him first and foremost in their lives! If they would serve Him… God was promising to protect them!
We have to remember, they had been TOTALLY conquered two times… 1st when the northern kingdom fell to the Assyrians, then when the southern kingdom fell to the Babylonians, and then while in captivity their captors were conquered by the Persians.