Summary: When God has chosen you, you will get comfirmation that it is so.
I Have Chosen Thee
20 God’s Message came a second time to Haggai on that most memorable day, the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month: 21 "Speak to Zerubbabel, the governor (Pastor) of Judah Praise of The Lord or Confession:"’I am about to shake up everything, to turn everything upside down and start over from top to bottom — 22 overthrow governments, destroy foreign powers, dismantle the world of weapons and armaments, throw armies into confusion, so that they end up killing one another. 23 And on that day’" — this is God’s Message — "’I will take you, O Zerubbabel ( a stranger at Babylon; scattering of confusion) son of Shealtiel, as my personal servant and I will set you as a signet ring, the sign of my sovereign presence and authority. I’ve looked over the field and chosen you for this work.’" The Message of God-of-the-Angel-Armies.
IV. THE FOURTH MESSAGE: A MESSIANIC PROPHECY CONCERNING ZERUBBABEL (2:20-23)
A. THE SUPERSCRIPTION (2:20-21 A)
2:20-21 a. The final message begins with the mention of the prophet, the date, and the addressee. As in the previous messages, Haggai said he was merely the Lord’s messenger bringing the word of the LORD. This message came to Haggai on the same day as the third message, that is 24 Kislev (December 18), 520 B.C. This message, however, was addressed only to Zerubbabel governor of Judah. As the people had needed encouragement to rebuild, perhaps Zerubbabel needed encouragement to lead this seemingly insignificant group of Jews who resided in a corner of the vast Persian Empire.
B. A PROCLAMATION OF THE FUTURE OVERTHROW OF THE GENTILE KINGDOMS (2:21 B-22)
2:21 b. God told Haggai to tell Zerubbabel that He would shake the heavens and the earth. As in the second message (vv. 6-7), the earthquake motif highlights divine judgment and introduces the subject of God’s judgment on Gentile world powers.
2:22. Zerubbabel learned from Haggai that God would overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms. This is reminiscent of the destruction of Gentile world powers represented in the great image in Dan 2. There the worldwide messianic kingdom will replace the Gentile kingdoms (Dan 2:34-35,44-45). The overthrowing of chariots and the fall of horses and their riders indicate that this change in world government will be military as well as political. In the confusion of this great Battle of Armageddon (Rev 16:16-18) at the Lord’s second coming (Rev 19:11-21) many a man will turn the sword against his own brother (cf. Zech 12:2-9; 14:1-5).
2:23. Three facts are prominent in this verse: (a) the LORD will fulfill this prophecy on the future day of Gentile judgment (cf. vv. 21-22); (b) the Lord will make Zerubbabel... like My signet ring; and (c) the LORD had chosen Zerubbabel as the channel of the Davidic line and therefore representative or typical of the Messiah. The title My servant frequently marked out the Davidic king (cf. the "Servant songs" in Isa. [42:1-9; 49:1-13; 50:4-11; 52:13-53:12] and also cf. 2 Sam 3:18; 1 Kings 11:34; Ezek 34:23-24; 37:24-25). Haggai’s contemporary, Zechariah, used the messianic title "Branch" to refer to Zerubbabel (Zech 3:8; 6:12; cf. Isa 11:1; Jer 23:5-6; 33:14-16).
The significance of comparing Zerubbabel to a "signet ring" (a seal of royal authority or personal ownership) is clarified by the imagery in Jer 22:24-25. God said that if Jehoiachin (Zerubbabel’s grandfather) were His signet ring, He would pull him off His hand and give him over to Nebuchadnezzar. Possibly Haggai was saying that in Zerubbabel God was reversing the curse pronounced on Jehoiachin. At any rate, Zerubbabel’s place in the line of messianic descent (Matt 1:12) confirmed his representative role in typifying the Messiah. Since the words "on that day" point to a yet-future fulfillment in the Messianic Age, it is wrong to suggest that Zerubbabel would actually rule as the anointed one on the Davidic throne in Haggai’s day. This was not intended any more than the crowning of Joshua the high priest (Zech 3) indicated he would have political rule over Israel. The crowning of Joshua was clearly symbolic of things yet to be fulfilled by the Messiah (Zech 6:9-15). Joshua was portrayed in Zechariah’s vision in his official capacity as high priest rather than in his own person. Similarly Zerubbabel was owned as the Lord’s "signet ring" in his representative position as the son of David, not for personal fulfillment in his own lifetime but for messianic fulfillment in the kingdom of the final Son of David (cf. Luke 1:32-33). An alternate interpretation sees Zerubbabel exercising delegated authority with David during the future millennial reign of Christ.
Appropriately the last words in Haggai’s book are the LORD Almighty (cf. comments on Hag 1:2). The sovereign covenant-God is able to bring about all He promised through Haggai. The temple will be rebuilt and filled with the glory of the Lord. The final Son of David will rule the earth in peace and righteousness. Therefore God’s people are to be faithful now to the task to which He has called them.