Summary: The people had heard the message, God's prophet had spoken and the words convicted the people to their very core. They repented and God responded!
What Can God Do With A Broken Heart?
12Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him. And the people feared the LORD. 13Then Haggai, the messenger of the LORD, spoke to the people with the LORD’s message, "I am with you, declares the LORD." 14And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people. And they came and worked on the house of the LORD of hosts, their God, 15on the twenty-fourth day of the month, in the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.
In the 1st 11 verses of this chapter the setting is rather grim for those who had returned from exile and now where being held accountable by God for what they had NOT accomplished in the 16 years since their return. God condemned their apathy and inaction and commanded Haggai and Zechariah to prophesy until the people complied with God’s calling!
In these verses we can see that the people hear the message of God through the words of the prophet Haggai and they are moved. There is genuine repentance by the leaders and the people and God then begins the process of healing their relationship with Him and helping them to be obedient to His calling.
Let’s look at these verses one by one and see what Scripture can teach us and how we can take what it teaches and apply it to our own lives!
12Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him. And the people feared the LORD.
After the admonishment from God that was delivered through the prophet Haggai, the nation was trembling in fear. They knew that what God was saying was true… They knew that they had placed God on a shelf and had begun to seek after their own selfish desires and wants rather than do what God had sent them to do…
But when Haggai delivers this harsh message from God it strikes a cord with the leaders and with the people and a switch goes off in their head. Look at what the verse says…
Then Zerubbabel AND Joshua with ALL the… people!
This message touched all who heard it and even those who did not hear Haggai preach this word… it got to them one way or another and they believed the word and feared God because of His word to them!
What does this teach us? First it teaches us that when God sees sin in the camp, He is going to send a messenger to preach repentance! This happened time and time again in the OT and we see it happen in the NT as well, but for us this is important because this is something we ALL can relate to…
Now I understand we were never in exile and we have never been sent back to our hometown to build a church or temple for God, but this applies to today’s believers in a much broader way. If you are a professing believer, your profession of faith had brought you into a relationship with Christ.
That relationship is based on His grace and mercy and our submission and obedience. We are called to submit to Him and His calling on our lives! Like the Jews tho… many times we get sidetracked and lose sight of what God desires for us!
How many times has this happened to you and God sent someone into your life to remind you of your calling? I know it happens to me quite frequently! This doesn’t mean you have lost your salvation… what it means is that you have lost your focus and God wants to REFOCUS you onto His plan and purpose.
Has God called you into a specific ministry and you have refused to surrender to Him… because you don’t believe you can handle it! Here the people could NOT handle what had been laid before them, but God was calling them to it anyway! They were afraid… we are afraid when God calls us into ministry and we don’t know a lot about it…
But God has promised that those He calls will be those He equips and helps. We can NOT lose sight of God’s calling and far too often we do as these Jews did… we get sidetracked and focused on our own things… and because of that we don’t do what God has called us to do…