Summary: Haggai challenges the Temple builders to carefully measure their hearts as they raise the walls.
I Look Within (2.10-17)
A Haggai challenges the Temple builders to carefully measure their hearts as they raise the walls.
1 Haggai was about to preach his third which started with two illustrations about spiritual health (v.12,13) that he directs to the priests.
a IL. This week, former V.P. Dick Cheney said that while in office he had a resignation letter kept in safe that only President Bush and another staff member knew about. The reason was because of Cheney’s past health problems and if he became incapacitated in some way, there was (and is no) mechanism in place to replace a VP that is incapacitated.
aa There was a gray area in the law so Cheney was prepared if the situation came up.
bb The Bible has a plan for gray areas too. Deut. 17.8-11. Go ask the preacher! Haggai does!
b The first illustration was about the Temples alters ability to make things holy, consecrated, sacred, clean.
aa Ex. 29.37, Speaks to the alters ability to sanctify.
bb Jesus alludes to this in Matt. 23.19.
cc Lev. 6.27, tells us that meat offered on the alter can make other items sanctified.
dd You put the meat in your coat and then start touching bread, stews, wine, oil, etc., does these items become holy?
cc Answer: 12b “And the priests answered and said, “No.”
c The second illustration was about touching dead bodies.
aa If one touched a dead body and then went & touched bread, stews, wine, oil, etc. do these items become unclean?
bb Answer: 12b “And the priests answered and said, “It will become unclean.”
2 v.14, Haggai gives the interpretation of the answers to the questions he asked the priests, “So is this people . . . nation, . . . every work . . . every offering is unclean.”
a The Jews couldn’t make God’s House more holy, Altars more sacred, Treasury more righteous.
b They could make these things unclean, defiled, impure.
aa W/ sin, selfishness, wrong/bad attitudes, pride, spiritual arrogance, faulty thinking.
bb These things spread through out the congregation of Israel like a viral outbreak.
cc “I don’t think the priest knows what he’s talking about. If I was running things around here, things would be different.”
c The Jews were showing up to work on the rebuilding of the Temple only to infect/contaminate everybody else with their own sin.
3 Haggai was telling the people to understand that it was easier to fall into sin than to fall into righteousness (Sin is contagious, holiness is not.)
a When we are sick with a cold/flu/chicken pox we try desperately not to come in contact with others because we do not want to make them sick (contaminate, expose).
b Why don’t healthy, strong, well people go amongst those with colds/flu so they could catch their health, strength, wellness?
aa You already know the answer: Sickness is contagious but health is not.
bb Easier for you & me to get sick than it is to get healthy.
cc There is a reason we stay away from sick people, keep our kids home from school when they’re sick . . . we don’t want to get infected.
B When our attitudes are wrong nothing we give to God is really acceptable. (Worship, offering, ministry, even prayer)
1 God made it clear a long time ago that He wanted more than simply going through the motions from His people.
a He wanted sincere worship, not performance.
b He wanted our hearts, not our hands.
c He desired obedience over sacrifice
2 God’s desire for His people have not changed today.
a Matt. 6.33, We are to be seeking His Kingdom, righteousness first.
b Heb. 12.15, God gives a stern warning about deviation from what He desires from us..
3 v.15-18, Haggai reminded Israel that God had withheld their blessings because of sin, spiritual laziness in their lives.
a He either worked against them or did not allow things to go in their favor.
b Not a case of God trying to teach a lesson, but rather a case of people in sin in need of repentance (v.17).
3 IL. Early in our ministry a couple at the church we were pastoring at the time gave us a $100 gift certificate to a fancy restaurant. (We were po’ and $100 was a lot of scratch in 20 years ago.)
a Cleaned the car (Ford Tempo GLS) for valet, cleaned up, Brutt 33, dressed in olive double-breasted suit; Pam got all dolled up, put on the fuffy-fuffy perfume used only on special occasions and off we went!
aa Pulled our car up, walked in, entered the lounge area and ate crackers & cheese while we waited for our table, waiter came, took our order, suggested wines, etc.