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“May God always be in first place in our life.” <>< Dona (12/28/20)

Please read Haggai 1 through 2 and Zechariah 1 through 3.  If you don’t have a Bible handy just click here -> Biblegateway.com. The Biblegateway website should open for you to use. Type in the chapters you want to read and select the translation you want to read them from. Click search and the chapters should appear. Once you read the suggested chapters close the screen and you should return here.

Theme Haggai 1

The Temple.

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, You reminded Haggai that Your house was in ruins (v. 3-4).

Something to think about

The Lord encouraged the rebuilding of His house, the temple (v.7-8).  And He explained why the Israelites didn’t prosper (v. 9-11). Then they obeyed the voice of the Lord (v. 12). And the Lord responded that He was with them (v. 13).  And they began to work on the house of the Lord (v. 14).

Something to experience

If we put God before everything else, He will provide for our deepest needs. Just like the Israelites, we may be building our personal relationships but be leaving our relationship with God in shambles. Just like the Israelites, when we hear a message we believe is from God we need to obey the revelation.

Scripture to hide in your heart

Haggai 1:3-4 Then the Lord’s word came by Haggai, the prophet, saying, “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies waste?” 

Haggai 1:7-8 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Consider your ways. Go up to the mountain, bring wood, and build the house. I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified,” says the Lord. 

Haggai 1:9-11 “You looked for much, and, behold, it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?” says the Lord Almighty, “Because of My house that lies waste, while each of you is busy with his own house. 10 Therefore for your sake the heavens withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit. 11 I called for a drought on the land, on the mountains, on the grain, on the new wine, on the oil, on that which the ground produces, on men, on livestock, and on all the labor of the hands.”

Haggai 1:12 Then Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the Lord, their God’s voice, and the words of Haggai, the prophet, as the Lord, their God, had sent him; and the people feared the Lord.

Haggai 1:13 Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, spoke the Lord’s message to the people, saying, “I am with you,” says the Lord.

Haggai 1:14 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 Almighty, their God.

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Theme Haggai 2

Encouragement to rebuild.

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, You encouraged the Israelites to remember the temple’s former glory (v. 3). 

Something to think about

The Israelites were encouraged to be strong (v. 4-5).  The Lord told them He would shake the heavens and the earth (v. 6).  He would shake all nations (v. 7). And He would grant peace (v. 9).  The sin and selfish attitudes of the Israelites contaminate everything they touched (v. 14). The temple foundation was re-laid and immediately God blessed them (v. 18-19).

Something to experience

God wants to change the world through us.  Each of us has a job given to us by God. We too need to be strong and work because God is with His people. Just as God’s Spirit was with the Israelites, the Holy Spirit is with us, who are His children (v. 5). We too may in our lifetime experience the shaking of the heavens and the earth, indeed the shaking of all nations (v. 6-7). Like the Israelites, we too can contaminate those around us with our sinful words and actions (v. 14).  When we lay a new foundation (put our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ) we can receive His blessings too (v. 19).  Just like Zerubbabel, when we place God first in our lives, He will assure us we are chosen by Him (v. 23).

Scripture to hide in your heart

Haggai 2:3 ‘Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Isn’t it in your eyes as nothing?’

 Haggai 2:4-5 4 ‘Yet now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ says the Lord. ‘Be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,’ says the Lord, ‘and work, for I am with you,’ says the Lord Almighty. This is the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, and my Spirit lived among you. ‘Don’t be afraid.’ 

Haggai 2:6-7 For this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, the earth, the sea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations. The precious things of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord Almighty.’ 

Haggai 2:9 “‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the Lord Almighty; ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord Almighty.”

Haggai 2:14 Then Haggai answered, “‘So is this people, and so is this nation before Me,’ says the Lord; ‘and so is every work of their hands. That which they offer there is unclean.’” 

Haggai 2:18-19 18 “Consider, please, from this day and backward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, since the day that the foundation of the Lord’s temple was laid, consider it. 19 Is the seed yet in the barn? Yes, the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree haven’t produced. From today I will bless you.”

Haggai 2:23 “In that day, says the Lord Almighty, ‘I will take you, Zerubbabel, My servant, the son of Shealtiel,’ says the Lord, ‘and will make you as a signet, for I have chosen you,’ says the Lord Almighty.”

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Theme Zechariah 1

Zechariah’s visions.

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, You were angry (v. 2).

Something to think about

The Lord asked them to return to Him (v. 3).  The Lord was angry because the forefathers had turned away from Him and turned to evil ways and evil practices and He was warning the current generation not to behave like their ancestors (v. 4). The Israelites chose to repent (v. 6). All the other nations but Israel were at peace (v. 11). God used these nations to punish His own sinful people (v. 12). But He would return to Jerusalem with mercy (v. 16). And then His people would again prosper (v. 17). 

Something to experience

When we neglect our relationship with the Lord, our calling, indeed our very life,  will be affected.  

Scripture to hide in your heart

Zechariah 1:2 “The Lord was very displeased with your fathers.” 

Zechariah 1:3 “Therefore tell them: the Lord Almighty says: ‘Return to Me,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’ says the Lord Almighty.” 

Zechariah 1:4 “Don’t you be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets proclaimed, saying: the Lord Almighty says, ‘Return now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings;’ but they didn’t hear, nor listen to me, says the Lord.” 

Zechariah 1:6 “But My words and My decrees, which I commanded My servants the prophets, didn’t they overtake your fathers?”

Zechariah 1:11 They reported to the Lord’s angel who stood among the myrtle trees, and said, “We have walked back and forth through the earth, and behold, all the earth is at rest and in peace.”

Zechariah 1:12 Then the Lord’s angel replied, “O Lord Almighty, how long will you not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which you have had indignation these seventy years?”

Zechariah 1:16 Therefore the Lord says: “I have returned to Jerusalem with mercy. My house shall be built in it,” says the Lord Almighty, “and a line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem.”’

Zechariah 1:17 “Proclaim further, saying, ‘the Lord Almighty says: “My cities will again overflow with prosperity, and the Lord will again comfort Zion, and will again choose Jerusalem.”’

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Theme Zechariah 2

Measuring.

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, Jerusalem was to be measured (v. 1-2).

Something to think about

The Lord would be the wall around Jerusalem (v. 3-5). The Lord called His people back from the land of the north (v. 6-7). The Lord called His people the apple of His eye (v. 8).  Anyone who dared to touch His people would be plundered (v. 9). The promised to live among His people, the Israelites and those nations who joined with the Lord (v. 10-11).     

Something to experience

We, all mankind, are to be still before the Lord (v. 13).

Scripture to hide in your heart

Zechariah 2:1-2 1 I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, a man with a measuring line in his hand. 2Then I asked, “Where are you going?”  He said to me, “To measure Jerusalem, to see what is its width and what is its length.”

Zechariah 2:3-5 Behold, the angel who talked with me went out, and another angel went out to meet him, and said to him, “Run, speak to this young man, saying, ‘Jerusalem will be inhabited as villages without walls, because of the multitude of men and livestock in it. For I,’ says the Lord, ‘will be to her a wall of fire around it, and I will be the glory in the middle of her.’ 

Zechariah 2:6-7 6 ‘Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north,’ says the Lord; ‘for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the sky,’ says the Lord. ‘Come, Zion! Escape, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon.’ 

Zechariah 2:8 For the Lord Almighty says: ‘For honor He has sent me to the nations which plundered you; for he who touches you touches the apple of His eye.’ 

Zechariah 2:9 ‘For, behold, I will shake My hand over them, and they will be a plunder to those who served them; and you will know that the Lord Almighty has sent Me.’ 

Zechariah 2:10-11 10 ‘Sing and rejoice, daughter of Zion; for, behold, I come, and I will dwell within you,’ says the Lord. 11 ‘Many nations shall join themselves to the Lord in that day, and shall be My people; and I will dwell among you, and you shall know that the Lord Almighty has sent Me to you.’ 

Zechariah 2:13 “Be silent, all flesh, before the Lord; for He has roused Himself from His holy habitation!”

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Theme Zechariah 3

High Priest and clean garments.

Response

Oh! Wow! Lord, You took away Joshua’s sin (v. 4a).

Something to think about

The angel of the Lord told Joshua He would put rich garments on him (v. 4b).  In Zechariah’s vision Joshua is reinstated as high priest (v. 7).  At this time in history, the priest was the mediator between God and the nation of Israel. Joshua was told he was to be a symbol of things to come and the Branch (Christ Jesus) would remove the sin of their land in a single day (v. 8-9). God will give us peace and prosperity (symbolized by the vine and fig tree – v. 10).

Something to experience

We, believers, can ask God to remove our clothing of sin and dress us with His goodness as He did Joshua (v. 4). (F.Y.I. The priest represented the coming Messiah.  When Christ Jesus came He changed the way God now deals with sin. Now every Christian is a priest offering a holy, cleansed life to God.)

Scripture to hide in your heart

Zechariah 3:3-4 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the angel. He answered and spoke to those who stood before him, saying, “Take the filthy garments off him.” To him he said, “Behold, I have caused your iniquity to pass from you, and I will clothe you with rich clothing.”

Zechariah 3:7 “The Lord Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in My ways, and if you will follow My instructions, then you also shall judge My house, and shall also keep My courts, and I will give you a place of access among these who stand by.’ 

Zechariah 3:8-9 ‘Hear now, Joshua the high priest, you and your fellows who sit before you; for they are men who are a sign: for, behold, I will bring out My servant, the Branch. For, behold, the stone that I have set before Joshua; on one stone are seven eyes: behold, I will engrave its engraving,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.’ 

Zechariah 3:10 ‘In that day,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘you will invite every man his neighbor under the vine and under the fig tree.’”

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Prayer

Lord, I pray we will put You before everything else in our lives.  I pray we will put our relationship with You before any other relationships. I pray we will seek Your plan for our life (Haggai 1).  Lord, I pray we will surrender our life to You.  Use us to change the world.  I ask for strength for all of us to do Your will.  I pray Your Holy Spirit will be with us always (Haggai 2:5).  I pray our words and actions will encourage others to follow You (Haggai 2:14). Lord, thank You for choosing us (Haggai 2:23).  Lord, I pray we will safe guard our relationship with You (Zechariah 1). Lord, I pray we will be still and know that You are our Lord (Zechariah 2:13).  Thank You Lord for making a way for our sins to be forgiven by sending the Branch, Your Son (Zechariah 3:8-9).  In Christ Jesus’ name I pray.  AMEN.

“May you and I guard our relationship with the Lord.” <>< Dona