Thursday, 7 January 2020
Then 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, just as the LORD their God had sent him. And the people showed reverence for the LORD.
Working and serving in the Lord’s vineyard is one of the most challenging, yet fulfilling tasks one faces. This service is sometimes characterized by several challenges in the form of misunderstandings and misconceptions. Every person serving the Lord as a leader in His vineyard, would agree that not everything the Lord places in the heart of His leaders will be easily agreed or supported by all. In the Book of Haggai too we see a similar situation. The temple of the Lord needed to be rebuilt but the people were engaged in their own activities forgetting the Lord’s work.
Haggai 1:2-4 gives a clear picture of how the Lord sees the behavior of His people towards His temple. Since we are living in a world that is self- centered, possessive and governed by the wisdom from below, people try very hard to put self ahead of God’s purpose. Whenever we choose to succeed by our own strength, the Lord will prove to us that our strength and ideas are limited. In verses 9,10 &11 we see how the Lord showed his might and the extent to which he can prove the fruitless endeavors of those who try to consider their ideas as the best, despising God’s ardent desire of the building of His temple.
It is only those who clearly see with the eyes of the Lord and hear with His ears that will agreeably capture what the Lord is saying through His servant, Haggai. As it was in the beginning and even now, people will always be people: there are some who are wise and there are always those who are “otherwise!” Most often when God speak through his servant/messenger about a particular situation, those who are wise and understanding, and are willing to serve His purpose will willingly and submissively surrender to the Master’s voice as a colt tied to His will. But those who are otherwise, will raise countless number of questions, arguments and bring in discouragements against the Lord’s plans.
Fear gripped the people only after they saw the might of the Lord’s power- the Lord caused drought on the land and the labour of their hands! As such, they were left with no other option than to submissively obey the Lord and serve His purpose because they were afraid. At times we too behave like this- we are moved to serve the Lord’s purpose only after we shall have seen some degree of the display of His might in certain areas or in a particular situation. Sometimes the Lord intervenes in our lives with tough measures if we fail to see realize His purposes. Psalm 32:9 [TLB] says: “Don’t be like a senseless horse or mule that has to have a bit in its mouth to keep it in line!”
Whenever we willingly serve the Lord’s purpose in obedience and for his glory, by listening to his messages/messengers with no iota of self centeredness, our labor in Him will never be in vain. 1 Cor.15:58 says: ‘Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be firm, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” Remember it takes great commitment, wisdom and submission to serve the Lord’s purpose on the earth putting it the top priority in our lives!
PRAYER: Lord Almighty, help me to serve Your purpose wholeheartedly in submission to You, for the glory of Your name. Amen