He’s over 70 years old and likely bald and wrinkly. And God wants to use him? In two short chapters, old man Haggai begins his four messages with the dates they were given.
August 29, 520 BC (Haggai 1:1). His first message is for Zerubbabel, Judah’s governor, and Joshua, the high priest. God knew what they were thinking. “The time has not yet come,” they thought (1:2). Apparently, they were putting something off.
Isn’t it interesting that God told them what they were thinking? What would God say to you about what you’re thinking? What are you putting off? Take a moment to “consider your ways” (1:5-7). “I am with you, declares the LORD.” Not only will he stir up your spirit, he will stir up the spirit of the people around you (1:13-14).
October 17, 520 BC (Haggai 2:1). His second message is directed to Zerubbabel, Joshua, and all the people. Again, God knew what was going on. They were thinking about past good ole’ days, which triggered all sorts of emotions—especially sadness. Can you relate?
When you remember the glory days, try to look up and listen for God’s voice. “Yet now be strong! Be strong and work, for I am with you! Fear not, for the latter glory shall be greater than the former!” (2:4-9). Really, God? “In this crazy world there’s an enormous distinction between good times and bad, between sorrow and joy. But in the eyes of God, they’re never separated. Where there is pain, there is healing. Where there is mourning, there is dancing. Where there is poverty, there is the kingdom” (Henri Nouwen).
December 18, 520 BC (Haggai 2:10). His third and fourth messages came on the same day, both to Zerubbabel. This time, God explains what he’s doing. “From this day on I will bless you … I am about to shake the heavens and the earth … and make you like a signet ring” (2:15-23). A signet ring? When a king pressed his signet ring in clay or wax, the impression authorized his message.
Why would God make you like a signet ring? To send his message to the world through you. He doesn’t care how many hairs you have on your head. Your life bears the seal of King Jesus!