The Book of Haggai gets specific with its dates more than most Bible prophets. If I were to receive a word from God to share with people like Haggai, I’d want to memorialize the encounter by keeping track of what date that miracle took place. Knowing the date confirms “when” God spoke and makes it easier to remember and celebrate! Like having a birthday – we intentionally celebrate that on a specific date.
God wants us to celebrate him so that he can celebrate us. This prophecy would suggest that God is looking at our actions as well as our inner souls. When is the last time you celebrated God? Maybe you can look back and see his fingerprints over a particular situation. I do that all the time and stand amazed.
This section of the prophecy includes a teachable moment the people will surely relate to. Since returning from exile, they must have been terribly disappointed with their crop yield. Growing up in Iowa, I know how desperately farmers counted on good years to help offset the bad ones. But to have such a string of calamity, that would give the people another reason to want God in their lives. God is good at rescuing his people!
But the blessing comes after the obedience, the kind of obedience God desires from us. We show our obedience when we can step aside and trust God to do what he has promised. Our actions and response to his promises will show God our motivation in life. Is it obedience to God?
Sometimes it’s hard to know what God wants us to do. That’s one thing Haggai’s audience didn’t have to question anymore. They were to rebuild the temple. Haggai’s message came at the perfect time.
God didn’t wait until the temple was finished to shower them with blessings. That tells us God was rewarding their obedience. They had listened to him. The temple foundation was laid and construction underway.
Some of the things God will ask us to do will not have an end date, like when the temple was finished and ready for God. God may want us to change our behavior or our viewpoint on a permanent basis. No matter what, God is eager to bless us. I think we can all do a better job at being eager to please God.
When is the last time you felt a blessing from God? Your blessing may not be a bounty of crops. What would be the perfect blessing for you right now? Perhaps an answered prayer or financial assistance for a big expense you’re facing. Maybe a reconciliation with a loved one or clarity on a life decision.
Does God see an obedient heart when he looks inside you?
Let’s pray. Father God, I know I fall short every day of being truly obedient. Please forgive me. I want you to see my devotion so clearly. The problem is with me not feeling worthy enough of your blessing. I know I am your child, and you love me. Help me to cling to you and be obedient to where you are leading me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.