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God’s Promises For Today

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By David Sheldon

Last Updated: April 17, 2024

Encouragement From Haggai

The brief – only two chapters – Old Testament Book of Haggai is one encouraging little book! In it, we find a remarkable word of assurance from God to, not only the Jewish people of that time, but all believers.

In Haggai 2:6, we read, “Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land.”  The writer(s) of Hebrews even thought this promise was worth referencing, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth, but also the heaven” (Hebrews 12:26). What could be so reassuring about God promising to shake the heavens and the earth?!

God's Promise For Today in Haggai

Haggai starts the book by painting a picture of the disobedience of the Jewish people. Instead of being concerned about building God’s house and exercising their faith as God had commanded, they were taking care of their own houses. They had been distracted and were rebuked. So, they repented and began working on building the temple.

When we get to Chapter 2, their work has brought some discouragement along with it. Haggai asked if anyone had seen Solomon’s temple which had been destroyed. He pointed out that the temple they are building now doesn’t seem like it is going to be as “grand.” But they are to take courage in continuing the work because of the same promise their ancestors received when they came out of Egypt: “the Spirit of God will be with you (them) to do the work” (Haggai 2:4)! What encouragement – God will be with His people as they do His work!

But that is not all. A couple of verses later, we read God’s fascinating promise we mentioned above. Read it in context:

“For thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares the LORD of hosts. ‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ declares the LORD of hosts.” Haggai 2:6-9

God says there will be upheaval that will occur at the end of the age. What is “encouraging” about that? Look at what He says next – “and I will fill this house with glory.” God promises His people something encouraging in the future!

This is not uncommon. Sometimes God’s promises come to pass in the present or near future. Sometimes they are far off. But He always brings them to pass because He cannot lie! Back then, in the Jew’s despondency, God “brings” a future promise of the millennial temple into their present context. He says the glory of His power and presence will be in that millennial kingdom (Revelation 11:15), and then encourages them to live in light of that fact.

Why would God say back almost 2,500 years ago that these things would occur “Once more, in a little while”? Have you ever heard someone say “time flies” or “seems like just yesterday”? Based on their experience, they know life goes by quickly and what is to occur in the future is going to come before you know it. Even the Scripture states your life is like a vapor that appears for a bit and then vanishes (James 4:14).

Will those Jews who truly had saving faith back in Haggai’s time see those events God describes? YES. Because of the reality of the resurrection of Christ and their being raised at His second coming – they will see the glorious events described!

So when God says “for the time is near” and “I come quickly,” (Revelation 1:3, 22:7,12,20) – believe it! Live and obey now in light of these truths! And remember His promise – He will be with us! Though it has been almost 2,000 years since the Revelation, God will faithfully bring it to pass!

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Isaiah 50 is about waiting for the pure light of God’s Word. We should never attempt to kindle our own fire nor settle for the tiki-torches of man-made light.

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