Season After Pentecost: The Old Testament Passage – When things look a mess, God is at work!

In actuality, beloved reader, verse 15b of Haggai concludes chapter one by saying that those things happened on the twenty-fourth day of the month, in the six month. The events in chapter two started soon after.

In the second year of King Darius, in the seventh month, on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of the Lord came by the prophet Haggai, saying: Speak now to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people, and say, Who is left among you that saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Is it not in your sight as nothing? Yet now take courage, O Zerubbabel, says the Lord; take courage, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; take courage, all you people of the land, says the Lord; work, for I am with you, says the Lord of hosts, according to the promise that I made you when you came out of Egypt. My spirit abides among you; do not fear. For thus says the Lord of hosts: Once again, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land; and I will shake all the nations, so that the treasure of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with splendor, says the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the Lord of hosts. The latter splendor of this house shall be greater than the former, says the Lord of hosts; and in this place I will give prosperity, says the Lord of hosts.” (Haggai 1:15b – 2:9)

These are verses I could have used a few weeks back, when events in my life were coming “ungyved” and I was not sure how things would be resolved. Actually (again) if truth be told, things are a little ungyved now, but having weathered the past few weeks, I am feeling better about coping with what is in my life now.

And that often seems the way of things; a little unrest prepares you for what may be coming. And God through Haggai says, “in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land; and I will shake all the nations”, but the results will be good. I shall trust that this shaking currently in my life will bring good things too, although I cannot see it just yet. But as God through Haggai advises, God’s spirit abides with me and I shall not fear.

And maybe that is good advise for you (who live in the United States), beloved reader, in the days leading up to the U.S. Election. And those of you who live in other countries, when change and unrest comes to where you live, you too can depend on God to see you through. It may not be the resolution that you want, and perhaps the unrest has negative outcomes rather than positive ones. But God’s presence does not rely on the outcome being positive; no, God is where God’s people are, in whatever circumstances. The promise that God gave to the Hebrews when they came out of Egypt that the Divine would be with them is still active and ongoing. In fact, God has always been with us; we sometimes do not have eyes to see it, or minds to understand it completely. These are promises we can hold on to in uncertain times when things look as dismal and ungyved as the temple looked when the Hebrews returned to Judah.