Rebuilding the House #06
The Blessings of Rebuilding
Alright, we have spent a month and a fortnight in the book of Haggai and we come to finish today.
God’s people had spent 70 years under God’s judgment for their disobedience. That had come at the hand of the Babylonians.
Then the Babylonians were overthrown by Cyrus who granted permission for those of Judah who desired to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple.
They returned and laid the foundations, then became busy with their own affairs and concerns for the enemies around them and they stopped building for 16 years. So on the first day of September, by our calendar 520 BC … Haggai delivers a message.
He scolds them for going to elaborate extremes in building their Own houses while neglecting the house of God
He points out that much of the difficulty, famines, etc that they had experienced over the 16 years were the hand of God’s correction.
The people began again the building 24 days later in the 6th month.
Haggai spoke to them again on the 21st day of the 7th month …
So, now as we move to our final message today, the word of the Lord comes to Haggai twice on the 24th day of the 9th month. Remember they had a 28 day month so this is some time in December of 520 BC …
We’re going to read both messages with our thoughts toward the Blessing that Comes when we Build Our Lives Around the Lord …
You might be asking yourself … “Pastor why are we concerned with an Old Testament Building Project?”
Because it is the Temple of God that is being built.
But you might further ask “But Pastor, we aren’t under the Old Covenant so how does this pertain to us?”
Another good question
Let me put it this way … If you are a believer, born again, inhabited by Holy Spirit of God … the Bible Says
“do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, which is in you, which you have of God, for you are NOT your own, you are bought with a price, therefore glorify God in your body and in your Spirit which are God’s” (1 Cor 6:19-20)
We ourselves BECOME the Temple of the Holy Spirit.
If you have NEVER given yourself to Christ then you need to allow God to tear down the Temple to idols that you have made of your life and build a Temple to the only and True God.
If you HAVE been born from above you ARE the Temple of the Holy Spirit but at times we allow our Temple to be in disrepair because we again build altars to ourselves and we need to allow God to tear down those things and rebuild our lives around True Worship of God in Spirit and Truth.
What was the point?
The people had become lazy, fearful, preoccupied, or apathetic about the things of God
They had beautiful houses but there was nothing for the house of God
What about you and me? Are we busy building a career but not a Spiritual Life?
Are we busy building a marriage but not being the pure bride of Christ?
Are we busy being noticed by the world but not pleasing to Almighty God?
Are we fearful of what someone might think if we stand with God but not fearful of what God will think if we stand with the World?
Are we even truly concerned any longer?
I think most of you here today, want to build a life pleasing to the Lord, the question is, will you?
Is there a reason? Is there blessing in the building?
Absolutely there is …
There IS blessing in the building
Three admonitions in this passage …
If you want to experience the blessing of Building …
1. Give Careful Thought to Your Ways
We can’t do things the way we have always done if we want new results
When we revert to the Old Ways we will get the same results
What ways is God referring to?
Idol worship, treaties with the ungodly, failure to repent of sin
Those actions got them sent into captivity for 70 years.
Apathy, fear of the ungodly more than God, failure to obey and keep our promises … resulted in famine, failed crops and more.
And NOT giving careful thought to their ways is what caused the problem in the first place
But then God points out something important we need to see
That is that UNHOLY deeds have greater immediate consequences than the move toward holiness.
God says to Haggai … “Ask the priest about the law … if you have HOLY meat and it touches other things, does it TURN them into Holy / Consecrated?” And the priest says “NO” … Then he asks … “But if You touch something that is defiled or unholy, and touch something else does that thing become Unholy?” and The priest answers “YES” …
What’s the point? Holiness comes from within and isn’t transferred by simple contact … But Unholiness taints us and everything we touch after.
Haggai is addressing something that is obvious and perhaps you have experienced. God corrects you, you are dealing with the consequences of your sin, you confess your sin, you turn to God and then you find that while you have God’s forgiveness, you still have the consequences of your sin.
The turnaround in circumstance isn’t always as instantaneous as the forgiveness and spiritual restoration.
The man in prison who has found Christ, will most of the time still be prison for his actions
The alcoholic or drug addict may still deal with the withdrawal …
The adulterer may still deal with the consequences of their actions
We find this lesson often hard to learn. We want to confess, we want forgiveness and then we want it to go away. But the reality is that the natural consequences are often heavier initially than the effect of repentance.
When you repent and turn to God, you will be excited for following him, anxious to obey, but you may still have temporal punishment for the actions.
Remember that scripture refers to sin as YEAST and yeast affects the whole loaf …
“Where’s the good news pastor?”
This is a cautionary word. This is a challenge to experience God’s blessing by staying CLEAR of those actions …
But if you are there … know this … There is greater freedom in prison for consequences of sin you have confessed to God and received forgiveness than in the greatest mansion and wealth the world has to offer while living your own way
But don’t be discouraged the results of turning to God, embracing his righteousness WILL pay off in eternal results even if you are now in the consequences of ungodly living.
There IS blessing in building the House of God
The second admonition before we see his blessing is …
2. Remember the Lord’s Discipline
Discipline is not ONLY to correct but also to deter future waywardness
When our boys were little and they would reach for something that might seriously hurt them, we didn’t have a discussion with them.
We didn’t reason with them about why a hot stove would burn them and how serious the repercussions would be
No, we forcefully said “NO” when they moved toward it
If that didn’t work and they got closer we popped their hands. We inflicted temporal pain to prevent them from lasting pain
They were too YOUNG for an explanation …
When they got older and could understand a little better … I would REMIND them of the discipline before the discipline was enacted on them again
“Do you want me to pop your hand again?”
God says “remember how you came for 20 measures of grain but only got 10?”
“Remember how I brought mildew, blight, hail yet you did not turn to me?” …
Give careful thought
… have you experienced the Lord’s discipline?
It would do us good to remember his discipline
But something else … you should realize …
The Lord disciplines those he LOVES
Hebrews 12:6 quotes Proverbs 3:12 in saying “the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son”
If the Lord is disciplining you, you need to see that he loves you and longs to restore your Temple as a believer, or begin a new building as an unbeliever
He has loved you with an everlasting love.
He has called you from eternity
He longs for a relationship with you …
So Give Careful Thought to Your Ways
Remember the Lord’s Discipline
And our Final Admonition
And then we can …
3. Live In His Blessing
I gave you three things in your notes on living in the Blessing … But allow me to take them in reverse order
To live in the blessing you should first understand
A. You Are Chosen
V23 – for I have chosen you …
I will never understand the heart and mind and plan of God, Nor will you … but I am satisfied with this
God has a plan and I am pleased to be a part of his plan … He has chosen me
John 15:16 – you did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit – fruit that will last.
Jer 31:3 - I have loved you with an everlasting love
And so because of that love that chose us he says
Jer 33:3 – call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know
Rom 8:33 who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies
Eph 1:11 in him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will
Col 3:12 therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience
1 thess 1:4 for we know, brothers, love by God, that he has chosen you
1 peter 1:2 who have been chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through the sanctifying work of the Spirit, for the obedience to Jesus Christ and sprinkling by his blood: Grace and peace be yours in abundance
1 Peter 2:9 You are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praise of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light
Oh the Blessing of Being Chosen
Having Been Chosen he says
B. You Will Be Signet Ring
Do you see the blessing that he offers having chosen you …
The Signet Ring was very important to the monarch of the day
I was reading this week,
the engineers of the Palestine Exploration Fund, at a depth of 12 feet below the surface, came upon a pavement of polished stones, formerly one of the streets of the city. Under this pavement they found a stratum of 16 feet of concrete, and among this concrete, 10 feet down, they found a signet stone bearing the inscription, in Old Hebrew characters, “Haggai, son of Shebaniah.” It has been asked, Might not this be the actual seal of Haggai the prophet? We know that he was in Jerusalem after the Captivity; and it is somewhat singular that he alone of all the minor prophets makes mention of a signet 
I don’t know if that was HIS signet … but I know that Haggai recognize HE belonged to the Lord … And he told Zerubbabel that he too was special to the Lord.
The signet ring was worn by the Prince to Remind himself of who he was as he reminded all who saw it
It was an extension of his identity
It was a symbol of his authority
It was evidence of his affection
I wear a ring that I had designed to designate who we are in Christ
I have given a ring to AJ and I will give one to Bryan
That ring is special to me because I have chosen it to symbolize me
If you are a child of God
You are precious to him
He has chosen you
He has chosen to display his splendor in you
As his child you are a participant in the divine nature
He Loves you and has placed you in a precious place
You mean so much to him
Psalm 17:7-8 Show the wonder of your great love, you who save by your right hand those who take refuge in you from their foes. Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings
You are Chosen
You are a Signet Ring on his Hand
You are an extension of him in the world
You are a symbol of his glory and authority
We Can live in his Blessing of being the Temple of God
I am firmly convinced that while we give thought to our ways, and we remember the Lord’s discipline, the Greatest Agent for Course Correction is a Desire to Be a Blessing to God and Receive a Blessing From God
That my friends is what it is to LIVE in a love relationship.
It is amazing how a selfish and arrogant man can be changed by the love of and for a woman.
It is amazing how shrewd woman can be tamed by the love of and for a good man.
We do need a fear of God.
We do need a fear of the Consequences of Sin
But don’t we want to move passed simple fear and Into Love and Blessing?
The purpose of the Temple is that we might know God
The purpose of the Temple is that God might dwell WITH and IN us …
God wanted the Temple rebuilt because he wanted his proper place in the midst of his people
Sin separated us from God
God wants to be with us and in us
That’s why Jesus said “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” (Rev 3:20)
Don’t you see the blessing in the building is the Very Presence of God with man
And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of his glory.”
When you give your heart to Christ, he makes his DWELLING with you
And it is simply a promise of MORE to come, greater things to come
There is blessing in the Building … God says …
C. I Will Bless You
1. from this day on I will bless v19
2. v 18 says “give careful thought to the day when the foundation of the Lord’s Temple was laid” – Oh precious pilgrim saint, on the road to Zion, do you remember the day the foundation was laid in your life? Can you ever forget that day? I remember that day, that night, that Saturday night when I gave myself to Christ, just a little boy, but he gave himself to me. If you don’t remember a day, a time, today can be your day.
3. As a follower of Jesus Christ, can I encourage you today. Jesus says “I will bless you” … We live in a world of uncertainties … what does tomorrow hold? Will I be able to keep my job, my house, and so much more? What if, what if … but wouldn’t it be better to focus on the certainties? Wouldn’t it be better to focus on the promises?
4. I Will Bless you …
Can I give you a list of some of the blessings of God in Christ Jesus?
Abundant Life – John 10:10
Answered Prayer – 1 Jn 5:14
Assurance – 2 Tim 1:12
- I Will Bless You says the Lord –
Blessed Hope – Titus 2:13
Born from Above – 1 Peter 1:23
Cleansed – John 15:3
Clothed in New Clothing – Zech 3:4
Comforted – Isa 41:3
Companionship of a Friend who is closer than a brother – John 15:15
- I Will Bless you the Lord says
Deliverance from Sin and attack – 2 Tim 4:18
Divine Sonship – 1 Jn 3:1-2
Everlasting Life – John 3:16
Fellowship with God – 1 Jn 1:3
Fruitfulness – Jn 15:4-5
Gifts of the Spirit – 1 Cor 12
Glory to come – Mt 13:43
Growth – Eph 4:11-15
Guidance – Isa 42:16
- I will Bless you says the Lord
A Heavenly Home – Jn 14:1-3
Holiness – Rom 6:22
Inheritance – 1 Peter 1:3-4
Joy – Isa 35:10
Justification – Rom 3:24
Knowledge – Jer 24:7
- I will Bless You says the Lord
Liberty – Rom 8:2
Made in the Image of God – Gen 1:26
Never forsaken – Heb 13:5
Peace – Jn 14:27
Power – Jn 14:12
- I will Bless You says the Lord
Renewal – Titus 3:5
Rest – Heb 4:9
Resurrection – Rom 8:11
Strength – Phil 4:13
Salvation – 1 Peter 1:5
- I will Bless You says the Lord
Treasure – 2 Cor 4:7
Understanding – Ps 119:104
Victory – 1 Jn 5:4
Wisdom – James 1:5
- I will bless you says the Lord
What are you building …
A Temple to God or a Temple to Self?
A Temple of Wishes or a Temple of Certain?
A Temple of Temporary or a Temple of Eternal Life?
A Temple of Curses or a Temple of Blessing?
He calls your name today … choosing him can you find he has chosen you?
Proudly displayed as the ring on his hand
What are YOU building?
On what foundation do you build?
Jude 20 – Dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith
Heb 8:5 – Build everything according to the pattern shown on the mountain
Eph 2:21 – in him the whole body, joined and held together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord
2 Cor 5:1 – if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands
1 Cor 3:9-10 we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building. By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should be careful how he builds
Be careful how you build
1 Cor 3:11-14 – for no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay, or straw his work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work. If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.
There is no other foundation than Jesus Christ
There is no other building material than the Word of God
There is no other power but the Holy Spirit
There is no other Father but God Almighty
Build a House for the Lord
It is the Only Hope
It is the Only Life
It is the Only Way
It is the Only Truth
Easton, M. (1996, c1897). Easton's Bible dictionary. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.