Haggai, the Lord’s Messenger

Rev. Ok Gi Lee

Haggai was a prophet who encouraged the rebuilding of the Lord’s house. There were reasons for the Israelites to stop building the house for about 16 years. The Samaritans interrupted the building of the house. Furthermore, they bribed the Persian officials to prevent Israelites from building the house. Because of these difficulties, the Israelites proclaimed, “The time has not yet come for the Lord’s house to be built.” (Haggai1:2) Instead, they were busy building their own houses. By this, they were changed, pursuing of human desire rather than seeking the glory of God as their first priority. Haggai, therefore, rebuked them with the word of the Lord. When they ceased building the Lord’s house and built their own home, the result was miserable. In the words of Haggai, the people of Israel began to work on the house after 23 days. And four years later the house was completed. This was an amazing achievement.

How did God establish Haggai as a leader? First, God made him His messenger. Haggai was called the Lord’s messenger. (Hag 1:13) He was the only prophet who was called the messenger of God. This means that Haggai proclaimed God’s will as the Lord’s messenger without adding his own words. Specifically, the phrase “the word of Lord” was repeated 25 times in the short story of Haggai. Among them, the phrase “the Lord Almighty says (declares)” was repeated 14 times. He revealed the authority of the Lord’s Word. As a result, what was the response of those who listened to Haggai? They were convinced that God sent Haggai. They feared the Lord and obeyed the words of Haggai. (1:12) Secondly, Haggai clearly communicated the message of repentance to the people(Hag 1:4) And when they disobeyed God’s command (Ezr1:2), he urged them repentance by having them understand the miserable consequences they could face. (Hag 1:6) Haggai did not compromise and positively challenged the people’s sins. Thirdly, Haggai first helped the leaders. The word of the Lord came through Haggai to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah and to Joshua, the high priest. (1:1,12,14, 2:2,4,21,23) In other words, before others did, the leaders obeyed Haggai. Then the whole remnant of the people became one and obeyed the word.

I pray that God will raise up the Lord’s messengers like Haggai. Over the past century, Korea has exploded with Christians due to God’s blessings. There are also many large churches. We can easily notice the visible external growth. But the hearts of the believers have been deserted. Rather than accepting Jesus wholeheartedly, they are pursuing material blessing for our own benefit. Corruption of large church pastors is exposed and criticized. If this situation persists, the blessing of God will cease. Therefore I want the words of Haggai delivered to Korean spiritual leaders firstly. In doing so, I believe that all believers in Korea will be moved by the Word and rebuild the spiritual houses.

By coming down to this world, Jesus shone his light in the darkness. In addition, the gospel of Jesus has spread in Korea, and many people have received the grace of salvation. During the Christmas season, I pray that the believers in Korea will receive the baby Jesus and restore their first love to Jesus. Merry Christmas!

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