“Then Haggai, the messenger of the LORD, spoke to the people with the LORD’s message, ‘I am with you, declares the LORD.’” (Haggai 1:13) “Work, for I am with you, declares the LORD of hosts” (Haggai 2:4)
Let’s dwell once more on God’s encouragement that He is with the people. The first time we read these words, is in “the twenty-fourth day of the month, in the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.” The second time is “in the seventh month, on the twenty-first day of the month.” That’s only four weeks apart! This repetition of the same message to the same audience is important. Apparently, the people need to hear again that God is with them, because the work is hard and their hopes have faded. When they look at the foundations of the new temple, it is hard to stay optimistic. Reality seems so far away from God’s great vision.
These Israelites are not the only ones who need regular encouragement and exhortation. As present-day Christians, we too need reminders of God’s promises and of his presence over and over again. Without this input, we lose sight of the
spiritual reality “behind the scenes” and just see the problems and the imperfection around us. We need God’s Word to keep the right perspective — not just once, but regularly.
Are you feeding on God’s Word, for example by reading the Bible for yourself and by attending church services?