Today’s Scripture Reading: Haggai 2:1-9; Zechariah 1:1-6; Haggai 2:10-19; Ezra 5:2; Haggai 2:20-23; Zechariah 1:7-5:11
Like most of you, I have been reflecting on that day eleven years ago that changed our world. As I read today’s reading I noticed something that God said through the prophet Haggai that could be said to Americans on September 11th:
Does anyone remember this house–this Temple (this country)–in its former splendor (before 9/11)? How in comparison does it look to you now? It seems like nothing at all! But now the Lord says: Be strong, Zerubbabel. Be strong, Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people still left in the land. And now get to work, for I am with you, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt. So do not be afraid. –Haggai 2:3-5 (explanation mine)
The Israelites experienced their own type of “September 11th” when their country was taken over by the Babylonians and most of their nation exiled to Babylon. For 70 years they were waiting; waiting to go home. One of the things they missed the most was worshiping at the temple. But for many the new temple was no comparison to the old one and they griped and complained as they saw it being built (Ezra 3:12).
They wanted life to be like it was before the day that changed everything, and when it wasn’t they chose to sow discord, pain, and negativity into the already dismal atmosphere.
Since the world began God has given us a choice to either be part of the problem or part of the solution. That’s the message the prophet Haggai spoke to the Israelites and us for those times when going back isn’t an option.
The Lord says:
- Be Strong Leaders
- Be Strong People
- Get to work, for I am with you
- My Spirit remains among you
- Do not be afraid
Heavenly Father, I know Your heart grieves for the families who lost their loved ones in the attacks on our country on September 11, 2001. I also know Your heart grieves for every person who planned and carried out those attacks. How it must break Your heart when Your creation chooses eternal death. Lord, help us today to choose to be strong people and strong leaders and get to work, without fear in making our corner of this world a place where You reign. Lord, thank You for being with us. Holy Spirit, work through us to cause others to know Jesus.
© 2012 Dianne Guthmuller
Tomorrow’s Scripture Reading: Zechariah 6:1-15; Ezra 5:3-6:14a; Zechariah 7:1-8:23