When my friends from the United States came to visit me in Singapore, I was surprised that they walked into my home without removing their shoes. Because of our cultural differences, I thought their lack of concern about tracking in dirt was strange.
As you read Haggai 2, you may think all the talk about holy meat and dead bodies is peculiar (vv.12-15). But the Lord wasn’t just concerned about physical cleanliness. He used those object lessons to help the people of Judah to remember what had happened to them after they returned from exile in Babylon.
The sinful attitudes of a few had spread and defiled the whole community. Instead of rebuilding the temple, they had focused on constructing their own homes (1:4). And because of their sin, they lost God’s blessing. Then the Lord, like a father who longs for a close relationship with His child, disciplined them to encourage them to return to Him (2:17).
When Haggai came along, they renewed their commitment to God. So the prophet challenged them to remain faithful, and he said the Lord would bless them abundantly (v.19).
Are you enjoying the blessings of a close relationship with God? Or do you need to turn from sin and renew your commitment to Him?
Our sinful ways can sap our joy
And isolate us from the Lord;
Confession and repentance, though,
Provide the way to be restored. —Sper
God sometimes takes us into troubled waters—not to drown us but to cleanse us.