When I first made the acquaintance of a new friend from abroad, I noticed his posh English accent and that he wore a ring on his little finger. Later I learned that this wasn’t just jewelry; it revealed his family’s history through the family crest engraved on it.
It was a bit like a signet ring—perhaps like the one in Haggai. In this short Old Testament book, the prophet Haggai calls for the people of God to restart the rebuilding of the temple. They had been exiled and had now returned to their homeland and begun rebuilding, but enemy opposition to their project had stalled them. Haggai’s message includes God’s promise to Zerubbabel, Judah’s leader, that he had been chosen and set apart as their leader, like a signet ring.
In ancient times, a signet ring was used as a means of identification. Instead of signing their name, people would press their ring into hot wax or soft clay to make their mark. As God’s children, we too make a mark on the world as we spread the gospel, share His grace through loving our neighbors, and work to end oppression.
Father God, may I know my true identity as Your heir this day. (See Luke 15.)
We are God’s heirs and ambassadors, sharing His love in the world.
Just as Zerubbabel is likened to a signet ring, each Christian is marked by God’s authorized acceptance in Christ (Eph. 1:4–5, 11). As such, we are identified as Christians (Acts 11:26; 1 Pet. 4:14–16) and authorized as envoys or carriers of the most important information in the entire world (Matt. 28:18–20). How can we be more effective disseminators of that truth this week? How could we have a more valuable New Year’s resolution than to act like God’s signet rings in this upcoming year?