God always speaks before a thing happens. What He has spoken always comes to pass.God makes it come to pass to show that the message is from God. What shall the hearers do? Just believe and go forward. All the great men of God in history accomplished great exploits following this simple key. Today we read from Haggai 2 this prophetic verse: “Think about this eighteenth day of December, the day when the foundation of the Lord’s Temple was laid. Think carefully. I am giving you a promise now while the seed is still in the barn. You have not yet harvested your grain, and your grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, and olive trees have not yet produced their crops. But from this day onward I will bless you.” (2:18-19)
This is spoken by God to a group of people who were uncertain about their future after starting to rebuild the Temple of God. They inherited a system of ruin (political, social, economic and religious) as a result of years of corruption, neglect, self-seeking among the rulers and administrators in all significant fields of life. They were also facing political and religious enemies all round bent on causing disruptions and distractions to prevent their nation rebuilding efforts.
Who are in this group of brave rebuilders whom God is addressing right now? The group of remnants who have sacrificially left their own comparatively safe and comfortable zone/homes in foreign land and returned to Jerusalem to rebuild. They have responded to a common calling: to rebuild their nation. In today’s language, they left their own personal agenda and responded to God’s agenda.
God also speaks to the anointed leader loud and clear. In the case of this prophetic passage from prophet Haggai, the leader is a prince, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, whom God calls, “My servant.”
Haggai 2:23 “But when this happens, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, I will honor you, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, my servant. I will make you like a signet ring on my finger, says the Lord, for I have chosen you. I, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!”