Peace that Surpasses Understanding
In the wake of hardship or trials, we look around and see destruction. We wonder how we can pick up the pieces and start over. Or if we can adjust to our new normal. And peace? It seems out of reach. Our innocence is tainted with a bit of a new jaded reality when what we expected out of life is flipped upside down. But there is a peace that surpasses understanding and God wants to restore His people. He is a Redeemer. But we can’t regain peace and hope our way. God’s way opens the door to healing and restoration.
Bible Reading of the Day: Haggai
We are reading from a new book of the Bible today, so a little info about the book of Haggai and the prophet himself. There are 5 core messages in this book. Haggai was one of the Postexilic prophets, meaning 6th century. He and the prophet Zechariah roused the people of Judah to finish the temple under Zerubbabel’s leadership. Haggai’s preaching focus was mostly on the building of the temple, but also on the future.
The book of Haggai was written near 70 years after the exile. God’s people were back from exile to return to a mess. But they began to rebuild. First they built their fancy houses rather than God’s. Haggai had seen Solomon’s temple in all its glory. But it was now in ruins. The temple they were rebuilding was not as big in size and glory, but God tells them the temple might not be as big, but it is unshakeable.
Peace that Surpasses Understanding—Found as We Worship
Haggai and Zechariah were called to bring the people back to proper worship of the LORD. They faced political opposition as well as opposition from wayward people struggling with apathy.
Haggai’s main points in his book were:
- Build the temple
- Deal with expectations and morale and shares a future hope.
- Call to covenant faithfulness – be faithful to God and His ways.
- Future hope is certain.
- Our choices really matter
Peace that Surpasses Understanding—The LORD of Hosts
The name for God in this book that is used the most is the LORD of Armies. Some translations render it the LORD of Hosts. He has the authority to speak to His people.
The two Hebrew words this name comes from are:
- Jehovah, meaning the “existing One”, the proper name of the one true God.
God has always been. He always will be. This brings great comfort to us as we struggle, confined by time and space. God is LORD over time.
Peace that Surpasses Understanding—Preexistent One
This name is also YHWH and comes from the root הָוָה (hāwâ), the older form and rare synonym of hāyâ (q.v.), meaning to be, become (J. Barton Payne, “484 הָוָה,” ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 210.)
Strong’s interprets this name as LORD over 6500 times and as Jehovah and God each 4 times. God is the supreme God. There is no other. This is the One who knows all and is able to lead His people.
- The other name is tsä·vä’, meaning that which goes forth, army, war, warfare, host.
God is the LORD over all creation. Over the host of all heavenly bodies. He has the authority to bring about His will and complete the work that He has begun. God created this host—all creation and every star – with His breath.
Theological Workbook of the OT:
“This divine name appears for the first time in I Sam 1:3. Its origin appears to have been at the close of the period of the judges and in the vicinity of the sanctuary Shiloh, where the ark of the covenant was housed. The ark itself symbolized Yahweh’s rulership; for he is declared to be enthroned between the cherubim (I Sam 4:4; cf. Ps 99:1). This name certainly contains the affirmation that Yahweh is the true head of Israel’s armies.
The idea that more than Israel’s armies is encompassed in this title is clear from David’s statement, “Yahweh of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel” (I Sam 17:45). Rather it affirms his universal rulership that encompasses every force or army, heavenly, cosmic and earthly.” (John E. Hartley, “1865 צָבָא,” ed. R. Laird Harris, Gleason L. Archer Jr., and Bruce K. Waltke, Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Chicago: Moody Press, 1999), 750.)
I counted 15 uses of this name for God in the book of Haggai. God wanted His people to know that He is in control. He is sovereign. He is good. He is able.
Friends, God is able to restore us, too. The wreckage of our lives, those painful places that need rebuilding? God is up to the task. We just need to cooperate with Him.
Peace that Surpasses Understanding—Choosing Peace
There is an overriding message of God leading His people to peace. But this peace is not something that just happens to us. It is chosen as we walk in the counsel of God.
Key principles that lead to this peace:
- Think carefully about your ways (1:5, 1:7, 2:15, 2:18)
- Obey God (1:12)
- Live aware of His presence. God is with us. We do not need to despair. (1:13)
- Be strong in Christ’s strength. (2:4)
- Fear God. (1:12)
- Worshipping God brings us into His presence.
Friends, we can rest in some profound truths when we desperately need to see God move in our lives.
Peace that Surpasses Understanding—God Completes the Work.
- God begins and finishes the work. But we need to be open to His examination and consider our ways.
2 “The Lord of Armies says this: These people say: The time has not come for the house of the Lord to be rebuilt.” 3 And the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to live in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?” 5 Now, the Lord of Armies says this: “Think carefully about your ways: 6 You have planted much but harvested little. You eat but never have enough to be satisfied. And you drink but never have enough to be happy. You put on clothes but never have enough to get warm. The wage-earner puts his wages into a bag with a hole in it.”
Peace that Surpasses Understanding—Obey God
- God will lead. But we must follow. Seek Him and His will.
12 Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, the high priest Joshua son of Jehozadak, and the entire remnant of the people obeyed the Lord their God and the words of the prophet Haggai, because the Lord their God had sent him. So the people feared the Lord. 13 Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, delivered the Lord’s message to the people: “I am with you—this is the Lord’s declaration.” 14 The Lord roused the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, the spirit of the high priest Joshua son of Jehozadak, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people. They began work on the house of the Lord of Armies, their God.”
Peace that Surpasses Understanding—Choose Christ’s Strength
- Choose faith. And choose to be strong by relying on God’s strength. God is able to call us and He
“4 Even so, be strong, Zerubbabel—this is the Lord’s declaration. Be strong, Joshua son of Jehozadak, high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land—this is the Lord’s declaration. Work! For I am with you—the declaration of the Lord of Armies. 5 This is the promise I made to you when you came out of Egypt, and my Spirit is present among you; don’t be afraid.’”
Peace that Surpasses Understanding—Priority Brings Peace
A key lesson from Haggai is that the LORD should always be the first priority in our life. Really, the priority of our life. Everything centered around Jesus demonstrated by walking in obedience to Him.
Scripture of the Day: Haggai 2:9
“The final glory of this house will be greater than the first,” says the Lord of Armies. “I will provide peace in this place”—this is the declaration of the Lord of Armies.”
Friends, the future glory God has for us does not compare with any trouble we face on this earth. The superior pleasure of the hope we have in Christ makes everything else pale in comparison. May we fix our eyes on God’s hope and not our own or any earthly hope. This gives us the strength to endure hard times.
- God will not waste any of it and His plans are good!!
- Look up from the wreckage and look at Christ and His precious word.
- The same God Who restored His people and the Temple is restoring us, too.
𝗝𝗼𝗶𝗻 𝗺𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗕𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲 𝗥𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗣𝗹𝗮𝗻 𝘁𝗼𝗱𝗮𝘆 𝗮𝘁 12 𝗽𝗺 𝗘𝗧.
Day #297: Haggai
Peace that Surpasses Understanding
Verse of the Day: Haggai 2:9
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