The Fruitless Life? or The Fruitful Life?

“The Lord spoke His Word through the prophet Haggai” (Haggai 1:1). The prophet is only the messenger. It is the Lord who speaks His Word. God’s Word challenges our way of thinking and our way of living. We say, “Everything is okay.” God says, “Everything is not okay.” There is a problem. God says to us, “Carefully consider your ways” (Haggai 1:5). Our way of thinking and living is self-centred. It should be God-centred (Haggai 1:4). When we respond to God’s Word, He says to us, “I am with you” (Haggai 1:13). We are not left to do the work in our own strength. He gives us the strength that we need.
First, the Lord speaks to Haggai (Haggai 2:1). Then, Haggai speaks for God (Haggai 2:2). “The faithful few who returned from Babylon” (Haggai 2:2) – Even if we are few, let us remain faithful. God calls us to “be strong” (Haggai 2:4). He says to us, “Work, because I am with you” (Haggai 2:4). He gives us His strength. He calls us to use His strength in His service. God looks beyond what we are in ourselves. He looks on to what we will become through His strength. He says to us, “Is there any seed left in the barn? The vines, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree still haven’t produced” – This is the fruitless life, the life that is lived in our own strength. “But from now on, I will bless you” – This is the fruitful life, the life that is lived in the strength of the Lord. For the work of the Lord to be established, there needs to be the tearing down of the work of man – “I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms and destroy the power of nations. I will overthrow chariots and their riders, and the horses will fall along with their riders” (Haggai 2:22). When the work of Satan is torn down, the work of the Lord begins – “a new creation. All things have passed away. All things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
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