Going Forward | Part 2

Remember That In The Face Of Adversity, God Will Bring Peace.

Chuck Martin
Sep 19, 2021    42m
Have you felt alone in the face of disappointments? This message reminds us that when you face adversity or disappointment in life, God will bring you peace and be with you. Remember that God is present in your life during every disappointment you face, and He has not left you. Video recorded at Frisco, Texas.

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Well, good morning. It's great to see you this morning, great to have you joining with us here as we worship the Lord together and those joining online as well. Thank you for choosing to worship with us today. We have a special...I wouldn't say guest...a special member who's here that this is his last Sunday before he moves to San Antonio. You need to know something about this guy, though. He's a bit of a fixture here in Frisco, I could say. Bob Warren, former mayor. Probably the longest, I think, tenured member here at Frisco first. So Bob, we love you and we are going to-- raise your hand, if you would--he, see it over here? We are going to miss you and obviously, are so grateful for you. So today, if you were not with us last Sunday, we're actually in a little known book in the Old Testament, known as Haggai. I grew up calling it 'Hag-ee-eye' anybody else? Because, it kind of rhymes with 'Jeremiah', 'Nehemiah'. Haggai, but it's Haggai. Don't, you know, don't be ashamed if you have to look in the table of contents to find where it is. It's one of the smallest books in the Bible, the second smallest in the Old Testament, only thirty eight verses. So if you want to go home today and say, Hey, I read a book today, you could accomplish that very easily with the book of Haggai. So if you if you would, go and turn there. We'll look at that together in just a moment. However, you access scripture either via a device or in printed word. And as you do that, I want to begin sharing kind of a personal story. When I was in seminary, I had the opportunity to go back to my home state of Alabama and preach revivals, mostly in very small towns because I was a brand new preacher and I had hardly any experience, right? Here's a picture of me. Yes, I did have hair back in the day, right? And to the left of me is Calvary Baptist Church in Gaston, Alabama. Now you need to know something about the churches that I preached in. And, if you're from kind of small town, USA, any small town that had a Baptist church or a Methodist church, you probably know something of the culture. Well, I would preach, you know, in such places as Altoona, Alabama, Slapout Alabama, Rainsville, Alabama Wetumpka, Alabama, and so places you have to find a map to locate, right? And so I was well into my summer and I saw Gadsden, Alabama. Now Gadsden is a little larger city in that part of Alabama, and I thought, and as I pulled up and I saw--it's hard to get the perspective--but this was--for me--this was a large church! Calvary Baptist was situated kind-of on a bit of a hill--a major thoroughfare there in Gadsden. (With a) massive parking lot, or at least, it felt that way to me at the time. And a cavernous worship center, that literally, probably I don't know, seated 700 people. But remember--small town Alabama. This--I'm like, Wow! I'm preaching there! It's kind of what I'm thinking like, did I get this wrong?! Right? And so I go in going, Wow, OK! Well, this is going to be great, I've not really preached to a church this large. So I go up to the front door of the church to go in, and it's locked. I'm like, OK. Well, then...come to find out, I was not preaching in the main auditorium of the church. In fact, I was preaching in the basement, which was not easy to find. And so I found these little signs posted, then made my way to the basement and I was like, OK, so why aren't we meeting in the worship center? And people began to tell me, well, back in the glory days, right back 10 years ago, 20 years ago, the church was a lot bigger than it is today, and the church has gone through hard times and died. And so it had dwindled. So by the time I was preaching there, it was a handful of people in the basement of the church. And let me tell you, that was...kind of a depressing situation. Ok? And, you know, I thought about that, and I just asked, so what happened to the church? I mean, you know what happened...with the former glory of the church? And people began to tell me about how things used to be. Now the reason I start with that is (to highlight) those kind of those emotions. And that feeling of Wow, OK, where I am right now is not where I would like to be, or where I thought I would be at this point. If you've ever felt that way, if you feel that way today, then you'll know some of the emotion that was felt in the day of Haggai. Ok.

This is one of those books in the Bible. You need to know a little bit of the history to be able to understand the message. And so if you were here last week, I gave a little more detailed history, and I'm just going to hit the highlights. But I want to give the historical context for just a moment. It's important to understanding the message.

And so to begin with, a couple of historical figures I shared with you last week: (visual) on the right is Nebuchadnezzar, the second king of Babylon. If you grew up in church or read much of the Old Testament, you probably have heard that name, Nebuchadnezzar, because it kind of sticks in the mind. Nebuchadnezzar was king of Babylon. He destroyed the Nation of Israel, which at the time was down to basically the tribe of Judah. And so there's he destroyed Israel and took the people into captivity from Jerusalem, all the way back to Babylon. Here's a map of what that looked like, I shared with you last week. So the people are defeated in 586BC. They are literally carried hundreds of miles to Babylon. And in Babylon is where you see Daniel. You see stories like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. And so the people of Israel were there, in captivity about 50 years in Babylon. Well, about 50 years later, Cyrus the Great shows up. He's king of Persia. He defeats Nebuchadnezzar the Second, and he has a different approach. Rather than defeating a people and then taking all the leaders and the movers and shakers into captivity, in the homeland, he allowed for them to go back and repopulate where they came from. And so they return from exile in 538BC, so a group of them returned. If you're familiar with the books of Ezra, and Nehemiah, some of the books in the Old Testament, they're in that time period.

So what happened in 538? The people come back, they're excited, but they have to rebuild their lives. They have to rebuild their businesses, they have to plant their vineyards. They have to get busy doing life once again after this catastrophic event. Right? This, as they come back and they go to work, and one of the things that they prioritized initially was building the temple, rebuilding the temple. I shared with you last week, the temple represented more than a building, it was how they connected with God. In many ways it was a visual representation of God's presence in their life; it was. We talked about that some in detail, and I'll mention it again. So they come back, and they go to work on this temple. But what happened is, they build the foundation, then they got busy. They got some neighbors that weren't happy with it. They realized that they did not have the resources that they'd previously had. They couldn't get the building materials, nor do they have the manpower. And they realized, Wow, what we build now is not going to be anything compared to what it was before. So they got discouraged and they quit. And it just sat--the Temple Foundation sat there for 18 years. Ok? I shared with you a visual image last week that, if you want to kind of get a picture of that--anybody drive up the tollway lately? Ok. You know, the 'five billion dollar mile', you know, $2 billion of that was to be the Wade Park Development, and it's near where Cowboy Stadium, that development is. And so it was built, they broke ground, I believe in 2014. They got the foundation built, had some financial difficulties, ran out of money and then it came to a standstill. And so for years, it has been known as 'Lake Lebanon', for some...it's just sat there. And people who wondered when are they ever going to build there? When is that? When is that going to come together, right? I think about that as I drive up and down the tollway, I'm like, Oh, it's kind of disappointing, isn't it? I mean, you kind of look there, when you bring people into Frisco, they'll go, Hey, what is that? You want to go--no no, no--let's keep going, right? So you have that visual reminder.

Well, if you are a part of the people of God, you have in your conscience, we have no place to worship God. And every time you pass by the foundation of the temple, there's this voice that goes off, you're not prioritizing God. You're like, Oh. And so this feeling of defeat kind of settles in...discouragement. And that's where they are emotionally. And so they're there for 18 long years. Nothing is done, OK? And so in 520BC, we know exactly when it happened. Haggai was called by God to the people of God in that day to say, All right, it is time to get back to business. It is time to build the Temple of God. We talked about that last week. Let me just remind you of his first message today. (before) we're going to look at his second message. It says in the second year, verse one of Chapter one, the second year of King Darius, who preceded Cyrus the Great King of Persia on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the Lord came through the Prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel, (we're going to see he's the governor of Judah), and to Joshua, (he is the high priest). And notice the message next verse, please. This is what the Lord Almighty says, these people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord's house. Then the word of the Lord came through the Prophet Haggai. Is it time for you, yourselves to be living in your panel houses--in other words, you've gotten on with your life, other priorities, other things have filled that void in your life while this house remains a ruin. And then notice verse seven, this is what the Lord Almighty says, give careful thought in your ways, go up into the mountains, bring down timber and other words, do the hard work to put me back in the center of your life and build my house so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored, says the Lord.

And so...notice verse 14, so the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel again, the governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua, the son of Jozadak, the high priest and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. And they came, and they began to work on the House of the Lord Almighty, their God. And notice on the 24th day of the six months. So they start to work. Ok, they're like, OK, we got it. We're starting back to work. But here's what happens. They start with some enthusiasm, and it's about a month later, OK, they start running out of steam. Anybody like New Year's resolution? You're done by like a month. Anybody like, I'm going to start that new diet and then you're like, Oh, I'll do an exception, right? I'm going to I'm going to clean the garage. I'm going to whatever task and you jump into it and then you realize, Man, this is harder than I thought it would be. And what do you do you? You just get discouraged or you quit. So that's where they are. They're at this point of discouragement.

There is this point where they're like, Oh man. And so God has to send Haggai again with a second message to the same people to give them the encouragement. All right! Time to get back to work. Time to come back to Me (God). So today, what we're going to address really is some principles for facing disappointment, right? We are going to face disappointment in life. But how do you face sometimes disappointing circumstances without giving into discouragement? Ok? That's what we're going to look at today. If you have your Bibles, let's read Haggai Chapter 2 beginning in verse one down through verse nine. The second message is only nine verses long, so it's not difficult or lengthy. Notice on the twenty first day of the seventh month, whereas previously it was the six months. So it's about--if you add it up--it's almost 30 days later, the word of the Lord came to the Prophet Haggai. Speak to Zerubbabel, (and he always gives the whole lineage, governor of Judah, to Joshua, son of Jozadak high priest) and the remnant of the people and just give them the message again. Ask them, who of you is left that saw this house in its former glory? He's talking about the Old Temple. How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing compared to what it had been first for, but now be strong, Zerubbabel, declares the Lord. Be strong, Joshua. The high priest. Be strong. All you people of the Lord, declares the Lord, and work! You kind of get the theme--Get back to work! Right? For I am with you, declares the Lord Almighty. This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my spirit remains among you, do not fear this is what the Lord Almighty says. In a little while, I will once more shake the heavens in the Earth, the sea and the dry land. This is a prophetic word for the future. I will shake all nations and what is desired by all nations will come and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord Almighty. The silver is mine and the gold is mine, declares the Lord Almighty. The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house, says the Lord Almighty. And in this place, I will grant peace, declares the Lord. Almighty. Let's pray together. Father, I thank you for your word, I thank you for these obscure stories from literally fifteen hundred years ago. They guide speak to where we are today. God, our circumstances may be radically different, our culture radically different. But yet you do not change and our need for you, our need to grow in faith does not change. So Go, in these moments we pray that you would speak. I pray that I would get out of the way, that your word could be heard and applied. By your holy spirit, and we pray that in Christ's, name Amen.

A couple of things that I need to share before we look at the principles from this passage. One thing just by way of observation throughout scripture is, disappointments--(and we all know this disappointments in life are inevitable, right?)--I mean, your view of how your life will go and how your life goes is seldom one in the same, anybody? I mean, we all experience various disappointments. But there's a difference between disappointment and discouragement. Disappointment is oftentimes based on circumstances. Sometimes we're disappointed with ourselves. Sometimes it's what others have done. Sometimes it's things beyond our control, but discouragement tends to be more of a settled state. Jesus put it this way in John 16:33. He says, I've told you these things so that in me, you might have peace in this world. You're going to have trouble. Ok? He says, but take heart. I've overcome the world. Now what Jesus is saying there is, trouble is going to come, but don't lose heart in that. To lose heart is literally to 'lose courage'. It is to become dis-couraged. You will face disappointments. They come and go. But discouragement is when it tends to settle. To when your outlook on the future and your outlook on what is down the road is tainted in such a way that you have difficulty moving forward in faith. And if that's you today, I believe there's a word of encouragement here. You know, the reality for them was, the temple they were currently building would pale in comparison to the temple that had existed before. Ok, that was going to be a reality. They understood that perhaps the economics of their day in that moment, not saying that's true of us today, but in their moment, it did not measure up to the economics at the heyday when Solomon was king. Ok? And so the temptation was to look at their circumstances and to become not only disappointed by them, but discouraged by them. And so what I find fascinating is how Haggai addresses that. And how he addresses that is so applicable to how you and I can address whatever disappointments and challenges we face. Ok? And really, the way he does that is, he asked some penetrating questions. In other words, in some way, he just kind of like pokes at it, right? Notice what he asks, three questions. He's saying, to begin with, (1) who is left that remembers the former temple? He's like, show of hands. Any of you guys remember how the former temple was awesome? Well, at that point, only the older residents, only the older folks who would come back would go, Yeah, I remember that. Those hands that went up would have had some age on them. They would have to be at least 60 or above, right? And so he says, Remember the old? Most people are going, No, we didn't live here. Then he's like, Well, it was something. Trust me, it was something. Notice what he says in the second question. (2) How does this one compare to what we had before? And everybody would say, well, not very well, right? Not very well. Right. And then the third question he asked, (3) Is this new temple a disappointment? To which everybody would have said, Well, yes, obviously it is. So why is he doing that? Why is he poking them? How many of you know that disappointments do not go away by avoiding them? Anybody tend to be an avoid-er besides me? I tend to avoid, like 'oh uhhh...If I don't think about that' (it will go away). And what Haggai does is, he puts it front and center. Ok, you're disappointed. Yeah, OK. Things are difficult. Yeah. You know, the work on the temple is hard. Yeah. You mean you don't see where God is at work right now in your circumstance!? Yeah. Why don't we talk about that? Ok. What I love in scripture is, the Bible does not instruct us to 'grow through avoidance'. The Bible instructs us, whether that be challenges in our marriage, whether it be challenges in our parenting, whether that be challenges at work or relational challenges, God wants us to confront the truth. Jesus said you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. Now obviously, he's talking about the truth about himself--but the reality is, denial never changes anything. Ok, so Haggai comes and says, All right, let's talk about this situation. Yeah, it's disappointing. Ok. Yeah. And I don't know about you, but the last 18 months have been like a series of disappointments, anybody else? Where you're like, "Ugh!" And the reality is that's life. The problem for most of us is it had been a while since we had had so many disappointments back to back, right? Anybody else? Just me? I'm the only one? And then you face a series of these and you're like, Oh man, what is it now? Right? Anybody feel that way? Well, here's the deal: if you're not careful, if you don't address the source of the disappointment, it is easy for you to then settle into this state of just general malaise or discouragement. Ok. That's where they were. And God is saying, all right, Haggai, you've got to help them deal with reality. You've got to change their perspective. You've got to confront it head on. So here's the question: how do you find encouragement in discouraging times and circumstance? How do you encourage yourself in a sense...OK...what is the source of your encouragement?

Before we look at the three things that he (Haggai) tells them to do, I want us to look at 1st Samuel, Chapter 30 for just a moment. This is a time in the life of King David, a horrible circumstance. If you know the context of that; he had been in conflict with King Saul and his men that were with him, they were experiencing some challenges. Verse three is this, when David and his men reached Ziklag,(that was where they were living. That was their home at the moment) they found it destroyed by fire and their wives and sons and daughters taken captive. I mean, that's disaster. That's horrible. So David and his men wept aloud until they had no strength left to weep as they mourned appropriately. Verse five David's two wives have been captured, and he mentions who they are--Abigail, wife of Nabal, (30)4-6, David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning--in other words, they may blame him! You know, you got us into this, David! It's your fault! And so he's like, ugh! Each one was bitter in their spirit because of his sons and his daughters. They're angry. They're hurt. They're blaming David. Notice what David does. The last statement there, 'but David found strength in the Lord his God.' Some translations say, but David encouraged himself in The Lord. You see what David did is, David mourned and recognized the difficulty of the circumstances. But he looked up from those circumstances and he said, God, I am trusting you in the midst. And he found courage. He found strength. Not in his circumstance--it's not as if his circumstance changed. He changed, OK? He changed. How did he change? He changed when he turned to God, and God enabled him. Let me just say your circumstances may not change, and they may stay less than ideal. You may still have the same challenges at work, some of the same challenges at home. But God wants to change you in how you respond to those circumstances, OK? And so in this little passage, there are really three keys to that that I want to address today. The first thing he does is (1) he reminds them to recognize God's presence in the present. In other words, he's wanting them to see that God is with them present tense. Look at how he does it. Look at verse four with me for a moment. Notice what he says, but now be strong Zerubbabel--[That that word is...I love that name, don't you? Zerubbabel. Ok, let's say that together, Zerubbabel...it's great baby name.] --declares the Lord. Be strong, Joshua Son of Jozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land declares the Lord. And work, be strong and work, and he's going to say why they can do that. Look at the end of verse four, for I am with you. Let's say that together. That phrase: for I am with you. Do you realize who is with you...in your struggles today? Do you recognize who is with you in the challenges that you face? Do you realize that, God himself, if you're a follower of Jesus Christ, he has placed his spirit in you? Jesus promises never will I leave you, never will I forsake you. He is with you. And they, notice--I love the way that ends, for I Am With You declares, (and then he uses a particular word for God, the Lord Almighty,) the Lord Almighty. You read that and you go, Wow! That sounds like a--you know--a robust name for God. It is. It is the same word to describe God, it's used six times--the same title or name for God'--is used six times in nine verses. It is the exact same name for God that David used when he faced Goliath. Exact same word. Exact same word. Look at it with me together, if you would, 1st Samuel Chapter 17, notice what it says, verse 45: David said to the Philistine, You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in--what? In the name of who--In the name of the Lord Almighty. Ok, the God of the armies of heaven whom you have defied.

In 2012, Kim and I got to travel to Israel. And while we were there, we went to the Valley of Elah, where David faced Goliath, by the way. It is basically a national park today. It's not developed. There are a couple of ridges you can see the ridges, and picture, Ok, that's where the Philistines would have camped over there. Here's where the Israelites would have camped over here. It says they met in the middle on the plain and there all along that plain and the valley of Elah is, when we were there, a dry creek bed. You know the story from the Bible? David went, and he gathered five smooth stones from the creek, right? And then he faced Goliath. And so while we were there, I collected five stones, which was interesting. When you leave, exit Israel, and they're like, Why do you have rocks in your bag? And I'm like 'Valley of Elah' and, you know, one of the customs people were like, Oh, OK. The other was like Valley of what? You know? I'm like, OK, you're Jewish? You don't know the story? So I brought one of them back, and a friend of mine took that verse, 1st Samuel 17:45, and wrote it on that stone, I have it in my office right beside my desk. And so from time to time, I look at that stone and I go, you come against me and sword spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty.

'Chuck, don't forget who's with you'. And my word to you today is 'don't forget who's with you'. He's with you in the present. He knows your circumstance, he knows your challenges. He has not left you. He's with you. Be strong, be courageous for the Lord, your God will be with you wherever you go, that's what he said to Joshua. That's what he's saying to us today. Second thing he said, not only is the Lord with us, but he says, remember God's faithfulness in the past. And here's the problem when we're in a current situation, we think 'this is new'. This is unique. And you think, God, I don't know how I'm going to get out of this situation. We tend to forget what God has done in the past. Notice what he says, verse five. Notice he says this is what I covenanted--in other words, I committed myself. Covenant means an agreement. It's a promise. This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. He's taking them all the way back. They're like, came out of Egypt? I mean, that's hundreds of years ago, even to them, right? And he's saying, don't forget what I did. For you, in the past, don't forget how I worked in your life, answered prayers in the past.

Notice, he says, when I covenanted with you and you came out of Egypt and my spirit remains among you, do not fear. Now what's interesting about this passage when you look at it, it began in Chapter 2, verse one, on the 21st day of the seventh month that he came and delivered this message. That was during a festival in the Jewish calendar known as the Festival of Booths or the Festival of Tents. Some of you may be familiar with it. It reminded them not only of God's deliverance from Egypt, but how God provided for them in the wilderness, right? Their wanderings in the wilderness. And so, they lived in temporary dwellings. But God provided for their needs. He provided manna. He provided quail. Remember the story? If you're familiar with the story of the Exodus, God met their needs during that time, so here's what God did every year. He wanted the people of Israel to remember his provision, so what he challenged them to do is, 'take one week to remember how God has been faithful to you in the past,' and the way they did that was they would build these shelters. Matter of fact, Orthodox Jews today still practice this. Here's a couple of images of shelters [visual]. They will build a shelter. They will spend time in the shelter as a reminder that God is their provider, God is their shelter, and that God has been faithful to them in the past. It was a one-week long festival every year. You know, here's the problem. The problem for us is, we tend to have spiritual amnesia. The problem for us is, we forget what God has done in the past. One of the things that that I've done over the years is, I journal, I write out prayers. And I remember talking to a Christian counselor and it came up, and I said, well, you know, one of the ways I help process difficulties challenges, grief, or loss, is, I write. And I'll write these in a journal, I'll write out my prayers. And he asked me this question. He said, What do you do with the journals? And I said, Well, I have a shelf of them. And he said, well, why don't you throw them away? You can say, I'm rid of that. I said, no, I don't want to throw them away! I don't want to throw them away for a couple of reasons! I want my kids or my grandkids somewhere down the road, somebody to care and go, Oh, I wonder what granddaddy's relationship with God was like? And they'll have some things that will reflect me. But more than that, it's for my benefit. I will pull out those--Oh, and I remember that oh, that was the year--remember nineteen ninety--you know--and for me, I go back, and I see what I was going through at that time and how God was faithful to me then, and then when I'm able to do that, it gives me courage to trust God now.

But the problem is, you and I tend to forget what God has done in the past because we're overwhelmed with the challenges of the present. And that's why God, in his wisdom said, don't forget. Remember my faithfulness in the past. Remember what I've done for you. I had a friend in seminary that had an interesting thing that he kept in his dorm room. I remember coming in and there was this jagged piece of a fender of a Corvette. And you know, it had the fiberglass kind-of and I'm like, what is that? And he said, well, that's a piece of my Corvette. I'm like. Is that all that's left of it, you know? And he had a picture that he kept framed of his Corvette. And I'm like, There's a story here, tell me the story. And Tony began to tell me, Yeah, I was driving my Corvette. I'd gotten out of school and gotten out of college, got the job that I wanted. I was making a lot of money. I was living large. And he said, and then I had an accident. And in that accident... man, I should have died in that accident. And he said, I never want to forget God's deliverance. And he says, so I've kept that picture as a reminder, you live by grace. I know of another gentleman who has a picture of a dumpster on his desk. You go, why in the world would you have a picture of a dumpster? A dumpster in a back alley on the desk in his office. And he said, it was when I had passed out from being in the bar yet another time, and I came-to in that alley, that I realized things need to change my life. And he said, I keep that picture as a reminder that I never want to go back there, and by God's grace, I don't have to go back there. Ok? But you see, if you and I forget what God has done in the past, it's often so easy for us to not trust him in the moment. But he [Haggai] does more than that. Not only does he encourage them, remind them that God is with him and the present, he reminds them of how God has been faithful in the past, but he looks to the future. He says, you can trust God's promises for the future. Look at verses 6-9. This is awesome. This is what the Lord Almighty says, and a little while I will once more shake the heavens in the Earth, the sea in the dry land. In other words, I'm going to do something.

When you say shake, you mean that is this is going to be big, right? Verse 7, I will shake all nations--OK, not just Israel, Judah--all nations. And what is desired by all nations (in other words, what everyone really wants, God's going to do something that applies in a worldwide way. Ok, you get that.) What is desired by all nations will come. In other words, something's going to come. We're going to see it. Someone is to come...and I will fill this house, this temple with glory, says the Lord Almighty. The silver is mine and the gold is mine, declares the Lord Almighty. And those things that we give so much of our time and attention in the temporary. Verse 9, the glory of this present House--in other words, what you're working on now--will be greater than the glory of the former house, (And they're going, how is that even possible?) says The Lord Almighty. And in this place, in this temple, in this place in Jerusalem, is what he's saying. In this locale. I will grant peace, declares the Lord Almighty. Now if you're interested in a little nugget of fascination from the Old Testament, that has everything to do with fulfillment in the New Testament? Y'all ready for one? Maybe one of those that will blow your mind. Ok. Hang with me for just a second, because this is--I found this, I was looking at this, I was like, Oh, that's fantastic.

Again, look at chapter 2 verse 1. First verse. Notice what it says, on the 21st day of the seventh month. Ok, you got that the word of Lord came to the Prophet Haggai. Now look at Leviticus Chapter 23 for a moment. This is where it describes the Festival of the Tabernacles, the Festival of Tents, which they've just been going through seven days remembering God's promise in the past, right? Ok, we're up on that. Notice the timing of this. Say to the Israelites on the 15th day. Do you get that 15th day of the seventh month? Ok, now you know, and I do my math 15 to the 21st. That means the 21st, when he's delivering this message, is the last day of the festival, right? We clear on that? Everybody clear on [that]? OK. We know exactly when this happened, by the way, it happened in 520BC. Matter of fact, in modern day times, it is in October...I believe the date is October 17th. 520BC--last day of the Festival of the Tabernacles.

Now fast forward for just a moment. Fast forward, more than 500 years. Jesus has come, the promised Messiah has come. John, chapter 1 says in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God, speaking of Jesus. Verse 14, it says, and the word became flesh and made his dwelling--literally 'tabernacle'. That's the word 'tabernacled' among us, John 1:14. Jesus came. The tabernacle that they had just remembered, God's presence in his faithfulness in the past, came in the person of Jesus. Jesus on the last day of the festival of Tabernacles in the Temple, John Chapter 7--remember the temple they were working on, by the way, the temple they were building--right, when he said the glory of the temple, there's going to be a glory here that surpasses any glory that Solomon ever knew, right? You think, how is that possible? Here's how it's possible. Look at this, verse 37: same location--Temple--on the last day of, the greatest day of, the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, Let anyone who's thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the scripture said, rivers of living water will flow from within them. You see, what they could not realize then, was that the ultimate fulfillment of the 'Tabernacle' that the temple that they were building then pointed to--a time in history when God would indeed shake the heavens in the Earth, when God indeed would come to apply a hope to all nations, God himself would come in the flesh and Jesus would offer peace with God. How? Through taking our place, dying in our place on the cross and rising again. And here is the profound fulfillment of the word given to the Haggai in 520 is, trust me, I've only just begun to do that which will change everything.

My question to you today is, have you forgotten who God is? And have you forgotten what he has done for you in Jesus? You see the ultimate fulfillment of the promises of God from hundreds of years before; Jesus came. When he entered the temple, and when he extended an invitation, Let anyone who's thirsty come to me. My question is, have you come in faith to the person of Jesus? Have you experienced the life that he has to offer? You can. Even now. Let's pray together. God, thank you for the treasure of your word. God, I pray that each of us today would be reminded of your sufficiency for us today. God, I pray if there are any here today that have not said yes to Jesus, I pray today be the day that they would look up, humble themselves and say, Lord God, come in and change my life. Accept the mess that is me, forgive me. Change me. I need Jesus. God, we thank you that hope and life begins when we turn from ourselves and turn, in faith, to Jesus. God, for those of us who are discouraged, for those of us that are walking through seasons of disappointment, God, may we change our focus today? And like David, find our strength renewed in you. And it's in your name, we pray, amen.

Recorded in Frisco, Texas.
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Frisco First Baptist Church
7901 Main Street
Frisco, Texas 75034