The people had sinned. The people had repented, and God had promised His blessings. In Haggai’s forth and final sermonette, he revels in God’s sovereignty and reveals God’s sovereign plan to restore His beloved people.
Only an Almighty, All-Powerful, Sovereign God can say, “I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. I will overturn royal thrones and destroy the power of the Gentile kingdoms. I will overturn chariots and their riders” (Haggai 2:21–22).
Similar statements are found elsewhere is the Scriptures. “The earth quakes before them; the sky shakes. The sun and moon grow dark, and the stars cease their shining ... Indeed, the day of the Lord is terrible and dreadful—who can endure it?” (Joel 2:10–11). “The sun and moon will grow dark, and the stars will cease their shining. The Lord will roar from Zion and make his voice heard from Jerusalem; heaven and earth will shake. But the Lord will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the Israelites” (Joel 3:15–16). “Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will shake from its foundations at the wrath of the Lord of Armies, on the day of his burning anger” (Isaiah 13:13).
And who can “overturn royal thrones and destroy the power of the Gentile kingdoms... overturn chariots and their riders”? Only a sovereign God! During the Exodus, “the Lordlooked down at the Egyptian forces from the pillar of fire and cloud, and threw the Egyptian forces into confusion. He caused their chariot wheels to swerve and made them drive with difficulty.... While the Egyptians were trying to escape ... the Lord threw them into the sea. The water came back and covered the chariots and horsemen, plus the entire army of Pharaoh that had gone after them into the sea. Not even one of them survived” (Exodus 14:24–28).
Haggai continued, “ ‘I will take you, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, my servant’—this is the Lord’s declaration ‘and make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you’ ” (Haggai 2:23). God chose an insignificant governor, a puppet-leader appointed by the ruling regime. He didn’t choose Zerubbabel because he was worthy. God graciously chose him to keep a promise made centuries earlier to David, Zerubbabel’s great, great, great... grandfather. “When your time comes to be with your ancestors, I will raise up after you your descendant, who is one of your own sons, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for me, and I will establish his throne forever. I will be his father, and he will be my son. I will not remove my faithful love from him as I removed it from the one who was before you. I will appoint him over my house and my kingdom forever, and his throne will be established forever” (1 Chronicles 17:11–14).
We have also been chosen by our Gracious God. He didn’t choose us because of our personal qualities or due to our religious activities, but He lavished His unmerited love upon us. We are cherished, treasured, much like a king treasured his “signet ring” (Haggai 2:23) as his most prized possession. Indeed, God loved us so much that he gave His One and Only Son as the substitutionary sacrifice to atone for our wretched transgressions.
The people had sinned, and the people had repented. God had graciously forgiven them and restored them.
All Scripture quotations, except as otherwise noted, are from
Holman Bible Publishers’ Christian Standard Bible.