Today's passage: Haggai 2:10-23
- In the law concerning ceremonial cleanness, “clean” things could not make the unclean, clean. However, “unclean” things could make what was clean, unclean.
- The people were proceeding with worship without the temple and without worshiping God His way. The offerings they were bringing were made unclean and unacceptable.
- We might like to think we can do one good thing to undo a wrong, like penance.
- God made a clear promise to the Jews. Since they had refused to obey previously, they were not blessed. Once the building of the temple resumed, His blessing came.
- Zerubbabel should have/would have been the king of Judah had there been no rebellion and exile (Matthew 1:12-13, Luke 3:27 – He is in both Joseph and Mary's line). In the final verses, the Lord points forward to “That day” (The day of Christ's rule and reign) and encourages Zerubbabel in his future role.
Questions to consider:
- Can a sinner cleanse his or herself? Why not? When Jesus touched the “unclean” lepers, what happened to them (Matthew 8:1-3)? Did Jesus become unclean? Who alone can cleanse the unclean?
- What can we learn from this principle of the “Clean” and “Unclean”? How does it relate to the idea of us being in the world, but not of it? What (Or better, who) can we offer to the world for cleansing?
- God commanded the Jews to obey Him and also revealed to them His eternal reign. When does looking forward to God's future once-and-for-all victory produce an apathetic response, taking it for granted? When does looking forward to God's future promises instead produce a fervency to love and obey Him? What must be true of our hearts to be motivated toward worship?