In the book of Haggai, the temple of the Lord is a center piece. Much like we talked about when we walked through the book of Nehemiah a few months ago on Sunday mornings, the temple is important because it represents the presence and glory of God to the Israelites and the surrounding nations. It is a center piece of the Old Testament.
The section that stood out to me from today’s passage was verses 10-19. Verse 17 specifically stood out to me: “I sent blight and mildew and hail to destroy everything you worked so hard to produce. Even so, you refused to return to me, says the Lord.” The people of Israel had been facing negative consequences of their sin. These negative consequences were not meant to punish but to discipline; to lead them to repent from their sin and “return” to the Lord.
I know many of us have experienced what we would define as God’s discipline because of our sin. It is helpful to remember that God’s discipline is meant for our good; to restore us and bring us back to God. We must remember that we cannot be punished because of our sin if we are in Christ; Christ received all the punishment on our behalf on the cross. Because of the cross, we have the ability to walk in freedom in our new lives with Christ.
Are you going through a season right now of being disciplined by God? Do you view it more as discipline or punishment? Spend time today reflecting on your sin and confessing it to God, reminding yourself that those who are in Christ no longer face condemnation because of their sin.
By: Graham Withers — Pastoral Ministry Apprentice