Mike Gerhardt, 6-18-17, Haggai 2:20-13, Outline 5, Thy Kingdom Come. Some things fathers would probably never say: 10. Well, how about that, I'm lost! Looks like we'll have to stop and ask for directions. 9. You know Pumpkin, now that you're thirteen, you'll be ready for un-chaperoned car dates. Won't that be fun? 8. I noticed that all your friends have a certain hostile attitude. I like that. 7. For your birthday, here's a credit card and the keys to my new car. GO CRAZY!! 6. What do you mean you want to play football? Figure skating is not good enough for you, son? 5. Your mother and I are going away for the weekend. You might want to consider throwing a party or two. 4. Well, I don't know what's wrong with your car. Probably one of those doo-hickey thingies-you know-that makes it run. Just have it towed to a mechanic and pay whatever he asks. 3. No son of mine is going to live under this roof without an earring. Now quit your belly-aching, and let's go to the mall. 2. Why do you want to go and get a job for? I make plenty of money for you to spend. 1. What do I want for my Father’s Day? Don't worry about that. It's no big deal. (They may say it but not mean it). Knowing the Winner gives perspective…
Moritz Retzsch painted a young man playing chess with Satan. The devil had moved his queen and presumably said checkmate in four which is the painting’s title. The young man stared at his white rook with an expression of no hope! The devil wins his soul. Many chess masters all agreed with checkmate in four until Paul Morphy the first US World Chess Champion of 1857, stood before the painting and thought of a combination of moves. He exclaimed to those around him, young man make that move. The rook with two other moves would put the devil in checkmate. Often when it seems like the devil is winning, God has it under control.
Also, knowing the winner helps. In the 1988 Super Bowl 23 the San Francisco 49ers were playing the Cincinnati Bengals. It was a close game but the Bengals were winning 16-13 in the last minutes of the game. The 49ers got the ball on their own eight-yard line with 3 minutes to go. Jerry Rice had caught 11 of Joe Montana’s passes and set up the final drive. John Taylor caught a pass and scored with just 34 seconds to go. As super bowls go this was an exciting one. The problem comes when you live in Hawaii and the Super Bowl’s broadcast is delayed. All news outlets are forbidden to report the results but there is always someone who knows the outcome. When you know the winner, the battles are easier to handle. Haggai’s message: know that God’s Kingdom will eventually come and it will be victorious. Four messages from Haggai: Ordering priorities - Keep God’s work first; The comparison trap – the greatest work for God is what I do today, and remember the myth of insignificance; Contagious Health - Handling holy things, doesn’t make you holy, handling sinful things can make you sinful. Cause and effect thinking – consider your ways, give careful thought to your actions, sin has its consequences but God is in control.
Zerubbabel was the great great grandfather of Joseph the husband of Mary who gave birth to Jesus the Messiah. God has a plan and he has the power to make it come true. I will shake the heavens and the earth- God has power over the natural world. I will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms – God has power over the political world. I will over throw chariots and their drivers; horses and their riders will fall, each by the sword of his brother – God has power over military forces.
Haggai knew the history of the nation of Israel. He is also recalled prophecy spoken by Daniel 2:34-35 and 44-45: While you were watching, a rock was cut out, but not by human hands. It struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and smashed them. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were all broken to pieces and became like chaff on a threshing floor in the summer… the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed, nor will it be left to another people.
Revelation 16:16-18 Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon. The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!” Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since mankind has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. (Revelation 19:11-21)
Zechariah 12:2-9 I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations.
God tells Zerubbabel: I will take you and I will make you.
God desires special servants to carry out his will.
Servants that have the right attitude, timing, and power.
In one of my favorite movie series, Back to the Future, Marty McFly picks up a sports scores book while visiting the future in movie number two. An old man Biff McDill sneaks into the DaLorean (an old 80’s car) and takes the book back to the 60’s to himself. Biff having the book, uses it to bet on every game, race and sporting event. Knowing the outcomes helps him build his evil empire. Having the score book gives us an advantage. We have the score book for all of history. God is going to make things right. Battles will be fought and there will be casualties. Satan may seem to be gaining ground and look like he’s winning but he will not have the victory. God will win in the end.
For such a time as this we are here. Act NOW don’t wait. In the last 20 years in Korea, God has brought more people to Jesus as Savior than in the generation before. We could say that about Africa as well. We may think God no longer cares about the United States. It does seem that US no longer cares about God. Pray for a great awakening. Never give up, for the game is not over. And have the right attitude. Charles Swindoll said I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.
Let us have a winning attitude. Gene Hoffman said: Develop a healthy disrespect for the impossible! Let us start dreaming God size dreams; for nothing is impossible with God. It is said: your attitude determines your altitude. Fathers teach your children to dream God size dreams; not for wealth, health, or popularity but for things that are close to God’s heart. Zerubbabel must have had that kind of perspective. The man who believes he can do something is probably right, and so is the man who believes he can’t. Kenneth Hilderbrand said: Strong arms are motivated by dynamic purposes, lesser ones exist on wishes and inclinations. The most glowing successes are but reflections of an inner fire.
Zechariah 4:6 So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.
The Kingdom of God is as close today as it was then. Let us live like God is coming back soon. And lead our families in the light of His Coming.