October 1, 2012
Online Journal - Haggai's Law
Janice Harford, Principal, Okanagan Adventist Academy, Kelowna, BC

“Attempt something so great for God, it’s doomed to failure unless God be in it.” (Haggai’s Law)  Driving to school one morning I noticed this quote on a church sign, prompting me to study the book of Haggai to see if there was any connection. 
 
Haggai tells the story of the  time in Israel’s history when they had returned from exile and had begun to rebuild the temple.  However, they had become discouraged with the taunting of their enemies and given up.  Instead, they chose to focus on themselves and the building of their own homes.  This is where Haggai enters the picture and attempts to stir them to complete the work of rebuilding the temple.
 
He says, ““Is it a time for you, yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies in ruins?” (1:4) Haggai’s words motivated the people and they once again began the work of rebuilding the temple. (1:14)
 
But they soon grew discouraged again because their work would not be able to restore the temple to former glory. Once again Haggai encourages them with words from God.
          “Be strong.  . . .   I Am with you.” (2:4)
          “I will shake all nations and what is desired by all nations will come, and I WILL fill this house with glory. (2:7)
          “The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house. … in this place I will grant peace.” (2:9)
 
These verses are referring to Jesus – The Desire of all Ages – who taught and healed in that very temple.  This temple was to be arrayed with more than gold and silver – it would house the very Treasure of Heaven. 
 
Haggai closes with a second message from God to Zurubbabel: “I will make you like a signet ring – for I have chosen you.’  (2:23)  A signet ring provides evidence of royal authority and ownership.  The Lord set His authentic impression upon the world through His royal representatives – you and me.  “God will not suffer one of His truehearted workers to be left alone to struggle against great odds and be overcome.  He preserves as a precious jewel everyone whose life is hid with Christ in God.  Of every such an one He says ’I will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee.’” (7T67) Interestingly enough a ring doesn’t move on its own but only as the hand it is on moves.  If we are God’s signet ring – then we are His hand moving us to do His bidding.
 
Ephesians 1:3-11 drives home the thought that we are not building a physical temple but in our own life we have the privilege to ‘house’ the Desire of all Ages.  He desires to be one with us.  He has lavished his grace on us (vs8) for His purpose (9) to unite us all in Him (10).  I believe that is why we are told to lift Jesus up so that all may be drawn to Him. (John 12:32)
 
“Our values and priorities are reflected in how we use our resources – time, money, strength and talent.  … Haggai is a small book that is filled with challenge and promise, reminding us of God’s claim on our lives and our priorities.”  Life Application Bible
 
The quote “Attempt something so great for God, it’s doomed to failure unless God be in it”  grabbed my attention because I want to God to do great things for OKAA and restore it to what it once was.  I wanted to know how to tap into the power of Godbut, like the Israelites of old, I could only see what was in front of me, not the greater picture that God was envisioned.  I learned that the greatest thing we can attempt is unity and according to Haggai’s Law – unless God is in it (us) we are doomed to failure. 
 
So my dream now is - that we, (church, school and home) in our communities can work as one – supporting and encouraging one another and by our love, show that we are Christians, and build up the church of Christ. It’s not a time for us to be taking care of ourselves but working to  build up  God’s temple – His people.  It’s too easy to break away and give up on God’s people and take care of our own spiritual needs.  Let’s not be discouraged, and instead of looking back at what once was (or how we want things to be). Let’s believe that God has a greater church to build – by the presence of the Living Christ – the treasure of heaven living in us.  The more we pull together the greater impact we will have.  Only then can we become what God wants us to be – a city on a hill – a light in the world to draw attention to the Desire of all Ages – Jesus.