Monday, September 28, 2015

He Establishes Our Hearts

"Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways." (Haggai 1: 5)

The prophet Haggai (whose name means "celebrate") exhorted the Israelites to continue rebuilding the Temple.

Why had they stopped? A royal decree, manipulated by perverse opposition, told the Israelites to stop (Ezra 4:6-21):

"Give ye now commandment to cause these men to cease, and that this city be not builded, until another commandment shall be given from me. 22Take heed now that ye fail not to do this: why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings?" (Ezra 4: 21-22)

Haggai then came forward and told the Israelites:

"Consider your ways"

The more accurate translation reads:

"And now, thus said Jehovah of Hosts, Set your heart to your ways." (YLT)

Or, establish your heart.

The first mention of "Set" speaks to God placing Adam in the Garden to take care of it:

"And the LORD God planted a garden eastward in Eden; and there he put the man whom he had formed." (Genesis  2:  8)

In this verse, the emphasis rests on what God said and did, and not man.

So, Haggai exhorted the Israelites not to consider the words of a king, but to respect the direction of the King of Kings.

Today, we are called to establish our hearts in the grace of God, and take no thought to any other doctrine:

"In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee." (Isaiah 54: 14)

and then:

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." (2 Corinthians 5: 21)

and thus

"Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein." (Hebrews 13: 9)

Let us not be concerned with evil reports from outside, but trust in the Good News of Jesus Christ, that through this Man we are justified from all things (Acts 13: 38-39)


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