First Baptist Church of Minneola
Heads in December: Zerubbabel's Elevation
- PO - A rat race is for rats and you are not a rat. Jesus followers who are caught up in a race to the finish look forward to a glorious end.INTRO - ILL - There are many people who I care about and want to see come to know Jesus. Several come to mind, but let me tell you about one young man.Because this message is made available by podcast and through our website, I won’t tell you his real name. Let’s just call him John Doe.John Doe and his twin brother were your typical super-cute little boys growing up. They’d visit grandma and grandpa after church; still dressed alike with with there bright white shirts and matching ties. As typical boys, they run in the yard and often needed a stern reminder not to get their church clothes dirty.They grew up surrounded by loving family, but things in their lives changed. Grandma and other loving Christian family began to pass away. They met some folks who impressed them with things like rolls of cash and loose women. As teen and later young fellows, they got involved with using drugs and began selling them. The fast and easy money along with all the excitement quickly drew them into a world that rapidly got more evil.Let me cut to today. Today the boys are grown men. Both have extensive records. Often I think about them, and often I pray God deliver them from the wickedness that engulfs them. One is not is prison, but the other, the one I want to tell you a bit more about, he is in prison.So, our John Doe. Even when doing bad things, still cared about people. Must had been difficult to care about people and destroy their lives at the same time. Today he has nothing. A prison sentence, a criminal record, and all those “friends” are not around.My thing is, I want to see him have a life. And, you know it happens all the time. Men and women leave that life and follow Jesus. Jesus gives them hope and a new start. The world will haunt them with past reminders, but knowing they have a future gets them through the difficulties.That’s kind of what I want us to see today.Your story does not need be like John Doe’s, but don’t kid yourself, the Devil want to drag you down and discourage you just like he will try to with John Doe.I don’t know when John Doe will turn his life over to Jesus, but just as his family had years ago, I’m praying God rescue and protect him. You see, praying people are why I’m hear today and that same power that protected me, protects all of you.TRANS - What can we expect this morning?EST - We will hear God tell Zerubbabel about coming times tribulation and fulfilled promises.ESS - We will discover that God was and is working firsthand in the lives of people He holds close.OST - This message will ask and give you opportunity to respond to the question, “Are you ready to go through tribulation in order to share the message of Jesus with people?”INTRO - Our message today will remind you of vv.1-9 that we’ve already discussed.The year is 520 BC and the political scene of the day did little to encourage those who returned from exile.Powerful people were entrenched, but their days were short.God planned to use his servant, the Davidic prince, Zerubbabel.Zerubbabel was chosen to be God’s executive leader in a way much like the royal signet ring was used to seal documents; I’ll explain that more in a bit.Haggai clearly communicates the correlation between commitment to God’s cause and enjoying God’s gifts.In addition, the prophet communicates that God has priorities.When people honor God by committing and prioritizing His will, He sees that the needs of His work and people are met.What does it say?Then the word of the Lord came a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, saying, “Speak to Zerubbabel governor of Judah, saying, ‘I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. ‘I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms and destroy the power of the kingdoms of the nations; and I will overthrow the chariots and their riders, and the horses and their riders will go down, everyone by the sword of another.’ ‘On that day,’ declares the Lord of hosts, ‘I will take you, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, My servant,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you,’ ” declares the Lord of hosts.What does it mean?God promises to honor and elevate Zerubbabel someday.We will begin by looking at our first of 2 big ideas God addressed in the Word this morning.Time of Tribulation vv.20-22I want to repeat something I said earlier in this series:God is bigger than earthquakes.If you recall, previously in this series we’ve already touched on the Great Tribulation.There is a time coming when God will shake the whole earth.But take courage because God is bigger than earthquakes.3 thingsHe created the universe:God made the two great lights, the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also.He controls the universeHe is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.He will consummate the universe“For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land.You say, “Pastor, we’ve already covered that.”And I say, “Yes, u r right, but its so wonderful I wanted to cover it again.”BAK - At this time Israel’s history taught them that even the most powerful enemy is shaken when God acts:The Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army with the edge of the sword before Barak; and Sisera alighted from his chariot and fled away on foot.And:When they blew 300 trumpets, the Lord set the sword of one against another even throughout the whole army; and the army fled as far as Beth-shittah toward Zererah, as far as the edge of Abel-meholah, by Tabbath.And one of the best illustrations from during the time of Saul:Then Saul and all the people who were with him rallied and came to the battle; and behold, every man’s sword was against his fellow, and there was very great confusion.The prophet Ezekiel echo this theme:“In My zeal and in My blazing wrath I declare that on that day there will surely be a great earthquake in the land of Israel. “The fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all the creeping things that creep on the earth, and all the men who are on the face of the earth will shake at My presence; the mountains also will be thrown down, the steep pathways will collapse and every wall will fall to the ground. “I will call for a sword against him on all My mountains,” declares the Lord God. “Every man’s sword will be against his brother. “With pestilence and with blood I will enter into judgment with him; and I will rain on him and on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, a torrential rain, with hailstones, fire and brimstone.God blesses those who know Him and puts fear into those who don’t; who oppose Him.Our leaders in this passage faced great opposition.Do you recall the leaders were opposed on every side?The Samaritans didn’t want them.The Jews of the land didn’t want to share with them.Political people didn’t want to loose there grip on things.But:Because the leaders did what God said, led the people despite opposition, God rewarded them.Look here:“Take silver and gold, make an ornate crown and set it on the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest.Now with Zerubbabel, God calls him His signet ring.In one way this seems to be a reversal of the judgement on Jehoiachin (he was the king at the time of the exile).“As I live,” declares the Lord, “even though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim king of Judah were a signet ring on My right hand, yet I would pull you off;King Jehoiakim rejected and now his descendant Zerubbabel affirmed.BAK - A signet ring was a very valuable item that was worn on the finger or attached to a cord and worn around the neck. It was always close to the owner and never abandoned.What does this say to us?It says that Zerubbabel is of great value to God. Also, a signet ring was used to stamp the royal seal on a document which suggests that God trusted Zerubabbel with the authority to accomplish getting His will done.Side thought, some believe Joshua and Zerubbabel together foreshadow Jesus.Jesus was God’s chose leader who recieved authority:“I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him. “And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.A lesson for us all, God delights in people who do His will and holds back blessings from those who do not obey His commands.Jesus does God’s will:Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.God is pleased with Jesus:and a voice came out of the heavens: “You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased.”God wants obedience, but has a stern word for the rebellious:Samuel said, “Has the Lord as much delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams. “For rebellion is as the sin of divination, And insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has also rejected you from being king.”The time of Great Tribulation is coming.Jesus tells us that we will have Tribulation:“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.”Regardless of when you go through, even if the Great one, through tribulation, as a follower of Jesus you have nothing to fear.LIT - The language of this passage is interesting.TRANS - TIE - The passage makes us of the first person which underscores the Lord’s direct involvement.BILL - In our next verse we’ll note that Haggai proclaims the Lord’s choice of Zerubabbel which, also, emphasizes God’s direct involvement.Together, whether during the Great Tribulation or the Glorious Millennium we see emphasis on divine initiative indicated by the use of first person speech of the Lord.This whole book is full with language of divine selection.The book looks past the horrible conditions of humanity,This book looks forward to the time of apocalyptic interruption of history signaled by God choice of His leader in Christ Jesus.During the Glorious Millennium (2:23)This point will not take as long to work through as the last one.It can’t we will run out of time and unless you’ve decided to fast this morning, I expect you want me to get you out of here to go eat.The language of v. 23 emphasizes divine selection.Words like, “I will take you,” “my servant,” and “I have chosen you.”So many words like this in so little space tells us that something unusual is being described.WORD - Words usage teaches us a lot.lāqaḥ - “to take”The Hebrew verb lāqaḥ (“to take”) is most often used in the general sense.Here it is specifically used to tell us that God is personally the One doing the choosing.The Bible is its own best commentary so lets look at how similar language is used elsewhere in the Word.‘I will take you, and you shall reign over whatever you desire, and you shall be king over Israel.The Lord uses the following words when addressing Jeroboam: “I will take you [wʾōtĕkā ʾeqqaḥ].”Do you see it yet, “I will take you” is our English translation.The Hebrew clearly communicates what God firsthand says He will do.God will “take” (ʾeqqāḥăkā) Zerubbabel.Our text is teaching us that God is choosing Zerubbabel for a special purpose in connection with what we are reading about in our passage.That means God chooses people to do highly specific things.In this series I’ve told you what God is saying to you about using your gift.God is saying “I gave you that gift and expect you to use it to do ________ with it.”Now do you suppose Zerubbabel said, “No, get out of town!” to God?TRANS - This is a good time to end and move forward to consider what all this means.What will you do in response to hearing God’s Word preached?Recall our opening challenge, “Are you ready to go through tribulation in order to share the message of Jesus with people?”Jesus said you will have tribulation.Also, Jesus said “don’t worry, I’ll get you through it.”Let me ask you, “Will you choose today to disobey God by not serving Him?”Let’s put that in a bit more of a positive question:“Is there anything more you need from God to insure you accomplish what He chose you to do?”No, than you’ve nothing to fear.If anything this book communicates is trust.God has already given this church everything needed to accomplish his will.I need you to think “build the kingdom.”More importantly:Think, “God has chosen me.”Will you give your live fully to following Jesus as Lord of your entire life starting today?(end)
1 Samuel 14:20NASB95
1 Samuel 15:22–23NASB95
1 Kings 11:37NASB95
- I Have Decided To Follow Jesus
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