to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice *
October 03, 2019 – Thursday
(On Friday – Short explanation: Have been very ill and bed-ridden since Wednesday night. Still weak, but up and about so this morning will do Thursday’s and then Friday’s Verse of the Day)
Haggai 1:12 NIV
12 Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared the Lord.
Some context would surely be useful here as the book of Haggai is only two short chapters. First, who were Zerubbabel and Joshua and the whole remnant? A bit more context reveals this was in the year 520 BC in the second year of King Darius at the end of 70 years of captivity and exile for those from Judah. The dating from King Darius was due to the fact Judah had no king, just a local governor.
The local governor, appointed by King Darius, was Zerubbabel, a prince of the house of David. Joshua’s grandfather Seraiah was the High Priest when Nebuchadnezzar had captured Jerusalem. Seraiah was executed, but his son Jehozadak was taken captive to Babylon (1 Chronicles 6:15). Now Seraiah’s grandson Joshua returns as the High Priest. The remnant were the elderly wanting to return to Judah or their children, now older adults, or their grandchildren, adults, with their families.
Turns out it was not so easy for those who had returned. For all their work the land never produced quite enough and the Lord through Haggai told them why. It was because while they were busy building their own homes they left God’s temple in ruins and that needed to change. Thus we come to the last three verses of this chapter.
13 Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave this message of the Lord to the people: “I am with you,” declares the Lord. 14 So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the Lord Almighty, their God, 15 on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month.
The second chapter show they completed the temple and the Lord was pleased. But it contained much more than that such as the lesson that health cannot be contagious while sickness can be. The lesson being careful who you hang around with as one can affect you negatively while the other can do you no harm.
God brings His people back to Judah and then shows them He is not to take second place in their lives. Instead as they are restored, He is to be restored to His rightful place in their lives as in our own.
(to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice)
* Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)