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Episode 608 · 2 months ago
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Episode 608 · 2 months ago
A Signet King (Hg 2:20-23)
ABOUT THIS EPISODE
ME. Let's turn to God's Word and Hagi, Hagai Chapter two. This is the second time the Lord speaks to his prophet gives him a word to speak on this day. It is a word that is of great encouragement to us. Let's give our attention to God's word. Hagi Chapter Two, Verses Twenty through twenty three. The word of the Lord came a second time to Hagi on the twenty four day of the month. Speak to cerebel Zerebebel, governor of Judah, saying I am about to shake the heavens and the earth and to overthrow the throne of kingdoms. I am about to destroy the strength of the Kingdoms of the nations and overthrow the chariots and their riders, and the horses and their riders shall go down. Everyone by the sword of his brother on that day, declares the Lord of hosts. I will take you, who os a rebel, my servant, the son of Sheltiel, declares the Lord, and make you like a signant ring, for I have chosen you. Declares the Lord of hosts. Amen. You may be seen in the genealogies, in the gospels, for them, in Matthew and Luke's Rebebel is mentioned as one of the great ancestors of our Lord, Jesus Christ. He is part of the family history, which is to say he's part of our family history. He's a father in the faith. He is one who has come before us. He is part of this great history of people and the Lord is used to accomplish his purposes in our world, in our lives, in your life, and even until the very end of the world, when all of these things that are promised here, I'm come to completion and consummation. Family Histories can tell you a lot right you can learn about your own family. We like to study our own geneology. You sometime, I'm or if we show up at a family reunion, we look at other people and we say, these people look kind of like me. And even if you're in a family that perhaps you've been an adopted to and you don't look like the others, it's still is so meaningful to know the people who are part of your story. Whether it's genetics or not, we have been adopted into the family of God. We have been brought into a promises through his son, good things and this word in Haggi, this prophecy that comes to Zarebabile is part of our story. It's part of the story that God has been developing and progressing and and accomplishing ever since the beginning of the world. And what ultimately is revealed to us, what Jesus reveals to us here, is the certainty of his kingdom and our election in him. He reveals these...
...things to us here so that we wouldn't be afraid when things shake and things shaken our world, when things shake in our lives, and when things shake on the last day, when the Lord Jesus Returns, he tells us what he tells us here, so that we wouldn't be afraid, but so instead we would trust in him and give God our phrase. So what does he say? Well, the Prophet, the word of the Lord, comes to Hagi on this twenty four day of the month, and he comes and he speaks to ze rebel, the governor of Judah, the son of Shealtiall, as we have heard his name several times throughout this book, you'll remember he's one of those who came from a came with the other exiles back by order of Cyrus, into the promised lamb, come back and called to lead these people in in rebuilding the temple. You remember that they've faced difficulty, they've struggled. The enemies around them have pressed upon them, there have been plots, there have been all kinds of things that have caused them to want to give up, and for a time they did. God is calling them back to continue the work. You remember, back in the beginning, he says you live and paneled houses. Well, my house remains unfinished. So now he speaks in particular to the leader, one of the leaders of these people, the governor of Judah. And what does he say? He says two things. He gives him a word that speaks of shaking and a word that speaks of blessing. First, the word of shaking. What does he say? He says, I am about to shake the heavens and the earth. This reminds us that this is no small shaking, as God understands. What he is about to do, as God tells us and wants us to understand what he is about to do, is is going to happen on a large scale, a cosmic scale, a creation level scale. This is not some small local conflict, but this shaking of the heavens and the earth indicates some kind of creation wide judgment, a judgment that will happen even in both realms, heaven and earth. This could refer both to all of the world skies and seas, or could refer, as I think it does, to the spiritual realm as well as of the earthly realm. God being the one who made both of these realms in the beginning of the world, making the heavens and the earth, he will now shake both of them. Charles Feinberg, and Old Testament scholar, points out the universal judgment of the Lord, not just in heavens and earth, but in the word throne. Maybe you notice this. In Verse Twenty Two. God says he's going to overthrow the throne of the kingdoms. Fineberg says, and I think he rightly concludes, that this is because God sees the world system of kingdoms ultimately is as one the powers of this world, the things that is world and and ultimately those under Satan himself who will be overthrown. This world constantly prides itself on building and achieving. We measure these things. We measure success by wealth, by power, by strength of armies, by number of munitions, by political cloud, by heritage, by skill, all kinds of things which do provide a measure of success in the world. You can build the Tower of Babel, but...
...it only goes so high before judgment comes and before God shows us that ultimately it's it's not about the things that we build and our strength and our pride, that's about him, that the things of this world, even the best things of this world, are not good enough to earn us a place in heaven. They don't even begin to compare to the new heavens and the new earth that God is giving to us in Christ, the Kingdom of Heaven that is not of this world, that is unshakable. This is what God gives to us in revelation fifteen. We hear this. Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet and there were loud Voices in heaven saying the Kingdom of this world has become the Kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, that he shall reign forever. Amazing word, a word of confidence, a word of glory and a word that is completely and entirely a found in the name Jesus Christ. These things are not just promisided at the end here that we see them promisied, prophesied, promiside. That's a good word and I keep using that. In the Old Testament Iszekiel, thirtsand eight hundred and twenty one, I will summon a sword against God and on my mountains, declares the Lord God, every man's sword will it be against his brother Zachariah, f thirteen, fourteen thirteen. And on that day a great panic from the Lord shall fall upon them, so that each will seize the hand of another and the hand of the one will be raised against the hand of another. If you've been with with us as we've been going through Ezekiel in the evenings, you know that there are these images that God uses and where God particts, picks Particular Kingdoms and he shows how their downfall will be their pride, not just their internal pride, but the expressions of their pride. Tire, for example, he compares to this great ship he he thinks about he compares this great kingdom and he and all of their sea activity, at all their water based economic mad power, and he says indeed, this this kingdom, is very great, but that ship Sanks, sinks. It's kind of like the titanic right in our own previous century. Right, the ship that can never sing, named after the Gods, right the titans, it goes out on the waters and then down it went. Man Often, always in his sinfulness, putting pride in himself and his accomplishments, in the things that he can do. And they work for a time, they bring success and blessing for a time, but they do not bring the ultimate blessings of the Lord. And when we trust in them, when we put our hopes in them, God will bring them to an end. And so here the way of this expressed is man against man, which is maybe the ultimate expression of this. Instead of mankind assembling together the throne, singular throne of all the kingdoms, and rising up as one unified power, what happens conflict? Man does not join together in some kind of great utopia that then becomes this divine nation. No, brother against brother, man against man, and this is how they die, a great shaking of the ovens and the earth. And this is exactly what...
Haggi is pointing to, as well what the other prophets point to, which on reveals also in revelation. The strength of this world will be its own undoing and we cannot put our trust in it. However, a second thing will happen, a blessing, a blessing that comes to this king, despite the shaking of the kings and the Kingdom's God has chosen this man to stand, Zerebebel, governor of Judah, son of Shell Teel, despite the shaking of the kings and the kingdoms, the Lord of hosts, the one who is the captain of the Great Angelic Armies, he will cause this man to stand, and we know more than just as a rebebel, those who are under him in Judah and the Kingdom of God. And remember, is a Rebebel as a governor. And that sounds important, but not from the perspective of everybody, maybe not even from the perspective of Zarebebel. He is a governor under the King of Persia. This is a this is a province in some way, of a of a great empire. He owes authority to those who are are higher than him. But what does the word of God say here about him? How is a rebebel supposed to think about himself? He is supposed to understand himself, though, a governor of Judah, as something much higher, as though one who rules within the empire of Persia. He is to consider himself as one who is like a signet ring of God the king. A signet ring was a tool, an item that was used to give honor, often, I'm an authority, to those who bear it, or it in particularly revealed and marked that a person was representing, or had was representing the name of someone else. It marked that they had received this thing from someone who gave it to them. Now there is a place in the Bible where a signet ring comes up and it's very interesting in light of this passage, and I think it will cause us to praise God. Zerubbabel is the governor of Judah. As the son of she altiol, he comes from the tribe of Judah, and this tribe of Judah's of course, named after the fourth son of Jacob Judah, and Judah, the namesake of this governor of this tribe of this land, got himself in a bunch of trouble one time all around a signet ring, not all around in signering involving a signet ring. He was traveling one time and he saw a woman by the side of the road, her and he goes to her and he says I'll give you a I think it was a goat or and she says, I don't want that, I want your ring, I want your signet ring, I want your staff, and he gives it to her. And as a promise, and there will something come later. Here's what genesis thirty eight eighteen says. What, what pledge shall I give to you that this other thing will come? And she replies, your signet and your cord and your staff, that is in your hand. So he gave them to her and went into her and she conceived by him. Well, as it turns out, this woman was not just any woman. It was his daughterinlaw, a daughter in law who he was not treating well and who concocted this plan so that she could conceive of this child. And it worked and ultimately he was exposed. He she is. She, her name is Tamar. Perhaps you know...
...the story. She's brought out for illegitimately conceiving this child. A penalty is about to happen and then she reveals, by way of the SIGNET, the cord the staff, who's the child was. It was Judas. Judah says her righteousness is more than mine. Judah is a shamed Judah sees his sin, he sees the way in which he has he has done wrong and he is openly and publicly embarrassed and all of these these things happen and they're recorded there in scripture of Judah, of Judah. But of course that's not the end of the story, and what we see is that God uses these events. He uses these events to bring about children who eventually are the child who is eventually the father of Sheltiel, who's the father of a rebel who is one of the grandfathers of Christ. God through this sin, he redeems it and he brings good out of evil. Where Judah passed this signet ring on in sin and in a sinful moment, God then takes his grandchildren and turns them into a signet ring, a mark of God's own authority, a mark in which God is not doing evil, but massive amounts of good, of redemption, of salvation, of healing and even the forgiveness of sins. It's a mark in a way. It's a sign, in a way, of God's turning things around, another example of him using these dark marks in family histories and turning them into into things that he brings blessings out of ultimately, is a rebel is a sign, another sign, and many of them God's, many signs of God's work in the world, a sign that, despite the shaking of the Kingdoms, God's kingdom will stand. And how will we know? Well, look at Zerebebel, look at Judah. And why is that volt of as we come to the end of this passage, why is the rebel will chosen? He's chosen, because he's chosen. He's chosen because the Lord has chosen him. God does not tells a rebel, look at all of your great accomplishments, your leadership has been fantastic. Ever since you've gotten back. It hasn't been. He doesn't tell as a rebel. Well, you've come from this great line of people who've done all these excellent things, many of the people in Judah's line and complete failures. No, he says, you can have confidence in these things, for I have chosen you. That's it. In other words, God takes his confidence, which is perhaps in his power and his strength and his paneled houses in this city, perhaps his PA. His confidence is in his over Lord in Persia. Perhaps his confidence is in making sure nobody's mad with him on the other sides, and God says. Enough of that, none of that. Put your confidence in me. Do not be afraid when the shaking of the NASANS come, come, because you are my servant, I have chosen you and I have made you like a signet ring. So when Zerebebel gets nervous, what should he say to himself? He should say I'm okay, because I have been chosen by God. I will serve God, because I have chosen, been chosen by God. His election by God points up both to the object of his faith, his Lord, and the reason for his obedience his Lord.
Because of his election, God will be his everything at all times, even when Judah, even when Zerebebel doesn't remember it and beloved. The same is true for us as believers. We are those who have been chosen by God, elected by him. Our certainty lies, therefore, not in ourselves, not in the kingdoms of this world, not in our own righteousness, but in him and his choosing. Our faith in Jesus will not put us to shame, because he's the fulfillment of all of these promises and these prophecies, going even further back than we've already gone, going back to when Judah received a blessing and it was promised that through Judah, he would rule over his people. Or listen to Isaiah, for unto us, a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder. His name shall be wonderful counselor mighty God, everlasting father, Prince of peace, of the increase of his government and of peace. There shall be no end on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness. From this time forth and forevermore, the zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this. Going back to Adam, even when God promised to Adam and Eve a seed, a son who would come and conquer, conquersate, I'm going to Abraham, when he promised to see that would be preserved, that would come and be a blessing to all of the nations of the world, this seed that would rule would be a son of Abraham, a son of David, a son of Judah, a son of Sheltiel, a son of Zarebabel, and he came. He came. When we get into the genealogies that I mentioned, at the beginning, in Luke, for example, and Matthew, we read that Jesus is a son of Judah, that he was from the house in the family of David, and this son of David who came to to bring all things into the consummation thell. That's what exactly that's exactly what he did. It's like God just won't stop. It's it's as if he just won't give up. It's as though he makes these promises in his zeal is so zealous and his power is so mighty and his graciousness is so good that he just keeps going and going and going until he accomplishes his end, despite our sinful plans, despite our fears, despite the powers of this world and Satan doing everything he can to undo and break the bonds between the Lord and his anointed one, between the Lord and his anointed people, between God and the those whom he has called according to his purpose. But nothing stops our Lord, nothing stops his zeal. He keeps going and going, even though the world rejects King Jesus, hangs him on across shames him, even though the leaders and the nations would despise him, the leaders of Israel, even the nations of the world, the empire at that time Rome, though they hung him on across though they shamed him and put fear into all his disciples that ran and went into hiding for fear of the Jews, none of us would stop the Lord from doing his work. And we know that, don't we?...
Jesus, our King, the King of Judah, the lion of Judah, the son of Zerebebel, the Chosen One of God. He rose from the dead and he empowered and he commissioned those who were formerly afraid to go and spread this good news of his kingship throughout the world. Jesus then ascended into heaven and now reigns. He poured out his spirit on us and is now shaking the world. He shakes loose our sins, he shakes loose our false idols, are guilt, our shame, so that we rise up as those who have been released from prison, so that we can walk freely and the power of his good news, Jesus bringing many sons into his glory and this work that he has begun, that we see as you look around at your brothers and sisters among you around you. This is a work that he will bring to completion. Of course he will. This is God we're talking about. This is our Lord, who has done all of these things for thousands of years and will not stop until it is all accomplished in his perfect, perfect timing, this work that he completes on this cosmic scale of the heavens and the earth and on the individual scale of your heart and your body, which he promises, will rise from the dead into the glory of the Kingdom of God. Just before the passage we read in Romans Eight, thirty one through thirty four, there's this verse, and those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified. You know all this, God is revealing to us the absolute certainty of his kingdom and of our election in him, all of which belongs to US simply by receiving it and resting in it, by giving our sins to God and receiving all of his blessings in Christ. John Calvin wrights this, for whenever impediments and difficulties come in our way, calculated an interesting word that he uses, their calculated to drive us to despair when we think of the restoration of the church. This prophecy here in how I ought to come to our minds, which shows us that it is in God's power and that it is in his purpose to overtonne overturn all the kingdoms of the earth, to break chariots and pieces, to cast down and lay prostrate all writers, rather than to allow them to prevent the restoration of his church. Jesus is revealing this good news to us today so that we have strength and confidence in him. When our world shakes, when the world shakes, when your individual personal world shakes, or the little world for the ground shakes under your feet and earthquake, or when the whole heavens and the earth seem to be falling down around you, know that we have a kingdom and an unshakable king that will last forever, chosen by God, even God himself, the Lord of hosts, our Savior. Let's pray.
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