Courage During the Shaking

gbradepp

“Who is left among you that saw this house in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Does it not seem like nothing in your eyes?  But now take courage, Zerubbabel (the governor of Juda), says the LORD,  and take courage, Joshua, high priest, son of Jehozadak,  And take courage, all you people of the land.”   (Haggai 2)

Haggai’s frames his call to take courage in the year 520 B.C. when the day of Yahweh is about to “shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land and all nations.”

As a kid, I used to climb up in the apple tree and shake the branches to see which apples were ripe for the picking.

God shakes the earth revealing His power and purpose.  The nations experience the opposite of Haggai’s promised courage.   In Ezekiel 26, Tyre feels the effects of God’s shaking:

In Ezekiel 26:10 the walls (impersonal) shake, to demonstrate the overwhelming strength of the invading cavalry. However, in ν 15 the coastlands (personal) shake at the sound of Tyre’s fall. That this shaking is a trembling with fear is confirmed in the following verses. Thus princes of the sea will step down, remove their robes, clothe themselves with trembling (härad),  sit on the ground, tremble and be appalled  KESSLER, J. A. The shaking of the nations: an eschatological view. Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, [s. l.], v. 30, n. 2, p. 159–166, 1987.

 The distance between God’s call for courage and the shaking of the heavens is faith. 


Jesus asks, “Who do you say that I am?”   


Thanks to an early Pentecost gift, Peter had the right answer, “Christ is God”.


When Jesus calls us, its good and bad news.   Think of Peter’s discovery that Jesus was the Christ.  His inspiration came with the discovery of God’s dangerous love.   God’s love asked Peter to take up his cross and die for Him.

That’s why it’s important to experience God at every turn.  If we don’t see Him in the mundane, we will miss Him when life turns south.


When the world shook at Gethsamane, the apostles fled in fear.  Like the recipients of Haggai, Christians today throughout the world don’t know what’s next.

Instead of saying, “I’ll believe it when I see it” agree with Ignatius, “When I believe it I will see it.”


God calls us to courage in the midst of His shaking.   Today’s Psalm offers a “how to prayer guide”  when God shakes the nations:


  1. Hope in God
  2. Praise him, my savior and my God.
  3. Vindicate us, our God,
  4. Plead our cause against an unfaithful nation.
  5. Rescue us from those who are deceitful and wicked. 
  6. We confess: You alone are God my stronghold.
  7. Send us your light and your faithful care,
        

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