Wednesday, September 26, 2007

shaking things up a little

Next week, I will finish a sermon series in the book of Haggai. In verses 2:20-23, God guarantees Zerubbabel, the political leader of His people, that he will one day shake the heavens and the earth, overthrow rulers and establish His Kingdom without contest. Tiffany is reading a great book, Epicenter [Joel Rosenberg], that looks at current political affairs and connects them to specific Bible prophecies such as Haggai's revelation. Rosenberg isn't a sensationalist. His global views are my wife says. Everyone believes (or at least wishes) that they were living in the last days. How I long for Jesus' glorious return! I shake just thinking about it...


Brandon Mitts said...

God's is an awesome thing to be a part of! I do believe in democracy and I believe everyone should do their part in choosing leaders for our country. However, I do not believe politics or any polictical party or any politician is "the answer" to life's problems.

I have hope and confidence in Christ and His Kingdom politics. Pointing fingers at liberals and conservatives won't accomplish anything. But seeking to pick up your cross daily, live sacrificially, and play a part in "Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be done" is a blessed opportunity to make a real change.

Jeff said...

This passage has very little to do with future events. This is NOT a passage about God coming back. It is a passage about our coming to God. See also Zechariah 1:3 "Therefore tell the people: This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Return to me,' declares the LORD Almighty, 'and I will return to you,' says the LORD Almighty." Note the same time frame and the same Darius used to measure it.

David Daniels said...

Nice connection Jeff. However, the references in v. 2:6 and numerous NT references, combined with the restoration of the Davidic Covenant (surrendered under Jehoichin 2 generations earlier; cf. Jeremiah 22:2) lead me to undertsand this passage in light of the coming of Christ.

Jeff said...

Okay. Let me word this differently. Would it not also be true of the events you describe of the coming Christ when we come close to God? Sure, when Christ comes, things get shaken up. Is that not also true when we come to God? To me this passage is more a issue of the peoples nearness to God rather than his impending coming. I mean forgot all the covenants for a moment. Look at the purpose of any of them. They were to bring man near to God.

Brandon Mitts said...

David, you had me at 'Jehoichin'.

Isn't it to be understood that the priests and the prophets and the people of the Old Testament really did not envision these prophesies within a Christ context?

HOwever, when I read OT proclamtions such as this...I apply my knowledge of the "rest of the story" and follow the scarlet thread to Christ. Is this appropriate?


David Daniels said...

Brandon, I believe you are right no.

Jeff, I still respectfully disagree with you. If I read the text first in its literal meaning, I conclude that God is speaking about a historical even, still future, for the people of Israel. As I study the Bible, I must be very careful not to quickly spiritualize passages that are intended to be taken literally. Now, to your point, I can conclude that, because God was re-instating His covenant blessing to His people, we get to enjoy the blessings of nearness. But, the "shaking" isn't spiritual...a metaphor. It's real. That's my take.

jeff said...


You have made a grammatical error in your response. It is very dangerous to use the term "literal" and "meaning" back to back. Literal is what the text actually says in Hebrew. Meaning reflects intention, purpose, or significance. This is elusive enough to baffle even Solomon in his old age (see his quest for meaning in Ecc.) Do not fall into the trap of thinking God sees things as past or present. Things are eternally before Him. Even Einstein was clever enough to figure out that at the speed of light (God's speed) there is no time (see his theory of relativity). I say this because His word is eternally true and contains no entrapments of past or present. Time was made to contain evil, not to contain God's word. God's word transcends time.

David Daniels said...

Thanks for writing and....once again....I respectfully disagree with the shapr lines you draw. In ragrds to using "literal menaing" back to back, I will gladly side with theologians such as Grant Osborne, D.A. Carson and Elliott Johnson who have freeused the two terms together to speak of the literal "sense" of the passage.

Regarding time, I DO agree with tyou that God is not bound by time. But He does accomodate Himself in Time. If you have any doubt, check out the incarnation which took place in specific hours and years.

So as to to not rabbit-trail off ofg the original discussion: I cannot spiritualize Haggai any more than I can spiritualize any of the other prophecies of the OT. True, they do have a spiritual benefit and application to me. But, I muist be very careful not to undo the meaning of the text to its original hearers.

Good discussion.