Archive for March, 2009

Step One to Step Twelve

Zechariah 8 continues to answer the inquiry made at the beginning of chapter 7 of whether or not we should continue to remember the sins of our past that took us into a 70-year captivity! You just gotta love this chapter!

Truth and Love Must Prevail

The Lord declares that His passionate love for Israel has not diminished.
A series of sayings of the Lord assures His people that they are the objects of His love. The hard-heartedness of their fathers in 7:11-14 has not swayed the Lord from His commitment to Jerusalem and her people.
Zechariah describes at length the prosperity awaiting the chosen city. The Lord had returned to dwell there (and where ever the Lord is there is freedom and transformation), and the old men and women who were at the end of life should join with happy boys and girls who were at the beginning in the enjoyment of the blessings of peace. 
So entirely would the memory of the past be obliterated that fateful anniversaries would soon fade from their minds. Indeed they would discover that their dark days had been the source and origin of their glad ones.
One last thought from Dr. James Boice regarding the last verse:
“We are all clinging to the seamless robe of that one Jew, Jesus of Nazareth, who because of His work on the cross is the only basis on which anyone may approach God and entreat Him for spiritual blessings.” 
Lord, we are so thankful that you can even redeem our poor choices and use them for good. It takes no great God to use good people who always makes the right choices. But what a marvellously gracious and powerful God You are, that can take rebels, self-willed, constantly-finding-trouble, children and use them to minister to others. 

I pray for all those who trapped by addictions and are working the 12 step program. Let them discover how You can turn their powerlessness into a care and compassion and ministry to others. 

We pray for those who meet at St. Philip’s for AA, and that anyone in the Bright Zone who struggles with powerlessness, that they would come and see Your transforming power in their lives. I pray that if the Harrington’s are experiencing any captivity or bondage, that You will be their Savior and Deliverer! Amen
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Focusing on Past Sins tends towards Self-indulgence

Zechariah 7 starts off with a delegation being sent, apparently from Babylon to Jerusalem with, of all things, a question about fasting. At this point, the temple was somewhere around halfway completed.
There are seven feasts that the Jews observed during their captivity, four of which recalled the destruction of the temple and their captivity:
  • 1) First enclosure of Jerusalem by the enemies’ lines
  • 4) the capture of the city
  • 5) destruction by fire of the Temple
  • 7) murder of Gedaliah.
The national life was depressed by this constant memory of disaster. These men knew that during their forced exile in Babylon they observed these feasts that remembered the tragic fall of Jerusalem. 
But now since God’s people were back in the land and the temple was nearly rebuilt, they wanted to know if it was appropriate to continue to these fasts of mournful remembrance.
(The matter brings up an issue relevant today: How long should we remember and mourn over our past? Should we do things to remember either our sin or the tragedies of the past?)
So representatives were sent to ask the views of the leaders. 
The delegation is not answered directly. Instead a word from God comes to Zechariah “to all the people of the land to the priests” (4). 
What is the purpose of their fasting? Is it really for the Lord? Or is it an expression of their own needs, like eating and drinking? Fasting must not be motivated by self-interest but by concern for the glory of God (4-7).
(This also shows us that when we cling to the memory of sin or tragedy in the past, we often do it out of simple self-indulgence. We do it for our self, not for the Lord.

Instead of actively remembering the sin or tragedy of the past, God wants us to focus on active obedience and an active walk with Him. 

“There is no need to observe the sad anniversaries of our sins and their accompanying punishment, if once we are assured of God’s free forgiveness. When He forgives and restores, the need for dwelling on the bitter past is over . . . Too many of us are always dwelling beside the graves of the dead past.” (Meyer))

Then in a second word from God, Zechariah calls on Israel to recognize the basic issue facing them. God’s real concern, as shown in the history of Judah before her fall, is that His people “administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another.” 
What God wants is that they “do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the stranger or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of one another.” (9-10) Some among the people of God found it easier to fast a few days a year instead of truly treating others in a godly way. 
The issue is not fasts, but the willingness of this people to commit to a life that pleases God.
Interesting progression is mentioned in verses 11-12:

Refused to heed . . . shrugged their shoulders . . . stopped their ears . . . made their hearts like flint: 

Zechariah vividly describes a progression of rejection. It begins with simply refusing to heed God, then a self-justifying shrugging of their shoulders, then stopping their hears. It all ends with hearts as hard as flint.
Their disobedience and disregard for God led to scattering and desolation. This is always our fate when we allow religious rituals to take the place of a real relationship with God.
Lord Jesus, we hunger for a real relationship. Deliver us, or prevent us, from being ensnared by activities, rituals and past sins. We want to focus on You and Your word for us. 

You say You have a plan and a future for us, one of hope and brightness. Because You have cleansed us and forgiven us, help us to focus on You and strive towards the goal of this bright vision. I pray this for us as individuals, and also for us as a church. May we walk in obedience by showing mercy and compassion especially to the people in the Bright Zone.

May the Harringtons be recipients of Your mercy and grace through us. And if they be anywhere in this progression of rejection, that You would intervene and soften their hearts to You. Thank You for Your guidance, love and deliverance. Amen.

Prophet, Priest, King and All Good Things!

In chapter 6, Zechariah concludes with the eighth vision and then gives a glimpse of brighter things to come.

The Vision of the Chariots
This is a vision of protection and deliverance. Four chariots issue from the mountains around Jerusalem (Perhaps Mt. Zion & Mt of Olives). 
The colors of the mountains indicate judgement as well as the colors of the horses commissioned to execute against judgement against the nations. We see these steeds (or similar ones) again in Revelation 6!
“In the usual Scriptural symbolism red speaks of warblack of famine and deathwhite of victory, and grizzled ofpestilence (Ezekiel 14:21; Revelation 6:18).” (Luck)
Father, allow us to be messengers of Your grace and love. That because of our sharing of free grace of Jesus Christ there would be no need for the four horses of judgement to be dispatched! Help us to think radically like that, especially as we minister to the Bright Zone…what if everyone who lives in the Bright Zone were to have a loving relationship with You? Grant us vision and zeal, O Lord! Amen!
The Priest Crowned King
Note the closing incident, which foreshadowed the union of the offices of priesthood and kingship in the person of our Lord. 
According to Zechariah 3:8, Joshua stands symbolically in these visions “for things to come,” and especially for the promised Branch (Messiah). 
The picture is one of a union between the office of priest and that of king in a single individual. When He comes to “be a priest on His throne,” the final and true temple of the Lord will be erected.
The uniqueness and unusualness of this dual office is clearly told in 2 Chronicles 26 which tells the tragic story of King Uzziah who tried to function as a priest, and was stricken with leprosy to the end of his life. Through the history of Israel God commanded a separation between the religious and the civil leadership of Israel.
Taking the meaning of the names:
  • Heldai means robust
  • Tobijah means God’s goodness, and 
  • Jedaiah means God knows
J. Vernon McGee sees the intention that “God knows that through His goodness, He will put His king on the throne, and He will do it in a robust manner.”
We already saw this Branch in Zechariah 3:8, and it is a familiar title for the Messiah (Isaiah 4:2 and 11:1, Jeremiah 23:5 and 33:15). 
The Branch is associated with fruitfulness and life. Jesus used the same image when He said that He was the vine and we are the branches (John 15:5).
Behold, the Man: “In the Hebrew text the prophecy begins ‘Behold the Man,’ the very words Pilate used to present the beaten Christ to the people of Jerusalem: ‘Ecce homo!’ “ (Boice) 
But in Zechariah’s vision it isn’t the humiliated Jesus we are asked to behold, it is the triumphant Jesus. 
Jesus shall build the temple of the Lord: The Branch will rebuild the temple – not the same temple Zerubbabel worked on, but the temple of His people (Ephesians 2:19-22, 1 Peter 2:5).

Jehovah Tsidkenu, The Lord our Righteousness, thank You for being for us our Prophet, Priest and King. You are all things to us. Help us to look to You to fill every capacity in our lives. There is no void You cannot fill! I pray Lord that every member of St. Philip’s will discover more of who You are and bask in the wonder of it all. And then joyfully share it with others. Grant us uncommon grace during these troubling times. In Jesus’ name, Amen!


Join all the glorious names
Of wisdom, love, and power,
That ever mortals knew,
That angels ever bore:
All are too mean to speak His worth,
To poor to set my Savior forth.

Great Prophet of my God,
My tongue would bless Thy Name,
By Thee the joyful news
Of our salvation came,
The joyful news of sin forgiv’n
Of hell subdued, and peace with Heav’n.

Jesus, my great High Priest,
Offered His blood, and died;
My guilty conscience seeks
No sacrifice beside:
His powerful blood did once atone,
And now it pleads before the throne.

My dear almighty Lord,
My Conqueror and my King,
Thy scepter and Thy sword,
Thy reigning grace I sing:
Thine is the power; behold I sit
In willing bonds beneath Thy feet.

Now let my soul arise,
And tread the tempter down;
My Captain leads me forth
To conquest and a crown:
A feeble saint shall win the day,
Though death and hell obstruct the way.

Sin Purged

Zechariah gives us two more of his visions in chapter 5, visions 6 & 7.

Zechariah 5:1-7
The Vision of the Flying Roll

This huge sheet of parchment, 30′ x 15′, was covered with the solemn curses of the Law, 

  1. on one side against the thief and 
  2. on the other against false swearing. 
These two sins may have prevelant in this young community or it could just be a way of noting the Ten Commandments, one from each side of the tablets. For 
  1. to steal was to injure your neighbor
  2. to perjure was to dishonor God, because you had sworn in his name. 

Lord, keep St. Philip’s pure and truthful, a generous giver, never accused of stealing or deceptive behavior. Keep the church above reproach especially as it strives to raise money to impact the lives of people in the Bright Zone. 

Just an FYI: The dimensions of the holy place in the tabernacle and of the porch of Solomon’s temple was 30′ x 15′.

Zechariah 5:5-11
The Vision of the Basket


The woman, the basket, and the weight are associated with wickedness. They personify greed, materialism, and dishonesty for profit. Zechariah prophesied to those who returned from the Babylonian exile. God’s people came back from Babylon with a materialism problem, and this vision speaks to this problem.
Zechariah sees this personification of wicked materialism being locked into a large container used to measure out grain, and carried away back to Babylon by two angels. Earlier God’s people had been carried captive to Babylon because of their wickedness. 
In the future God will separate His people from evil, and it is evil that is taken captive and sent far away into exile.

Lord Jesus, how infiltrating these sins can be, as we disguise them with terms like stewardship, blessings and shrewd dealings. Protect us from ourselves and our selfishness. Help to be giving and living Beyond Ourselves. I pray you will protect the Harringtons from being taken up with these worry-produced, joy-robbing vices but rather lead them to You. Oh to fall headlong in love with You! Amen.

Just an FYI: This portion is the only place, I think, that we find any idea of female angels!

…But By My Spirit!

Zechariah 4

Not by Might (collective strength)
Not by Power (individual strength)
But by My Spirit, saith the Lord (God’s strength)!
Zerubabbel had faltered in the great work of reconstrcution and had practically lost heart. Here he is encouraged to renew his efforts and persevere until the task is finished. 
He might be weak and worn, but none of his deficiencies could hinder him from finishing his lifework, if only his spirit was kindled with divine fire and fed by the grace of the Holy Spirit! 
Let us never despise the days of small things, for from them God can build the great!

FYI: Just a note I once saw, as to why the oil is a good picture of the Spirit:
  • Oil lubricates when used for that purpose – there is little friction and wear among those who are lubricated by the Spirit of God
  • Oil heals and was used as a medicinal treatment in Biblical times (Luke 10:34) – the Spirit of God brings healing and restoration
  • Oil lights when it is burned in a lamp – where the Spirit of God is there is light
  • Oil warms when it is used as fuel for a flame – where the Spirit of God is there is warmth and comfort
  • Oil invigorates when used to massage – the Holy Spirit invigorates us for His service
  • Oil adorns when applied as a perfume – the Holy Spirit adorns us and makes us more pleasant to be around
  • Oil polishes when used to shine metal – the Holy Spirit wipes away our grime and smoothes out our rough edges

Lord Jesus, we definitely want to be a people energized and fueled by the Spirit of God. You mention the work of two anointed ones in this chapter that stand to serve You. I pray that St. Philip’s would plug into the power of Your Spirit and also be as one of the two anointed ones (olive trees) ministering to others. 

Bless the efforts in the Bright Zone, and with those who are unemployed (that You would be their joy), and especially for the Harrington family. The whatever situation they are in, that it would drive them to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

…But By My Spirit!

Zechariah 4

Not by Might (collective strength)
Not by Power (individual strength)
But by My Spirit, saith the Lord (God’s strength)!
Zerubabbel had faltered in the great work of reconstrcution and had practically lost heart. Here he is encouraged to renew his efforts and persevere until the task is finished. 
He might be weak and worn, but none of his deficiencies could hinder him from finishing his lifework, if only his spirit was kindled with divine fire and fed by the grace of the Holy Spirit! 
Let us never despise the days of small things, for from them God can build the great!

FYI: Just a note I once saw, as to why the oil is a good picture of the Spirit:
  • Oil lubricates when used for that purpose – there is little friction and wear among those who are lubricated by the Spirit of God
  • Oil heals and was used as a medicinal treatment in Biblical times (Luke 10:34) – the Spirit of God brings healing and restoration
  • Oil lights when it is burned in a lamp – where the Spirit of God is there is light
  • Oil warms when it is used as fuel for a flame – where the Spirit of God is there is warmth and comfort
  • Oil invigorates when used to massage – the Holy Spirit invigorates us for His service
  • Oil adorns when applied as a perfume – the Holy Spirit adorns us and makes us more pleasant to be around
  • Oil polishes when used to shine metal – the Holy Spirit wipes away our grime and smoothes out our rough edges

Lord Jesus, we definitely want to be a people energized and fueled by the Spirit of God. You mention the work of two anointed ones in this chapter that stand to serve You. I pray that St. Philip’s would plug into the power of Your Spirit and also be as one of the two anointed ones (olive trees) ministering to others. 

Bless the efforts in the Bright Zone, and with those who are unemployed (that You would be their joy), and especially for the Harrington family. The whatever situation they are in, that it would drive them to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Jesus, Thy blood and righteousness, my beauty are, my royal dress

Love, Love, Love chapter three, probably because I feel like a brand plucked from the fire!

Purified for God’s Service
The regulation for the maintenance of the priesthood had fallen into disuse, and they had neither robes, vessels, nor proper provisions or offerings. Probably also the spiritual life of the priests was at a very low ebb (Malachi 1 – 2). 
Satan is always discovering the weak spots in character and thrusting at them. He is keen as steel and cruel. But we have One who pleads. He ever lives to make intercession for us. “The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan.”
We are brands scorched and charred with the burning. But we have been plucked out of the consuming flame. Surely then we are being kept for some high and useful purpose. All the past is an arugment for faith. That God has done so much is a pledge that He will perfect that which concerns us, because His mercy endures forever. (Psalm 138:8)
What a blessing to have the filthy garments removed and to be clothed by God’s righteousness in Christ Jesus! It is not enought to be cleaned from sin. Whom He justifies, He also glorifies. let us be content with nothing short of God’s best and fullness!
Zinzendorf’s hymn states it so conscisely http://cyberhymnal.org/htm/j/t/jtbloodr.htm
Lord, we have all been charred one way or another, and find ourselves sitting in filthy garments. How thankful we are for our royal robe of righteousness found in Christ Jesus. Each morning as we dress ourselves, help us to remember what a blessing it is to be made pure by the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. 

I pray that You will empower St. Philip’s to be a faithful minister of this wonderful Gospel, and that specifically, the Bright Zone and the Harrington family will experience deliverance from the flame and purity in Jesus Christ. In His name, Amen!

God’s Protection, Affection & Direction

Woops! Looks like St. Philip’s is skipping along 2 chapters at a time now, and so I missed chapter two yesterday, and have chapters 3 and 4 of Zechariah today!! I’ll post them one chapter at a time, and see how far we get! So, put on your running shoes and reading glasses!
God’s Protection of His People
Now Zechariah sees a man with a measuring line. He is about to survey the city of Jerusalem. But Zack’s angel guide sends another angel to hurry after this man with good news. 
God promises to bring so many people to Jerusalem that the crowds will overflow the walls of the city – but that won’t matter because God will be their protection, not walls. God Himself will “be a wall of fire around it”, and “I will be its glory within.”  
The phrase “apple of His eye” was used to describe something precious, easily injured and demanding protection. Spurgeon puts it this way:
“He esteems [us] as much as men value their eyesight, and is as careful to protect [us] from injury, as men are to protect the apple of their eye. The pupil of the eye is the tenderest part of the tenderest organ, and very fitly sets forth the inexpressible tenderness of God’s love.”
Not only will He protect us, but He will be among us in a unique and powerful way.
FYI: This is the only place where the phrase Holy Land is used in the Bible. The land is holy because it is separated unto God in a unique way. In the same exact way, we can be holy, set apart for God to use exactly as He sees fit!

Lord, let us see what it would look like to overflow the walls of St. Philip’s, and to be assured of Your protection, affection and direction. May we have the same exuberance and fortitude as this man with the measuring stick seems to have. I pray Lord that you will make the Harrington family the apple of Your eye and bring them into Your Holy Land, as it were. In Jesus’ name. Amen!

Rebuilding Our Relationship with God

The book of Zechariah is one of the two key books of Old Testament prediction that are primary sources for the symbolism of Revelation.
The prophet Zechariah lived at the same time as Haggai and was interested in the same effort: to induce the Jews to carry on the rebuilding of their neglected Temple. 
But if all we had was Haggai to go by, we might conclude that all God was really interested in was the temple. However, Zechariah gives the rest of the story, and shows how God is interested in lives, not only buildings. It is so ironic how parallel this is with our call to live Beyond Ourselves and to minister to people instead of erecting buildings!
The prophecies of Zechariah are dated a few years later than those of Haggai. In contrast to the direct and simple language of Haggai, Zechariah employs many figures and symbols to enforce his message. 
He especially wished to give encouragement and help to the leader and governor of the people, Zerubbabel, and the priest, Joshua. I’m challenged to consider how I can be an encouragement to the priest/pastor at St. Philip’s especially during these community-wide difficult times.
In the latter part of the book there are many pictures of the glorious and happy future which God had in store for His people and of the Deliverer Who was to come to rule over them. There will come a great day when “the Lord shall be king over all the earth.”
The name Zechariah means “The LORD Remembers,” and is a fitting name for a prophet of restoration. 
  • He was called to encourage and mobilize God’s people to accomplish a task that they began yet lost momentum in completing. 
  • He encourages them indirectly by telling them about God’s care for them and by keeping the presence of the Messiah very much in their minds. 
  • He worked with others, notably Haggai, Zerubbabel, and Ezra. 
  • He warned them of the consequences of neglecting God’s work and he emphasized that God wants to do a work through His people. 
Let us pray the Holy Spirit will jump start us with divine momentum yet again as we forge ahead into our next seven years at St. Philip’s!
Zechariah is shown eight visions in the first 6 chapters. In them he is not a passive observer. He is actively involved and free to question the angel God has provided as a guide. The meaning of most of these visions is explained in their context. Their focus is God’s intention for Jerusalem and Judea as history moves on and as the end time comes. Many of these themes are picked up in Revelation. Two of these visions are in chapter one.
A Vision of Pardon and Restoration

Zechariah does not slur over the sins of the past, but lays stress on divine forgiveness. His only fear is lest God should call in vain and the people refuse as their fathers did. 
Notice the repetition of God’s title Lord Almighty five times in the first six verses. The enemy’s armies were vast, but the protecting hosts vaster! A glimplse of these hosts is given in the following vision. 
A green valley filled with myrtles, the emblem of humility, where the prophet may have spent his time meditating, seemed alive with mysterious horsemen who had been patrolling the earth. The four report to the angel of the Lord that the world is at rest and peace. This is not good news for Judea. 
Haggai proclaimed just a few months before that the nations must be shaken before Messiah comes and Jerusalem’s peace is assured. God is angry with the nations of the world because they are at ease while God’s people suffer. 
In God’s thinking if the earth is at rest at the expense of His people, there is no rest at all. Sure, the nations offered to help God’s people, but even their help was polluted by evil motives.
But in all this, God reassures the prophet. God does care deeply (“is very jealous”) for Jerusalem and Judah. And He is angry with the nations that have been their persecutors. God will return to Jerusalem with mercy, and goodness will overflow.
God solemnly promises to restore Jerusalem and the cities of Judah. This was an especially comforting promise considering the lowly condition of the cities of the Promised Land in Zechariah’s day.
About four years from the time of this prophecy Zion was comforted and Jerusalem was specially chosen – the temple was rebuilt four years after Zechariah gave this prophecy.
A Vision of Being Rescued

In the second vision Zach sees four horns that most people say represent the world powers that will hold political domination over Jerusalem. The horn symbolism is used in the same way in Daniel 7 & 8.
Zechariah also sees four craftsmen/carpenters. These are workmen, bearing heavy hammers or chisels, whose function it is to throw down the “horns of the nations” that have acted against Jerusalem. 
Thus God shall rescue His people from their oppressors as history marches towards its intended end. God promises to break the power of those who use their power against God’s people. But as Romans 12 warns, vengenance is the Lord’s. It is God that shall do the rescueing from our oppressors!

Lord of hosts, God Almighty, thank You for what You are doing at St. Philip’s an for the series of Beyond Ourselves. I pray that more opportunities will open up a Dawson, not only in 8a but throughout the whole jail, men and women. Grant that I might be able to get connected with Stek in exactly the place You have for me. 

Also, just as You were able to infuse divine momentum into the weary and impoverished Jews to rebuild the temple and their relationships with You, be with St. Philip’s as we reach out to the people in the Bright Zone. I pray you will bless Harrington/family and draw them to Yourself. Encourage Clay and the rest of the staff, that joy would be their portion. We love You Lord. Amen.

Making God’s Priorities Our Priorities

Haggai is a man with a single message: Rebuild the Temple!

He returned from exile in Babylon under the leadership of Zerubbabel and Joshua in the year 536 BC when Cyrus, king of Persia, moved by the striking prophecies about himself, which had probably been brought under his notice by Daniel, granted the Jews their liberty and provided them with materials for restoring their Temple.
This work of rebuilding went on under Cyrus and his successor in spite of the opposition by the neighboring Samaritans. But finally these foes of the returned exiles obtained an edict from Artaxerxes to stop the progress of the rebuilding of the Temple in Ezra 4:7-23.
The Jews gave up the work and began to build splendid mansions for themselves, so that the operations on the Temple site were not recommenced, even when there was opportunity for them. For 14 years the work was discontinued, until Haggai uttered his burning message.
He seems to have been an old man when summoned to be a prophet, and his term of service lasted for only four months! But when a man speaks in the power of God, you cannot measure the effect by chronology. His brief ministry had immediate effect, for within three weeks the people were once more at work on the Temple!

Selfish and Shortsighted Thrift?

The returned exiles had been experiencing a succession of bad seasons. They had sown much and reaped little; their money ran out of the bag as quickly as they put it in; a drought lay on all the land, and the reason for it was to be found in the neglected Temple.
I wonder how frequently my losses in business arise from my failure to remember God’s cause. I say that I do not have the time, cannot afford the money, and see no necessity for setting apart the Lord’s day or the daily period for meditation and prayer. I’m beginning to think that if I saw things as they really are, I would find that this is false economy and wastes more than I actually save. 
Priorities Straightened!
One earnest person can arouse an entire community! Let a fire glow in our hearts, and it will spread. Assured of God’s presence and favor, Haggai spoke, and within 3 weeks the whole land was awake. Imagine if it were the Bright Zone! 
Note the cooperation of God’s Spirit with the message of His servant: “The Lord stirred up.”
Let us ever seek and rely on his cooperation! We are witnesses; so also is the Holy Spirit!
Even Better than Before
But how can a people on the bare edge of poverty rebuild the temple? 
God announces through Haggai that He is owner of all the gold and silver of the world. God will meet the need, and “the glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former” (e.g., Solomon’s temple). 
Ezra 6:8-12 tells us that God did meet the need. Although the governor of the Persian province oppses the rebuilding, he is commanded by the king himself to finance the whole project! Later, in the days of Herod the Great the temple was greatly expanded and was the recipient of fabulous gifts. By the time of Jesus it did surpass the temple of Solomon for glory.
What would St. Philip’s look like a year or two from now if it could be said for it, “the glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former”?
Only with Christ is Holiness Contagious!
Haggai is sent to make a public inquiry of the priests concerning a point of law of Moses. Under the law an object or person which is ceremonially unclean makes unclean whatever it touches. Under the law nothing which is holy can make any defiled thing clean.
Haggai applies the principle. This people is not to think that the presence of the temple makes them holy. They are defiled by sin. But God operates among them in grace. He will accept their gift of obediece, and “From this day on I will bless you.”
Thank God, that with His Son, the touch of something holy, can actually make the defiled ones clean! With Christ, holiness is contagious instead of our dirt!
Jesus Christ: Our Real Temple
The same day Haggai receives a message from God to give to Zerubbabel. This individual is of the royal family of David. But he is not king, for Judah in under the domination of Persia and is merely a minor region in one of the 120 administrative districts! 
But the words of Haggai look forward to a time when God will shake the nations. Then Zerubbabel (that is, the family of David), will again be established…and it is 520 years later in Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ is now our Temple, our place to meet with God!

Lord Jesus, thank You for touching me with Your holiness and thereby cleansin me from all sin and defilement. And thank You also for Your great patience, which kindly waits for me to get my priorities straightened out with You as the center. I pray for the Bright Zone and for Harrington…help us to be a catalyst of Your glory to this area and to this family. In Jesus’ name, Amen.