Daily Devotional: Sunday 9th Februaryby William Moody
Blessings for a Defiled People
10 On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, 11 “Thus says the LORD of hosts: Ask the priests about the law: 12 ‘If someone carries holy meat in the fold of his garment and touches with his fold bread or stew or wine or oil or any kind of food, does it become holy?’” The priests answered and said, “No.” 13 Then Haggai said, “If someone who is unclean by contact with a dead body touches any of these, does it become unclean?” The priests answered and said, “It does become unclean.” 14 Then Haggai answered and said, “So is it with this people, and with this nation before me, declares the LORD, and so with every work of their hands. And what they offer there is unclean.
This message (v10) comes three months after the work on the temple began and is a message about holiness and defilement.
The Lord teaches that holiness is not spread by contact (v12). This speaks against superstitious attitudes to such things as sacraments, prayer and Bible reading. Just going through the motions is not enough if our hearts are not right with God.
The Lord teaches that uncleanness is spread by contact (v13). A heart that is not right with God will mean uncleanness in all we do. Here we’re reminded of how serious, defiling and contagious sin is. Sin cannot be controlled, it must be fled from.
The Lord teaches that Israel’s action have therefore been unclean (v14). Haggai is talking about the situation before the temple work had begun. Good deeds of the past were overridden by the sin that was present.
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