On Mission In Anderson & Beyond
North Anderson Baptist
August 13th 2023
Locations & Times
  • North Anderson Baptist Church
    2308 N Main St, Anderson, SC 29621, USA
    Sunday 9:00 AM
1. We Can Be Confident In The Sovereignty Of God

What do we mean by sovereignty?
We mean that there is absolutely nothing that happens in the universe that is outside of God’s influence and authority. As King of kings and Lord of lords, God has no limitations.

“God’s sovereignty is his right and power to do all that he decides to do.” – John Piper

In this morning's passage, we come to a man that needs to be reminded that He can approach the tasked placed before Him with confidence because the one who gave him the task is sovereign.

Haggai 2:20-21 “The word of the Lord came to Haggai a second time on the twenty-fourth day of the month: “Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah…”

While the Lords first message was addressed to leaders and Priest, the second to the people and the third to all of Israel, the final message is given to an individual.

This word is for Zerubbabel.

Zerubbabel was born in Babylon during the exile of Judeans and was with the returning Israelites as they migrated home after King Cyrus allowed them to return and reconstruct their city and the Temple.

At this point, he’s leading Israel. He’s not King (they didn’t have one at this time) and he’d never sit upon the throne of David but for this season, he was leading Gods people.

He had experienced the high of completing the Temples foundation, the lull of 16 years of apathy as the work on the Temple came to a stop.

He, along with the Priest and people had been reinvigorated and stirred to action as they recognized that The Lord was speaking to them through His prophet and He’d called them to get back to work.

He was there a month later and began hearing the complaining, critique and unhelpful comparisons coming from his people.

He was listening to the howling of the Samaritans, the bickering among the people he was leading and right in front of his eyes was the massive job of finishing the temple rebuild, which would take several more years
It’s at the point, what must have been the height of his frustration, insecurity, and doubts that God speaks to Him through Haggai.

The fact that He speaks to Zerubbabel is an exclamation point on His sovereignty in and of itself. You see, the fact that Zerubbabel is leading Israel could only be attributed to the sovereignty of God.

A little more than 70 years before Israel was allowed to return to Judah, Zerubbabel’s grandfather, Jeconiah/Jehoiachin) was King. He was 18 when he assumed the throne. He was the son of King Josiah, a Godly King, but he certainly didn’t follow in the righteous footsteps of his dad.

According to 2 Chronicles 36, King Jeconiah was a wicked ruler and part of the reason why the Lord allowed the Babylonians to conquer Israel in the first place! Just 3 months after being crowned, he surrendered to Nebuchadnezzar and was sentenced to exile in Babylon himself, never to return to Israel.

What does that have to do with Zerubbabel?

Listen to the curse the Lord places upon his grandfather because of his wickedness in Jeremiah 22:30, “This is what the Lord says: Record this man as childless, a man who will not be successful in his lifetime. None of his descendants will succeed in sitting on the throne of David”

Listen carefully to the end of that verse, “None of his descendants will succeed in sitting on the throne of David”

What This means for Zerubbabel? It means that despite his lineage, though an heir to the Throne of David, He’d never be King over Israel.

During his time in exile, this truth had to have ran through his mind over and over again. He had to question his own identity, value, his place and purpose in the world.

Yet – God is sovereign. He works all things together for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to His purposes.

He had been moving throughout Israels history, with expert precision putting pieces into place in order to accomplish His good purposes…. including His purpose for Zerubbabel.

You see, though a terrible King, Jeconiah was the last legitimate King of Judah and his only successor was his uncle who wasn’t appointed by legal right but by a Babylonian official – and because Zerubbabel was his descendant, he could be recognized as the legitimate ruler of the returning exiles.

AND THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED – Was that simply a fortunate circumstance? A lucky break? A beneficial coincidence?

NO – It was the sovereign hand of God orchestrating it all.
- When Zerubbabel doubted his position

Our sovereign Lord said, “I’ve got a word for Zerubbabel...” Look at the end verse 23, “For I have chosen you”

During the trials, disappointments, and frustrations he faced as the leader of Israel, I have no doubt he began wondering whether or not he was the right man for this job….when the pressures of leading people got weighty…When He undoubtably began questioning his place.

Our sovereign Lord said, “I’ve got a message for Zerubbabel…I have chosen you”

As He led in this great effort, even if he could see the end in sight, like us all, I believe he struggled with his purpose

Our sovereign Lord said to Haggai, “I’ve got something that I want you to tell Zerubbabel…you tell Him that I have chosen Him”

As great a task as leading a people out of exile and back to their city was, Gods purpose for Zerubbabel was even greater.

As impressive an accomplishment as leading the Israelites to rebuild the Temple was, it paled in comparison to the Lords overarching purpose for Zerubbabel.


A little more than 500 years after the Lord speaks to Zarubbabel through Haggai, an Angel named Gabriel appeared before a young betrothed woman named Mary and delivered his own message
“Don’t be afraid…you have found favor with God and He is with you. You are going to conceive and deliver a child. His name will be called Jesus and He will save people from their sins”

Listen carefully to what He says about this coming Messiah in Luke 1:32-33
“He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will have no end.”

NOTE THIS: “The Lord will give him the throne of His father, David”

Here’s The Problem: The royal lineage of David runs through King Jeconiah, who was cursed. Remember the judgment that the Lord placed upon Jeconiah involved not only him but his descendants?

Jeremiah 22:30 “None of his descendants shall prosper, sitting on the throne of David”

By the decree of God Himself, spoken to Mary through His angelic messenger, the Messiah come from the lineage of David

But King Jeconiah’s seed was cursed – effectively breaking the necessary requirements in order for the Messiah to come from it.

The only solution was that if Jesus was to be eligible to sit upon the throne of David, he had to be of the legal line of David, but not of his seed
In the first chapter of Matthews Gospel, we find a detailed genealogy of the Lord Jesus Christ

There are names that we’re all familiar with: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Boaz, Jesse, David, Solomon...and then Matthew 1:12 – “Shealtiel fathered Zerubbabel”

Saints, because of his lineage, Zarubbabel never sat on the throne of David, but his 9th Great grandson did and He’s still upon it today!

We have no idea how great the Lords plans for us are - BE CONFIDENT – in the Sovereignty of God
2. We Can Be Confident In The Providence Of God

The first time we find the word providence in the Old Testament is in the narrative of Abraham’s offering of Isaac upon the altar.

God called Abraham to take his son Isaac, whom he loved, to a mountain and offer him as a sacrifice. Quite naturally, Abraham anguished under a great internal struggle with God’s command, and as Abraham prepared to obey, Isaac asked him, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?”

Abraham replied, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son” (Gen. 22:8). Abraham spoke here of Jehovah jireh, “God will provide.”

That is the first time the Bible speaks of God’s providence, which has to do with God’s making a provision for our needs and we can be confident that God will meet our needs.

That is what the doctrine of providence is all about. It is God’s being for His people and Zerubbabel needed to be reminded of that.

Besides the fact that the rebuilding of the Temple was still years from completion and that there was still great scarcity of materials and resources…his people were just a few years removed from their own captivity. That hadn’t left their minds. Add to that the fact that they remained vulnerable to being conquered again.

He’s leading, but there’s no King in place. They’re still trying to rebuild their city, there’s little army to defend them, there’s only a relatively few number of them who returned from exile and their enemies are plenty.

They had a great need for Gods provision. In fact, they were as good as finished without it. They needed to know that their God was for them.

Haggai 2:21-22 “…I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. I will overturn royal thrones and destroy the power of the Gentile kingdoms. I will overturn chariots and their riders. Horses and their riders will fall, each by his brother’s sword…”

Running the risk of oversimplifying what’s being said here, I believe it can be summed up this way: “I am for you, Zerubbabel”.

What a glorious truth, saints. God is for us!

Romans 8:31-39 “If God is for us, who is against us? He did not even spare his own Son but gave him up for us all. How will he not also with him grant us everything? Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies. Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the one who died, but even more, has been raised; he also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us. Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
Because of you we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

3.We Can Be Confident In The Promises Of God

Haggai 2:23 “On that day”—this is the declaration of the Lord of Armies—“I will take you, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, my servant”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“and make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you.” This is the declaration of the Lord of Armies.”

This short book that we call Haggai closes on the highest, most comforting and most encouraging of notes: “I will make you like my signet ring”.

Most of us are not familiar with a signet ring but in ancient days, it was a token and symbol of royalty (much like a crown, throne or scepter)
When a King desired to put his royal, authoritative stamp on a document, he’d take that ring which had his seal engraved upon it, press it into a soft wax that would harden into an unbreakable seal

The signet ring conveyed honor, authority, preservation, tender regard and guaranteed safety.

Now, remember that curse that God pronounced upon Zerubbabels grandfather? Listen carefully to it: Jeremiah 22:24 “As I live”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“though you, Jeconiah, son of Jehoiakim, the king of Judah, were a signet ring on my right hand, I would tear you from it.”

BUT the Lord now promises His grandson, Zerubbabel… (Haggai 2:23) ”I will make you like my signet ring”

The seal of the signet ring carried the authority and validity of the king.
Anyone who viewed that seal knew the king had authorized the document or was guarding the content within. In the fourth chapter of his letter to the Ephesians, Paul references this imagery.

Those who carried their king's seal possessed the full authority of the king.
Whatever message they brought, transaction they were representing him in, or promise made under that seal carried the full authority and power of the king to act upon it.

In much the same way, the King of all Kings has empowered us with his own Spirit and has given us authority. That's His promise to us.

He has empowered us to be his witnesses and walk boldly upon the earth. God has granted us authority do our part in fulfilling the Great Commission, to resist the devil who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy.
He has freed us from the power of death, sin, and our sinful nature and freed us to follow him and his leadership…this is His promise


Are You Ready To Take Your Next Step?