In the book of Haggai we read of God’s wonderful ways with his people. Words of discipline coupled with words of compassion.
God calls them to work on his house after years of opposition and delay. These are the words of discipline, discipline for the ones he loves.
“Give careful thought to your ways…” Haggai 1:7
The leaders of the people and the remnant begin to obey the words of the Lord. And God gives words of encouragement!
“I am with you,” declares the Lord. Haggai 1:13
Then God does more. He doesn’t leave them to their own will power. No. He does the secret inner work. He gives mysterious motivation.
“So the Lord stirred up the spirit of …. the whole remnant of the people.” Haggai 1:14
Even more encouragement comes in chapter two. God speaks again to the people and specifically to Zerubbabel.
I am with you.
My Spirit remains among you.
Remember where they have been! In exile for their own entrenched rebellion and stubborn idolatry. But God remains faithful to his name and his covenant. His steadfast love is from everlasting to everlasting. His faithfulness endures forever.