“Then Haggai responded and said, “‘So is this people. And so is this nation before Me,’ declares the LORD, ‘and so is every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean.’”
I love to watch a really good hitter in professional baseball. It’s a battle between the pitcher and the hitter. The pitcher is trying to strike out the batter and the batter is trying to get a hit. Good batters know how to watch the pitcher and even manipulate the batter’s box to get the pitcher to throw a pitch they want. And when they do – whammo – out of the park.
Verse 14 is kind of like that. The Lord set up the priests for His response in this verse. He said, “So is this people. And so is this nation before me, and so is every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean.” He could not accept anything from them at this new temple until they cleansed themselves. He was telling them to look inward at their uncleanness because it was resonating across the nation.
Jesus addressed this very thing in Matthew 5:23-24. “‘23 Therefore, if you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there you remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.’” Do you get the picture? God cannot honor your offerings if you are harboring sin against a brother.
I have been in church my whole life, and I have seen people sitting in church who couldn’t sit by certain people because of old grudges. Beloved, we can’t be that way. We must be forgiving and willing to ask others to forgive us. God tells us that He will humble the proud and exalt the humble. We cannot expect God to be honored and worshipped under such conditions.
I have had to go to people and ask for forgiveness. It’s not easy. It is very humbling. In most circumstances, that person has forgiven me. In others, they haven’t. But that is not on me. All I can do is be obedient to God. I can’t force them to do the same. If you have something against someone else right now, go to them or call them. Don’t text. That is so impersonal. Make it personal. And then pray together. It is really hard to stay mad with someone you are praying with.
Lord, I need to ask You to forgive me for any harm I caused in another believer’s walk with You. Give me the chance to make that right.