Haggai 2:20-23 “The word of the Lord came to Haggai a second time on the twenty-fourth day of the month: ‘Tell Zerubbabel governor of Judah that I will shake the heavens and the earth. I will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms. I will overthrow chariots and their drivers; horses and their riders will fall, each by the sword of his brother. On that day,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”
One of the things that we need to be aware of when it comes to kingdom thinking is not only what is happening in the world, but also what is the Lord doing?
God says: “I will shake the heavens and the earth. I will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms. I will overthrow chariots and their drivers; horses and their riders will fall, each by the sword of his brother.”
The writer of the Hebrews mentions this as well in chapter 12:26-27 “Now he has promised, ‘Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.’ The words ‘once more” indicate the removing of what can be shaken — that is, created things — so that what cannot be shaken may remain.”
When we look at the situation in the world today we see that the “perfect storm” is taking place. There is no doubt about God shaking the heavens and the earth. Just a quick look around the world and we see the truth of this. For example:
There is the possibility of a major war in the Middle East. Syria with its civil war, which has claimed over 100,000 lives, is drawing in fighters from all over the world. Along with what is happening in Iran, Lebanon and Israel the situation is like a powder keg ready to explode.
When I look at Southeast Asia again we see war that can break out between China and Japan over who owns a disputed group of islands called the “Diaoyu Islands.” What about North Korea and its threats against Seoul and USA? Washington and South Korea because of the threat have signed a new joint security agreement that lays out plans and responses against North Korea in case war breaks out.
Conflicts in the EU are brewing between the rich countries of Europe and the bankrupt countries on the periphery especially in the south and east. Could there be conflicts that might break out like the genocide that occurred in the Balkans in the 1990’s?
Britain’s Daily Mail Newspaper said: “The world is at a crossroads in history, vast, untamable economic forces are remaking the landscape of international affairs.” From what I can gather the economic austerity imposed by the central EU government is beginning to spark ultra-nationalist as well as potential neo-fascist movements across the continent of Europe. The great depression in the 1930’s led to outright war in Europe. Can this happen again? Does history repeat itself? Riots have already broken out in many of these countries.
Egypt is on the verge of civil war, nuclear-armed Pakistan is moving into chaos. Saudi Arabia wants to buy nuclear bombs from Pakistan because of what is happening in Iran with their enrichment program of nuclear fuel. Ethnic fighting is still taking place in Iraq and now in Nigeria as well.
Then you have the communal riots taking place in Myanmar with Buddhists attacking Muslims. I just got a report from Sri-Lanka of Buddhists that are constantly attacking Christian churches as well as Hindus and Muslims battling one another in India. We have the Muslims rebelling against the Han Chinese in Western China. Then all over the Middle East you have the Shia Muslims at war with Sunni Muslims.
When these communal riots break out it is not just a few hundred that are killed. I have been in India when riots broke out between Muslims and Hindus where thousands were slaughtered.
In Haggai’s days God told His people to stop and consider and I believe that today the Lord is telling us the same thing. We need to consider. In the New Testament Jesus told us that we are to watch and pray. When we see this shaking taking place we need to realize, like the writer of the Hebrews is saying, those things that cannot be shaken do remain, which is the Kingdom of God.
What are we to do? To have peace we need the Prince of Peace – Jesus Christ, and so we are to go into all the world with His message. I believe that God is preparing the world for a great harvest and we, the church, need to be ready. God said: “Give careful thought to your ways.” Jesus reminds us: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20