It is similar to the message shared in church this morning--Such a Pleasant Place. The text verse was 2 Kings 2:19. "And the men of the city said unto Elisha, Behold, I pray thee, the situation of this city is pleasant, as my lord seeth: but the water is naught, and the ground barren." Are we so lulled to sleep that we view the world around us as a pleasant place even though there is no harvest and all attempts to have a true revival are miscarried? That is what is meant by the water is nought. The trees dropped their fruit early and the women miscarriaged their babies but it was a pleasant place! ???
The post-exhilic prophet, Haggai, was deeply burdened by God to see the restoration of the temple in Jerusalem. While many deportees had returned, they were more concerned about their personal lives than they were the things God willed. YHWH allowed a drought to begin to consume the land as a result. "Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house." Haggai 1:9 Beware of those who constantly preach "blessing" over a heart changing relationship with Christ!There is an answer. Defilement by a dead body was a serious problem. It took a seven day cleansing period involving the ashes of the famed red heifer. On the 8th day the offender was pronounced clean. The ashes are a type of the cross. The seven days speak of a perfect, complete cleansing. The 8th day is the type for a new beginning. America's only hope is deep, heart rending contrition. Nothing short of absolute repentance and humility before God can turn the tide of judgment. We must humble ourselves before the mighty hand of God.
There is a huge disconnect with the concept that godless behavior eventually brings crisis. The noxious plague of immorality in this nation coupled with a spineless group of "believers" who feel the Almighty is merely a celestial sugar daddy who wishes nothing more than to fulfill their every wish and fancy are leading us ever closer to an encounter with the ferociousness of God's holy fury. We must repent and humble ourselves before His Royal Holiness!
Three months after this first message, Haggai was given another interesting message. " Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Ask now the priests concerning the law, saying, If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No. Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean.Then answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the LORD; and so is every work of their hands; and that which they offer there is unclean." Haggai 2:11-14
Like the prior message, this word from the Lord addresses the loss of harvest. God asks two opposing questions. Priests would often carry sanctified food in a fold in their garment. (see Leviticus 6:27) The query is whether this sanctified food causes profane (common) food to be clean. The priests answer, no. Then God asks if one who touches a corpse will cause defilement to the holy meal. The answer is yes. Our personal holiness cannot make another holy. Every man must choose repentance for himself. They must turn to God through Christ individually. On the other hand, the defilement of dead things runs through a society like an infectious disease. Notice that is the Message here, "So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the LORD;" Moral defilement can infect all who touches it thereby causing the defilement of death. Anything that is unclean and corrupt causes all it touches to be corrupt. Would you eat a hamburger setting on a decomposing carcass? Most sane people would not.
Maybe the loss of a spiritual harvest is connected with our lackadaisical attitude towards the things of God? Maybe there is a direct correlation with our lack of seeking His face through contrite prayer and the moral condition of our land? Maybe our failure to repent of known sin is causing us to lose this nation to false ideologies and religion? It could be that our flirting with the dead and corrupt things of this world has caused a situation where all we touch becomes defiled?