Charles Simeon Commentary - Haggai 2:19 - 2:19

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Charles Simeon Commentary - Haggai 2:19 - 2:19


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GOD RECOMPENSES OUR WORKS

Hag_2:19. From this day will I bless you.

MEN, when they see so great a disparity in the states of their fellow-men, are apt to imagine that there is an inequality in the ways of God. But “God’s ways are equal,” both in the dealings of his providence, and in the dispensations of his grace [Note: Eze_18:25-29. with Psa_18:25.]. True, indeed, this equality, under the Mosaic economy, was evinced in temporal gifts, whereas it is now manifested rather in spiritual blessings: and we may all observe it in reference to ourselves, almost as clearly as they could who are addressed in my text. Let us,

I.       Review the dealings of God with us in past times—

God called his people, after their return from Babylon, to “consider” how he had dealt with them. Whilst they were occupied only in their own concerns, and neglected to execute his will in the rebuilding of the temple, he visited them with sore and successive judgments: but now that they were engaged in that sacred work, he bade them take notice, even from the very day that they had commenced the work, that he would bless them. Now, “consider” how God has dealt with us,

1.       Before we began to seek the Lord—

[We might prosper perhaps in temporal things, as the world accounts prosperity; but what was the real state of our minds? Did we find all the satisfaction in them which we hoped for? We sowed largely in hope: but when we reaped, and came to measure the produce, were we not grievously disappointed? Say, brethren, was there even one half the happiness derived from them that you expected [Note: See ver. 16, 17.]? Did you not find, that whilst you neglected to seek your happiness in God, the blessings which you sought with the greatest avidity and labour were but as “broken cisterns, that could hold no water [Note: Jer_2:13.]?” Yes; you must confess that every thing to which you looked for comfort has proved, not only “vanity, but vexation of spirit also [Note: Ecc_1:14.].” There was a worm at the root of every gourd from which you expected consolation and repose [Note: Jon_4:6-7.].]

2.       Since we turned to him—

[Possibly enough, in respect to temporal things, you may have suffered loss. But has not that loss been abundantly made up to you, by an increase of grace, and by the manifestations of God’s love to your soul? Have you not learned, that “man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things that he possesseth [Note: Luk_12:15.];” and that he only is happy who seeks his happiness in God? Possibly, too, you may have been bowed down greatly under the weight and burthen of your sins: yet will I ask with confidence, whether you do not look upon that day, when you were first convinced of sin, and stirred up to flee from the wrath to come, as the best and happiest day of your life? From what time, think ye, would St. Paul date his happiness, but from the hour when he was struck to the ground in his way to Damascus, and when he received the first communications of converting grace? And if you could tell the time of your first awakening, with the same accuracy as the laying of the first stone of the temple was marked (“the 24th day of the 9th month”), you would be able to say with certainty, “From that day God has blessed me.”]

Supposing, then, that we have been truly converted to God, let us,

II.      Consider the anticipations which we are authorized to indulge—

Here the promise in our text indisputably belongs to us: “From this day will I bless you.” Again I say, that we are no longer to estimate the Divine favour by the measure of our success in temporal things. True indeed, “If we seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, all earthly things, so far as they will conduce to our welfare, shall be added unto us [Note: Mat_6:33.].” But that which we are authorized to expect, is, that “God will bless us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly things in Christ Jesus [Note: Eph_1:3.].” God will give you,

1.       The communications of his grace—

[These shall be suited to your necessities [Note: Jam_4:6.], and sufficient for your wants [Note: 2Co_12:9.]— — —]

2.       The manifestations of his love—

[No words can express what is implied in these. But “he will manifest himself to you as he does not unto the world [Note: Joh_14:21-23.],” and “shed abroad his love in your hearts [Note: Rom_5:5.],” and “give you the witness of his Spirit, as the earnest of your everlasting inheritance [Note: Eph_1:13-14.]” — — —]

3.       A meetness for glory—

[His whole work of grace will he carry on within you [Note: Php_1:6.], till you are transformed into his image [Note: 2Co_3:18.], and fully prepared for his glory [Note: Php_1:9-11 and Col_1:9-12.] — — —]

Address—

1.       To those in whom the foundation of God’s spiritual temple is not yet laid—

[You, alas! have no part or lot in these promises: and a far different portion have you to expect. If ye will be intent only on your own business, and be concerned only to please yourselves, how can you expect that God should bless you? “Consider, I pray you,” whether they who serve not their God can reasonably hope for the same portion as his faithful servants shall enjoy [Note: Mal_3:18.]. I will be content that you shall judge this matter for yourselves. But, O! be persuaded, ere it be too late, to follow the convictions of your minds, and to turn unto God with your whole hearts.]

2.       To those who are building up themselves a temple for their God—

[To you assuredly is the promise made, that God will bless you, both in time and eternity. Be more and more diligent, then, in the work in which ye are engaged. “Be coming daily to Christ, as lively stones, to be built up on him as the living foundation-stone [Note: 1Pe_2:4-5.];” and God will make you the habitation of his holiness for ever and ever [Note: Eph_2:19-22.].]

3.       To those who think this distinction visionary—

[If such there be among you, put it to the proof. God himself challenges you to this [Note: Mal_3:10.]. Make but the experiment fairly, and I have no fear of the issue.]