Haggai 2:19—Is there still seed left in the granary? The vine, the fig, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have not yet produced. But from this day on I will bless you
Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, lived in Babylon during the first year of the Persian King Cyrus’ reign. After Cyrus issued a decree authorizing the rebuilding of the Jewish temple, Zerubbabel volunteered to help and was given authority to govern Judah. Taking initiative, he led the Jews in the laying of the temple foundation. Unfortunately,
the Samaritans succeeded in halting the work during the seven remaining years of Cyrus’ reign and through the eight years of Cambyses and Smerdis. But Zerubbabel also appears to have lost focus in his mission. He and his countrymen shifted their efforts to building costly houses for themselves while the unbuilt temple languished. God was not happy with slacker followers and caused drought and hardship to hound them.
The prophet Haggai, a contemporary of Daniel, gave a series of prophetic pronouncements from the Lord to Zerubbabel and the Jews in Jerusalem during the second year of King Darius. This finally roused the lax governor from his apathy and he again threw all his effort into the temple which was completed in the sixth year under Darius. With much pomp and rejoicing the temple was dedicated to the Lord and God promised to again bless the Israelites.
While it is vital to understand the importance of initiative, it is equally imperative to takeinitiative and not stop until completing the mission or task at hand. While traveling on the road Jesus was approached by one who professed a desire to follow Him aftersaying good-bye to his household. Jesus, knowing the person’s heart, said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62). A farmer plowing must stay focused on completing his tilling. If he turns back, the furrow will be a mess and so will any attempt to plant seeds. In essence, if we say we are going to do something, we need to follow through on our word.
So often men and women arise with great ideas or inspiring visions. But if they don’t do what they say they are going to do it is almost worse than if they had not started. Initiative must be married to sustained effort to have profound impact. It may be easy to start something but finishing is another matter. Expect opposition. Rarely do plans go the way we think they will go. That’s okay. Keep plowing! When God lays on your heart His leading, get going and don’t quit!
Never relinquish the initiative.—Charles de Gaulle
©2018 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)