“But now take courage, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord, ‘take courage also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and all you people of the land take courage,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ declares the Lord of hosts. ” Haggai 2:4 (NASB)
The people of Israel had been held captive in Babylon. After 70 years they were allowed to return to the land and to Jerusalem. One of their foremost jobs was to rebuild Jerusalem which included the walls, and the temple. It was not an easy task and they meet resistance. Led by Nehemiah, the walls were restored but the temple remained in ruins. These words were from God through His prophet Haggai. These are words of encouragement that can encourage us today as well. The had begun the rebuilding of the temple according to instructions from God. The work was hard, and it wasn’t long, about a month, they needed encouragement to press on keeping on. We too find ourselves needing encouragement to continue the work God has given to us. To the people then and to us today, God says, “Be strong…and work. I am with you.” “Take courage” is another way of saying “Be strong.” We can count on this promise God is with us. With a world that is increasingly hostile to God and those who believe in Him, we can be encouraged to know that God is with us.