Before you begin, pray to God for wisdom to understand his Word. Pray that he uses this time to grow you.
Friday: “I am with you.” Anee etchem
The people have heard God’s rebuke. They know that Haggai has spoken the exact words that the LORD of Hosts wants him to speak. They know they have left God’s house a ruin, and so now they themselves are withering. They have put their hearts on their paths and seen the desolation they are running to. And they fear. And they fall. And they cry out.
God does not leave them in a drought. He assures them: “I am with you.”
They abandoned God’s house… but God did not abandon them. He called to them in love. They had to realize their sin, and now they have realized it. Now God thunders out his forgiveness: “I love you!” Yes, I am with you. I will not leave you! You are my people, and I am your God.
This is what makes our God so amazing. He has every reason to be angry. He has every reason to exact punishment on these people. Wouldn’t you at least punish them a little bit? But instead of that, God immediately – with no waiting period! – announces, “Yes! I am with you!”
And this is what God does with you. You sin. You sin most grievously. In fact, God calls you wicked and evil based on what you do.
God loves you enough to call you to repentance. He shows you the severity of your sins.
And then, he rains down forgiveness, deluging you with it. He doesn’t let you wander around, wondering if you’ve been forgiven. He doesn’t ponder whether or not you’re sorry enough. He doesn’t put a waiting period on your forgiveness. He doesn’t make you pay before he hands over a full pardon.
Instead, he tells you, “I am with you.” Immanuel. “God with us.” Here is Jesus, showing just how “with us” God really is. He’s not with us in some sort of picturesque way. He’s not with us in spirit only. No, he physically came to earth and walked around with us. He got dirt under his fingernails. He sweated under the same sun. He was really with us.
And he really, really died with us. He really suffered the way we do… and far, far worse.
And right now… he lives with us. Not in some sort of picture-way. No, he really lives with us. Right now. And when you sin, yes, he sees it. And he calls to you to repent.
And he forgives you.
Your God is with you, Christian. Celebrate the God who stays at your side!
Read Matthew 28:16-20. Underline Jesus’s promises in your Bible and circle his commands. How do they relate to one another?
This is the Word of the LORD: You are forgiven! This is reality! Does your heart reflect that reality? If it doesn’t, spend time reviewing passages that talk about that forgiveness. God’s Word doesn’t lie!
Do you force a “waiting time” before you forgive someone? Ask God to make you as forgiving as he is!