Journal Haggai 1-2 (all references are from the ESV; changes in punctuation are mine)

Scripture: “Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Ask the priests about the law: If someone carries holy meat in the fold of his garment, and touches with his fold—bread, or stew, or wine, or oil, or any kind of food—does it become holy?


The priests answered and said, “No.”


Then Haggai said, “If someone how is unclean by contact with a dead body touches any of these, does it become unclean?”


The priests answered and said, “It does become unclean.”


Then Haggai answered and said, “So it is with this people, and with the nation before me, and so it is with every work of their hands.  And what they offer there is unclean.”  Hag 2:11-14


Observation: In the minor prophets God gives us some detail about principles, precepts, and His attitude about things.  Some are plain.  Some takes some thinking.  All takes the Holy Spirit opening understanding.


What do I think I see here?


Analysis: I have run across an idea that if something considered “holy” (like perhaps me) can influence by my proximity to other things (like my family) into being CONSIDERED holy—my mere presence can make something “holy.”


The NT example of this thought is, “For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his (believing) wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her (believing) husband.” (1 Cor 7:14)


But the above Haggai reference would insinuate something different; that the proximity to something holy doesn’t make a thing holy.


So, what is the point?


This is a section where an understanding of Biblical Theology comes into play.  That principle is that the Bible doesn’t contradict itself.  Period.  If I took this to its roots, if the Bible is God’s Word, and God isn’t contradictory to Himself, then it follows that His Word isn’t contradictory.  It is basic mathematics applied to sentence structure.


Therefore, does proximity replace ultimate human responsibility?  Answer: No.  Each person must stand before God to answer for his ways. (c. Rev 20:12 “and I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened.  Then another book was opened, which is the book of life.  And the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to what they had done.”)


So, then: What does proximity do, like in the marriage relationship as an example?  Ultimately nothing (Does being near something holy, make what is near, holy? prophesizes Haggai?)  Then what?


A believer becomes an instrument of Grace, exhibiting the mercy and grace of his Master, showing the life-changing aspect of the Gospel, that there is forgiveness of sin and that approaching the Throne has been enabled through the Atonement of the Son.  Also, the chains of sin have been removed so that I can pursue a life pleasing to God.


I can be an instrument of Grace.  No matter what my circumstances, no matter what God causes my life to encounter, as long as my eyes are fixed upon Him, buttressed by hammering the Word of God and his principles and precepts in my soul, I will be a good and faithful servant, pleasing to the King.


Prayer:  Father, I remember the song: “Not by works nor not by might, but by faith I have been saved, and it is a gift of God…”  I always have a reflex that I must caveat any statement of Works with an explanation of Faith.  I wish I could skip that from time to time.

Help me to become an example of being an Instrument of the Most High, accomplishing the purpose of God in my life and I would end my days with that testimony, just like Dave (Acts 13:31)

Cause revival.  AMEN.