On that day, declares the Lord Almighty, I will take you My Servant, Zerubbabel of Shealtiel, and I will make you like my Signet Ring, for I have chosen you declares the Lord Almighty."

This passage from the book of Haggai is part of a prophetic message that was given to the man who was in charge of rebuilding the temple (in Jerusalem). There was only a remnant left of those who had seen the former temple. Most of the Jews had died while in captivity as slaves in Babylon.

Now, as the foundation had been laid, the Lord tells the leader, "I�m going to make you like my signet ring." I thought about how to make this phrase "my signet ring" make sense in our modern setting. The closest thing I could think of was an example from the Navy.

I learned the hard way that military correspondence is a very precise and prescribed method of conducting business. I say I learned that the hard way, because I tended to write things like I do in everyday life. The reason that military correspondence is different is that the way a letter, or set of orders is signed (sounds like "signet," doesn�t it?) conveys the authority of the one who wrote it.

There is, for instance, the case of "by direction" authority. "By direction" authority is not given to many people. It is the authority to sign using the authority of the Commanding Officer. When the user signs the order or directive, he or she adds the words, "by direction" as means of conveying the fact that they have the authority to speak in the Commander�s name to the issue at hand.

When Zerubbabal was told he would be "like the Lord�s signet ring," he understood that meant that he would be able to act on the authority of, and be backed by the power of, The Lord Himself. Jesus conveyed authority to His disciples to do things in His Name. He still does.

When a police officer flashed the badge, or when David fought Goliath, they both acted on the authority of someone much stronger. David said to the giant, "You come at me with sword and spear, but I come in the Name of the Lord My God."

We, like Zerubbabel, have been given the authority to rebuild and to conduct business in the Name of the Lord. This is crucial for our understanding. Take prayer, for instance. We pray "in Jesus� Name," not merely as a way to end a sentence. When we pray in Jesus� Name, we are saying that our request has the force of something Jesus Himself is saying. Let�s find out more today about what that means.
Pastor Jim, by direction . . ..

Pastor Jim
December 2, 2007

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