The Lord still has His prophets. No, we will not see them walking around in sackcloth and ashes, or with unkept beards and shepherd’s staff in their hand. But they are there… speaking God’s Word in faithfulness and stirring up the sheep to obey the Lord. Haggai was one such prophet. The Lord used him to bring the people of Judah back into focus for the labor before them. His words were like clear trumpet sounds, bringing the voice and will of God to the hearts of the people.
Prophets, especially New Testament prophets, speak much like Haggai. Sure, there are times of rebuke, warning and correction. However, even during these times, the NT prophet fulfills the call to be gentle and patient, correcting without strife or quarrel. We are called to represent the Lord not only in word, but also in Spirit. It is a high calling for messengers to speak “truth in love.” (Eph. 4:15)
Prophecy in the NT carries the thrust of “edification, exhortation and comfort.” (1Cor. 14:3) In the midst of any warnings it offers hope to stir God’s people with the gentle hand of the Chief Shepherd. While today’s prophets do not add to the revelation of Scriptures, they do help the local body stay focused upon the vision for that church with timely messages birthed out of prayer and study.
We need more men like Haggai. Men who have a hot coal from God’s altar, but are wise and careful how to share it. A hot coal, if not used wisely, can cause damage instead of stirring. When used in tune with God’s heart, it brings conviction, response, encouragement and hope…it stirs!
“Then Haggai, the messenger of the LORD, spoke to the people with the LORD’s message, “I am with you, declares the LORD.” And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people.” (Haggai 1:13-14, ESV)