Haggai Chapter 2:20-22 The Destruction of The World Kingdoms
Haggai 2:20 Then the word of the LORD came a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, saying
The 5th and final message from Haggai came on the same day as the 4th. The 24th of the 9th month or roughly Dec 18th 520 B.C. Haggai gives a total of 5 messages from the Lord which all take place within a 4-month period. The people would be roughly 3 months into rebuilding the temple when this final prophecy was delivered. The last message which took place on the same day began with a rebuke and ended with the Lord promising to bless the nation from that day on. Very similar to the 3rd message from Haggai, this final prophecy offers hope of the coming messianic kingdom.
Haggai 2:21 “Speak to Zerubbabel governor of Judah, saying, ‘I am going to shake the heavens and the earth.
Immediately we notice something unique about the final message, it is addressed to Zerubbabel alone. Unlike the other messages which were not to him only, but also to Joshua the high priest, as well as all the remnant of the people (Hag 2:2). Remember that Zerubbabel was in the Davidic line which is the line the Messiah and promised ruler would come from (2 Sam 7:12-13). Zerubbabel is in both lineages of Jesus recorded in the New Testament (Matthew 1:12; Luke 3:27). When Jesus was born the angel Gabriel told Joseph that Jesus would be given the throne of his father David as well as establish an eternal kingdom (Luke 1:31-33). Recall that the book of Haggai is all about rebuilding the temple, which is where the Messiah will one day sit upon the Davidic throne and rule the nations from Jerusalem (Ps 110:2). The reason this message is given solely to Zerubbabel is because it is centered around Jesus Christ, the coming Messiah and King.
We also see Haggai reiterate the same promise regarding the shaking of the heavens and earth from the 3rd message given several months prior (Hag 2:6-9). This was made to encourage Israel, that though they were little and weak among the nations right now, that one day they would again rule. That God would destroy the kingdoms of the world and set up an eternal kingdom (Dan 2:44), and that Israel would be the head of all nations and no longer the tail (Deut 28:13).
Take note that Haggai and Zechariah are both preaching messages regarding repentance at this time in Israel. The final prophets to the nation of Israel were Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. All of them focused on and preached about national repentance. The promises from God regarding the coming messianic kingdom are unconditional and will take place. However, they will not happen until the nation of Israel diligently obeys the Lord (Zech 6:15), which will happen at the 2nd coming of Christ when they look upon the one whom they have pierced (Zech 12:10).
On an individual level, no Jew is promised to have any part in this kingdom apart from repentance towards God and faith in Christ. In fact at the 2nd coming of Christ the majority of Jewish people will still reject the Lord to the point that 2/3rds of the people living in Jerusalem at the time of the 2nd coming will perish (Zech 13:8), but a third will remain, be brought thru the fires of the tribulation and will call upon the name of the Lord and be saved (Zech 13:9). The final prophets are encouraging the people about the coming kingdom and warning them not to miss out due to disobedience. Although all who enter the kingdom will be saved by grace alone, thru faith alone, in Christ alone, the faith which God gives produces obedience (Rom 16:26).
Haggai 2:22 I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms and destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations; and I will overthrow the chariots and their riders, and the horses and their riders will go down, everyone by the sword of another.’
The moment this verse is describing is known as the day of the Lord. More specifically the battle of Armageddon and 2nd coming of the Lord Jesus Christ (Rev 16:15-16). The prophet Isaiah describes this day as cruel, with wrath and burning anger, where the Lord Jesus Christ will destroy the earth (Isaiah 13:9). Ezekiel described it as a day of doom for the nations (Eze 30:3). Malachi called it the great and terrible day of the Lord (Mal 4:5). Almost every prophet in scripture has something to say about this fearful day.
To better understand biblical prophecy, we must fix our attention on the 1st and 2nd coming of Jesus Christ, for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Rev 19:10). The 1st coming is described as the day of salvation, whereas the 2nd coming is described as the day of vengeance (Isaiah 61:2). The 1st coming is characterized by grace, where he came to die for his enemies, the 2nd is characterized by their judgement.
On this day Jesus will set out to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem (Zech 12:9); and those slain by the Lord will be many, for by fire and sword he will judge the world (Isaiah 66:16); for the Lord Jesus himself comes back in flaming fire, executing vengeance on those who do not obey the Gospel (2 Thess 1:8).
This verse tells us the Lord will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms. This appears to be speaking about the alliance of 10 kings who will join with the Antichrist to establish a global government. This final kingdom will be a brutal alliance of nations that will literally trample and crush the entire world (Dan 7:23-24; Rev 17:12) The day of their destruction is the same day that they come against the land of Israel, for Israel is God’s chosen nation and the apple of his eye (Eze 39:8; Zech 2:8).
The verse goes on to say the Lord will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations. Scripture makes it clear that the nations of the world are under the limited control of Satan (Matt 4:8), for he is the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4). Which is why we see the final kingdom of the Antichrist receiving power, a throne, and great authority from Satan (Rev 13:2). Which he uses to wage war against the saints (Rev 13:7).
The Devil has always been the enemy of the nation of Israel (Zech 3:2), as well as all of God’s elect. Whether it was the slaughter of the infants by Pharaoh, Haman attempting to annihilate the nation, Antiochus Epiphanes massacring the Jews, Herod attempting to kill the newborn Jesus, or Adolf Hitler attempting his, “final solution.” Ultimately all the attempts to wipe out the Jews have had a single source, Satan himself. When we understand the Bible, it reveals to us the reason behind historical world events as well.
On this day Satan will gather the kings of the world to do battle in Jerusalem (Rev 16:14), to make one final attempt to wipe out the nation of Israel. However, his plans will be thwarted, because on this day the Lord will go forth and fight for Israel (Zech 14:3), executing the kings of many nations (Ps 110:5-6), and the nations that gather against Jerusalem will be severely injured (Zech 12:3). On this day the land will be drenched with blood, for it is the day of the Lord’s vengeance for the cause of Zion (Is 34:8; Rev 14:20).
The details of this battle are illustrated by the Lord saying, “I will overthrow the chariots and their riders, and the horses and their riders will go down, everyone by the sword of another.’’ This describes mass confusion and hysteria as the Lord comes back to judge the nations. Ezekiel says on that day, there will be such a great earthquake in the land of Israel that every creature will quake at the presence of the Lord. That the Lord will reign down hailstones, fire, and brimstone upon the enemies of Israel. Finally, he says in the same language of Haggai, that every man’s sword will be against his brother.
Now you may be asking yourself what is the purpose of God setting this up in such a complex way? The purpose of this battle is so that God might make himself known in the sight of many nations (Eze 38:19-23). Many times, in the history of the Jewish people they have been captured, plundered, and even conquered by their enemies. Each time this happens their enemies boast against the God of Israel, claiming they serve superior deities. This line of thinking is reasonable, if Israel’s God is truly the most powerful how could he let his own people go thru such calamities? On this day the nations will understand that Israel went into captivity because they rebelled against the Lord, so he gave them into the hand of their adversaries (Eze 39:23). Yahweh is not a weak God.
For thousands of years God’s name has been blasphemed in the earth. To this day Jesus is still the despised and rejected one amongst the human race (Is 53:3). On this day his name will be proved holy among the nations. All of the world will see how gracious God was in giving humanity thousands of years to continue to reject his Son. All of the signs and prophecies meant to warn the nations before his 2nd coming will show that he is a loving God, who takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Eze 33:11).
Finally, this day will reveal how truly powerful and holy he is, when his name is hallowed, by the destruction and judgement of these nations (Eze 38:16). On this day the pride of man will finally be humbled, and Yahweh alone will be exalted (Isaiah 2:17). This is the end of man’s day; this is the end of the Satanic rebellion started by the Devil in the Garden of Eden. This is the great and terrible day of the Lord (Joel 2:31).
In conclusion my friends, I hope you see the value in studying the 1st and 2nd coming of Christ. When we understand the 1st coming of Christ, we can present to the world a loving savior who died to reconcile his enemies to God (Rom 5:10). When we understand the 2nd coming, we can be like John the Baptist warning people to flee from the wrath to come (Matt 3:7). Understand that as terrible as the day of the Lord sounds it is nothing compared with the lake of fire. Christians are not called to warn people about the terrors of the tribulation, but rather the terrors of suffering the vengeance of eternal fire (Jude 1:7). So that people might fear the Lord, for it is a fearful thing to fall into his hands (Heb 10:31). That they might seek safety from the coming flood of God’s wrath and call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, for anyone who calls on his name will be saved.