Haggai 2:10-14 – “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Ask now the priests for a ruling: ‘If a man carries holy meat in the fold of his garment, and touches bread with this fold, or cooked food, wine, oil, or any other food, will it become holy?'” And the priests answered, “No.” Then Haggai said, “If one who is unclean from a corpse touches any of these, will the latter become unclean?” And the priests answered, “It will become unclean.” Then Haggai said, ” ‘So is this people. And so is this nation before Me,’ declares the LORD, ‘and so is every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean.”
What does this mean? Matthew Henry explains it well. “Many spoiled this good work, by going about it with unholy hearts and hands, and were likely to gain no advantage by it. The sum of these two rules of the law is, that sin is more easily learned from others than holiness. The impurity of their hearts and lives shall make the work of their hands, and all their offerings, unclean before God. The case is the same with us. When employed in any good work, we should watch over ourselves, lest we render it unclean by our corruptions.” In other words, if you drop a white glove in the mud, the mud doesn’t get glovey.
In this, the end time, we are warned repeatedly to avoid being deceived. Deception is the watchword of the day, along with its brothers, false teaching/prophets, and apostasy. The only sure antidote for being deceived is to stay strong in the basic foundations of our faith: daily prayer, daily bible study, daily worship- seeking His face by remaining receptive to the Holy Spirit.
The Haggai chapters also contain a phrase the LORD uses several times: “Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Consider your ways” (1:7). The word consider is used repeatedly in chapter 2. In the NIV it is “give careful thought.” Considering our ways is always a good thing to do. Falling away always starts subtly, and why not? “For the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made.” (Gen 3:1) He’s not going to grab you and drag you screaming behind the bushes. He’ll start subtly.
Do you have some creeping corruptions that are rendering you unclean? A little mud splatter? A peek at today’s horoscope, perhaps. Hanging with friends who swear, drink, or sleep around. Have you been unable to resist passing along that great piece of gossip? That’s how it starts. And before you know it, your work is unclean. And the more we fail to “give careful thought”, the more we become unclean. The more we fail to ask Jesus to reveal our unholiness to us the more the crafty serpent subtly creeps in. Don’t kid yourself that you are persisting with these friends because it’s a chance to witness. The consecrated meat does not consecrate the cooked food, wine, oil, or any other food. Rather, the uncleanness prevails, every time. If you drop a white glove into the mud…the glove does not make the mud white.
Christian, “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.” (II Timothy 3:1) Give careful thought to your ways, and stay clean in these perilous times!