Text: Haggai 2:10-19
I. After the people returned from captivity, work began in rebuilding Israel.
A. The people quickly laid the foundation of the temple, but the work stagnated.
B. The people were distracted with rebuilding their own homes and efforts to produce a living.
C. Over time they became apathetic. For 16 years nothing happened.
D. The prophet Haggai arose at this point to stir up the people
E. All their sacrifices can’t make something or someone holy. Holiness is not communicable.
F. But their sins and uncleanness are communicable. They can cause the holy to become unholy.
G. Haggai 2:15-19
H. “Is the seed still in the barn?”
1. It is a rhetorical question. The answer at this point in the year when the question was asked is “no.”
a. It is mid-December. It is in the end of the planting season in Israel.
b. The rainy season is about to begin.
2. God has been punishing them with damaged harvests trying to get people to wake up and return.
3. They had ignored God’s message, but now, finally, they have returned to building the temple.
4. Despite the past difficulties, they still committed their grain to the fields.
a. It is too soon to tell what the results will be. The rains haven’t started yet. The trees and vines are still dormant.
b. Yet there is a reason they put out their grain in advance.
c. They had hopes of a good crop.
5. God is saying they don’t have to guess.
a. God is going to bless them because they have finally put Him first.
b. Their sacrifices were going to make them holy
c. Their obedience demonstrates that they are holy
II. Seed is used frequently in the New Testament as a metaphor
A. The incorruptible seed - I Peter 1:22-25
1. Each of us were conceived of corruptible seed
a. We were born into this world as mortal beings.
b. We grow, but all too soon we begin to decay, grow old, and then one day die.
2. But Christians are born again of the water and Spirit - John 3:5
a. Brought forth by the word of truth - James 1:18
b. An implanted word (image of seed) able to save our souls - James 1:21
c. That incorruptible seed, the word of God, can produce immortal people - I Corinthians 15:42-54
3. For 2000 years the gospel has brought new life to sinful, dying people. It hasn’t change. It endures. But it changes people in whom it is planted.
B. Parables of Seed
1. One seed produces different results. How? The results depend on the soil in which it is planted - Matthew 13:3-8, 18-23
2. The seed is good, but the enemy is also sowing tares in the same field - Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
3. The seed looks insignificant and is easily overlooked, but it will germinate and grow into something marvelous - Matthew 13:31-32
4. But consider the question from Haggai. What if the seed is left in the barn?
a. Can it produce?
b. Would it help or hinder the work of Satan?
c. Satan wants the seed to stay in the barn.
C. That seed is Christ - Galatians 3:15-16
1. God fulfilled his promise to Abraham, to bless the whole world through his descendant.
2. The eternal one, Christ our Lord, produced a bumper crop. The Jews alone were not saved, but salvation reached the Gentiles
a. All Christians are born again - Galatians 3:26-29
b. We become Abraham’s seed
3. The world of tares, the secular world, doesn’t want the seed sown.
a. If Christians exercise their faith, they want it out of sight where it won’t cause offense
b. That is why religious expressions are being battled. No prayers in schools. No indications of religious faith in the work place.
c. Keep it hidden in the churches and homes. Keep it in the barns.
III. Are we keeping the seed in the barn?
A. Has it taken root in your heart?
1. When God asked through Haggai, “Is the seed still in the barn?” the answer was “no.”
a. It had been invested in the soil of Judea.
b. God held its fate, and He promised a good return if they did as He asked.
2. Are we leaving the seed in the barn? Are we letting it take root in our own lives? - James 1:21-25
a. The seed has no effect if it is not used.
b. Look at your life. Do you see an overgrown weed patch? - I John 3:6-10
c. Show evidence that God’s word is growing in you - I Peter 2:1-3
B. Are you sowing it in other fields?
1. The seed is sown when we share it with those around us - Galatians 6:7-10
2. Seeds of kindness, seeds of joy, seed of doing good -- these help our neighbors; but nothing compares to sowing seeds of the gospel in the hearts of our neighbors.
3. Do you recall the parable of the sower?
a. The seed was richly scattered over a variety of soils.
b. The sower wasn’t selective
c. Nor should we be selective. Spread the word. Let it fall where it may.
d. The sprouting depends on the people receiving the word, not the sower.
4. It can and will make an impact because God promised a bountiful harvest - Romans 1:16-17
C. Are you ready to sow?
1. It is unfortunate that some act ashamed of the gospel.
2. We are timid with it. We aren’t prepared for the opportunities - I Peter 3:15
3. Study so we need not be ashamed - II Timothy 2:15-16
4. Give it the attention that it deserves - I Timothy 4:13
D. Are you sowing the wrong seed?
1. Has there been a change in your life? - Ephesians 4:17-24
2. People think they become children of God, but they continue to plant seeds of destruction. How will the word of God ever take root? - Colossians 3:5-15
3. Imagine putting in a new lawn and sowing it with dandelions and crabgrass.
a. Even a mixture of good and bad seed would be ridiculous.
b. So why do people approach Christianity part way? - Romans 13:11-14
IV. If eternal life really matters to us, then why is the seed still in the barn?
Based on a lesson by Jeff S. Smith.