In Haggai 2:23 it says, “‘On that day,’ declares the LORD Almighty, ‘I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you.’” As I read this a while back I wondered what God really meant when He said Zerubbabel was His signet ring?
As many of us know, ancient kings used signet rings to demonstrate authority and honor. A signet contained a symbol unique to a particular king and they would seal official documents with soft wax impressed with the king’s signet, kept on a ring on his finger. Such a seal certified the document as genuine and carrying the full weight of the office of the king. In 1 Kings 21:8, the evil Queen Jezebel took King Ahab’s signet ring and “wrote letters in Ahab’s name and sealed them with his seal.” The ring’s stamp gave her letters the king’s full authority. Its talked about differently in Daniel 6:17 and we also see this in Genesis 41:41-43 and Esther 8:8 and in other places.
Now back to Haggai. It's important to understand who Zerubbabel is. He is the governor of the rebuilt Jerusalem and is himself of royal blood, being a descendant of David and the grandson of Judah’s King Jehoiachin. Years earlier, Jehoiachin had lost his throne when he was deported to Babylon. See, God pictured Jehoiachin as a signet ring being removed from God’s finger (Jeremiah 22:24). Now, God calls Zerubbabel the “signet ring,” but this time it won’t be taken off and removed.
Stay with me.
In Haggai’s prophecy, God is giving Zerubbabel a vision for how God see's him. This gives Zerubbabel encouragement and hope. As God’s signet ring, Zerubbabel is given a place of honor and authority. God is reinstating the Davidic line and renewing His covenant with David. Judah still has a future as they look forward to the coming Son of David, the Messiah, who would one day “overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms” (Haggai 2:22).
Now, take a look at Ephesians in the Message (Man I love that Eugene Peterson!)
Ephesians 1:3-14 (MSG) (dont skim this, its really good)
3-6 How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He’s the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth’s foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of his lavish gift-giving by the hand of his beloved Son.
7-10 Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.
11-12 It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, he had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.
13-14 It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.
It is amazing to me how the Scriptures never get old, stale, and boring (well, most of the time). But I'm always seeing new stuff in there. And today this passage just screams out to me, and hopefully to you.
Here it is:
You are God's signet.
You have his authority, his blessing, his favor -and he's honoring, empowering, and animating you by his indwelling Spirit. So cool!
I pray that we walk in this and we pass this on to the students we serve!
So tomorrow morning when you wake up, don't just go through the motions, don't forget who you are. You carry his signet. You walk with the full weight of the office behind you! God is with you and he is so proud of you, no matter how you feel.
May we walk in the reality of what God has really done in us. That the good news is better news than we ever dreamed of. I pray that we would live with this new revelation knowing that God picked us for the amazing task of representing him and the crazy thing is, is that he thinks we can actually do it! And may those we minister to come to fully understand who they really are. That they have been chosen by God himself to do spectacular things in this world - and may we all walk in the reality that his favor is on us. Amen!