The book of Haggai ends with a word of encouragement to Zerubbabel. Perhaps Zerubabbel saw the opposition that was rising up against the rebuilding of the temple and of Jerusalem and he was getting discouraged.
But God told him,
Tell Zerubbabel governor of Judah that I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. I will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms. I will overthrow chariots and their drivers; horses and their riders will fall, each by the sword of his brother. (21-22)
In short, he was saying, “Zerubbabel, things may seem tough now, but I will shake the heavens and earth. I will tear down kingdoms and shatter their power.”
Then he said,
‘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,’ declares the Lord Almighty. (23)
A signet ring was a ring that kings would use in those days to sign documents. It was a symbol of his authority. So God was telling Zerubbabel, “While I will cast down kings and thrones, I have chosen you to become a symbol of authority for my people.”
In the short run, he used Zerubbabel to lead the people in Jerusalem in the rebuilding of the temple and their lives. In the long run, it was through Zerubbabel that Jesus the Messiah came.
Just before Jesus left to go back to the Father following the resurrection, he told the disciples,
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. (Matthew 28:18)
Why is this important? Just as God chose Zerubbabel as his servant, he has also called and chosen us. What has he called us and chosen us to do?
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:19-20)
This world has been shaken by war, turmoil, and strife. And things will only get worse. But though all is shaken, let us never fear the future. Let us remember that all authority has been given to Jesus. So let us do as he has commanded us. Let us go out and preach the gospel and making disciples until the day he returns. And as Jesus said,
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. (Matthew 28:20b)