Haggai opens the last section of the Minor Prophets> He is one of three prophets preaching to God’s people who had returned from exile. Zechariah and Malachi being the other two. Prophets of the past had to deal with idolatry. But 70 years of exile had cured the people of the evil.
Haggai calls on the people to re-examine their priorities. Times are hard, food is in short supply, the weather is cold. They don’t have time to spend on the temple. But Haggai responds that it is because they have not competed the temple that these things are happening. The Temple is a sign of their loyalty to their faith.
Haggai and Zechariah were called to bring the people back to proper worship of the Lord. The first priority was to get the temple rebuilt, but the people did not share this priority.
The people were content to live and build expensive houses for themselves, while the temple was in ruin.
Haggai 1 verse7 to 9 v7 “The Lord of Hosts says this: ‘Think carefully about your ways. v8 Go up into the hills, bring down lumber, and build the house. Then I will be pleased with it and be glorified,’ says The Lord.
v9 ‘You expect much, but then it amounted to little. when you bought the harvest to your house, I ruined it. Why?’ This is the declaration of the Lord of Hosts. ‘because My house lies in ruins, while each of you is busy with his own house.'”
The message hits home the building begins.
Haggai second message comes a month later. The enthusiasm from the first message had worn off. People were discouraged it was such a big job. Haggai message this time is one of encouragement. Haggai urges the people to dream about this place to image how it could be. Haggai promises God will help them.
2 Months later Haggai gives two more prophecies. The first is urging the people to keep Holy and free from sin.
The second a message for King Zerubbabel telling him of his special status and how The Lord will bless him.
Key Verse 2 verse 4 “But cheer up! Because I, the Lord All-Powerful, will be here to help you with the work, just as I promised your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt.”
Haggai’s message to God’s people applies very much to us all today. What are our priorities? Take a good look at the things we give the most time too, where we invest our time money and energy.. It will tell a fairly accurate story of where, we have placed our self, in what is important to us.
Haggai ask us the same question he asked the people of his day, “Are we building our own house and allowing God’s house, and God’s calling and ministries to go neglected.
A challenge to all of us: Haggai 1 verse 5: “Now, the Lord of Hosts says this.’Think carefully about your ways’.”
Make time for Our Lord and Our Friend make Him a priority in everything you do.
O F J.