The children of Israel were in exile for a long time before Haggai prophesied. Finally, after sitting through the Babylonian regime which was then overthrown by the Persians, their God again had compassion on them and raised up the likes of Cyrus and Darius who seemed foreordained to make a very amazing way for the always-vagabond Israelites to return to their beloved Jerusalem and rebuild their city and their Temple. The supplies were on order. The town was good and empty. The slate was clean. They just had to get to work….
Only a small percentage, however, actually answered the call to go rebuild and the turnout was less than stellar. But God knew it would be a tough go and sent the likes of Ezra the Scribe, Jeshua the High Priest, Zerubbabel the governor, Haggai & Zechariah the prophets, and later Nehemiah the blessed foreman (who would rebuild the wall around the city).
The problem then became discouragement in the building. All was rubble. The former glory of the Lord’s House was nada. And, as some historians have surmised, not only were the people who were supposed to work on the new Temple quitting and bowing out, but they building their own fancy homes, maybe even using materials from the Temple project. Yes, they seemed to have completely dropped the proverbial ball. This is where the prophet Haggai came in.
He basically had an easy to decode message, “Consider your ways.” You guys are disobeying God. You are caring only about your end of the bargain. You have no vision because you are staring at your own feet. YOU HAVE GROWN TOO BUSY FOR THE LORD’S WORK. And you are wondering why you are so unhappy in all you do. Because your priorities are out of whack, you drink and are still thirsty, you eat and are still hungry, and you make money only to throw it into a bag with holes.
Nothing is working because you are plain-old disobedient and selfish.
So he prophesies. They listen. They get back to work. He encourages. God even says that the latter glory will be greater than the former and He will supply all they need. What a difference heeding to the word of the Lord makes! This book of prophecy only has to be two chapters long because His people actually listened for once and amended their ways.
May we be warned. May we consider our ways and repent. May we get to work!
God is constantly encouraging the people to rebuild. Through prophecy and promising that He is with them. The main question posed here is ARE YOU INVESTING IN THE BODY OF CHRIST? Are you “seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness?”
The Lord’s “House” or Temple, here, is us—The Body. But it can also stand for the work in the physical too.
Are we too busy for the Lord’s work?
Luke 9:57-62first I have to do this, first I have to do that…then I can follow you Lord,
Matthew 22, wedding parable: scoffing God and returning back to your own endeavors. CONSIDER YOUR WAYS…. Have you gotten jumbled in your priorities? Have you gotten too busy to minister to the Body? Are you working harder on your own stuff than God’s stuff?
One of the main principles here is that, if we put God’s work and His House first, He is faithful and joyous to provide from heaven all that we need for our “houses” or families.
Haggai=the spiritual, prophetic side of rebuilding. God is prompting us and promising to be with us. He will provide and strengthen us for anything He calls us to do.
Ezra 6=the practical, logistical side of rebuilding. Setting priests and Levites and leadership in their places, courses.
Zechariah 1:3=return to Me and I will return to you. If you are off-base, if you have wondered…repent, the literal act of turning and coming back.
Stop waiting for Revival, and be REVIVED! Take hold of all that Jesus is offering you. Thank God for His kindness. “He doesn’t break a bruised reed or quench a smoking flax.” If there is even a little spark left in you, He can fan it to flame.
WE NEED VISION COUPLED WITH HARD WORK & ORGANIZATION.