t. My wife learnt how to remember them in order as a child, me not so much.
That being the case I never really looked at many Old Testament books and yet there is so much in these books if we take the time, none more so than Haggai.
Haggai prophesied around 538-506 BC to a restored and revived people. These people, the Jews, had been exiled from their homeland and had the opportunity to return.
Haggai was sent by God to give a word of encouragement. The reason was the Israelites excitement over returning to the land was short-lived, Confronting them upon arrival was a city whose walls and houses had been reduced to a heap of rubble overgrown with weeds.
The temple (their church), in whose splendour they had taken pride and received recognition, was nothing more than rubbish and ashes.
Furthermore, there was a drought in the land, and economic depression seemed imminent.
Seem a bit like today for you?
In this environment, Haggai prophesied in order to awaken the lethargic
community into resuming the work on the temple (Ezra 5:1-6:15). Haggai’s appeal to the people included an assurance that, despite the odds against it, God would guarantee the peace and prosperity of Jerusalem for the people if they would only be faithful to their responsibilities to Him.
I want to encourage you too, there is hope. There will be a return to normality. As followers of Jesus Haggai gives us some important lessons.
- When God speaks we need to listen. He had to speak to Haggai to get through to the disappointed people. I don’t know if that is because they had stopped listening, switched off or just become complacent but the lesson is are you seeking daily to hear from God?
- Seek you first the Kingdom of God. Perhaps you said something like this. “I’ll pay more attention to spiritual things as soon as my schedule lightens up.”, “I’ll get back into a daily time of prayer and Bible reading as soon as I finish the project I’m working on.” or “One of these days I’ll get around to help with the Youth work at the church or some other task.”
If you’ve ever made comments such as these, then you have some idea of the situation in post-exile Judah. As I said the people had started to rebuild the temple, but stopped after a ‘year or two of work They got involved in other commitments, and before they knew it 16 years had gone by. The temple was still incomplete. “We’ll get around to it,” they apparently said. “It’s just not time yet” (Hag. 1:2).
We will see the end of the story tomorrow
Stay Safe and Blessed