BIBLE READING: Haggai 1-2
Haggai is a book that should be studied alongside the book of Ezra seeing how both deal with the return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. Ezra 1:5 tells us about the remnant of people that returned were very eager and had a noble purpose of rebuilding the temple, but very quickly became lax in their efforts to rebuild the temple and began working on their own houses and belongings and neglected God’s temple. Enter Haggai…
The work on God’s temple had come to a complete standstill for nearly 16 years. Ezra 3:1 tells us that they were very united when they started; Ezra 3:10-11 relays to us about these people laying the foundation, and Ezra 4:1-3 shows us that they were unwilling to compromise. Ezra 4:4-5 tells us that they also had to deal with very powerful opposition to what they were doing. But, as time passes, these people became slack and indifferent (Haggai 1:2-4, 9). Pay close attention, and you’ll see that the Lord doesn’t charge them with being immoral, or going against His will, but sends word through Haggai that they were paying attention to the wrong things. They were worried about their own houses, and not His.
But, look at the reaction of the people. Haggai 1:12 tells us, “… they obeyed the voice of the Lord their God,” and began working again. In the very next verse, God tells them, “I am with you.” How encouraging is that! The work of the temple was then finished in 5 years.
Now, let’s look at our own lives, and our world that so often seems to be spinning out of control. Are we more concerned with our own house, and the things going on in our own personal lives than we are that of the Lord’s church? Could God send a “Haggai” to remind us of how we are acting, not immoral, but paying attention to the wrong things? What would our reaction be if He did? These are all good questions to ponder. I hope we would all heed the message that the book of Haggai has to teach us.