December 25th Haggai 1
A, September 1st 520 BC
A Challenge to the people
1: In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying, 2: Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD's house should be built. 3: Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying, 4: Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? 5: Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. 6: Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. 7: Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. 8: Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD. 9: Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house. 10: Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit. 11: And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands.
B. September 24th 520 BC
The Response to the Challenge
12: Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the LORD. 13: Then spake Haggai the LORD's messenger in the LORD's message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the LORD. 14: And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God, 15: In the four and twentieth day of the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.
C. October 21st 520 BC
The Discouragement of the people & the Encouragement of the Lord
1: In the seventh month, in the one and twentieth day of the month, came the word of the LORD by the prophet Haggai, saying, 2: Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and to the residue of the people, saying, 3: Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? 4: Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts: 5: According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not. 6: For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; 7: And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts. 8: The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts. 9: The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.
D. December 24th 520 BC
An appeal to the Law
10: In the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying, 11: Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Ask now the priests concerning the law, saying, 12: If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No. 13: Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean. 14: Then answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the LORD; and so is every work of their hands; and that which they offer there is unclean. 15: And now, I pray you, consider from this day and upward, from before a stone was laid upon a stone in the temple of the LORD: 16: Since those days were, when one came to an heap of twenty measures, there were but ten: when one came to the pressfat for to draw out fifty vessels out of the press, there were but twenty. 17: I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands; yet ye turned not to me, saith the LORD. 18: Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of the LORD's temple was laid, consider it. 19: Is the seed yet in the barn? yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, hath not brought forth: from this day will I bless you. 20: And again the word of the LORD came unto Haggai in the four and twentieth day of the month, saying, 21: Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth; 22: And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother. 23: In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts.
Haggai writes his prophesy to tell the people to put God first and build the Temple of the Lord. His little book has only 2 chapters and it is written by Haggai the first of the prophets after the captivity. 520 BC. He knew the prophets Zechariah and Malachi. The people were living in luxurious houses while the Temple in Jerusalem was unfinished. Haggai calls the people to put God first and finish the job of the rebuilding of the Temple. Haggai refers to the ‘Word of the Lord’ as his authority. The Letter of James, like the Book of Haggai, has the same practical attitude to faith in God. Haggai has the restoration of the religion of the people as his priority but it is to be fulfilled in the practical work of building, he has his one on the Lord of heaven both he has both feet on the ground. (The Calendar: the book encompasses a time of three months and fourteen days. There are five messages each given on a specific date.) As we have seen the other Prophets record the time of their prophecies but Haggai records the actual date. This is more like a journal of the Prophets ministry. The first date is what we call 1st September and closes on what we call Christmas eve. On September 1st 520 BC it was the second year of the reign of Darius. It was the sixth month and the first day of the month. On this day the Word of the Lord came to Haggai. In Chapter one he brings a challenge to Gods people. The Lord says you have begun well but you are not getting on very well. You eat but you are not full. You drink but you do not have the joy of the Lord. You earn wages to put them in bags full of holes. And why? Because you are not putting first things first! Christ would say Seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you! The Lord has called a halt to their blessings because god is not first in their lives. Then on September 24th 520 BC the people respond to the challenge. Zerubbabel rises to the challenge and he obeys the voice of the LORD their God and fear him. Then the LORD encourages them saying I Am with you – says the LORD. then the LORD stirred up the spirits of the king and of the people to do the work of the LORD. In chapter two Haggai records that on October 21st 520 BC the word of the LORD came again to Israel and it’s a word of encouragement for a people that are discouraged. He says none of you ever saw the Old Temple but be strong and work because l am going to be with you. And the Lord says one day l will shake the whole earth and l will bring forth the Messiah (The desire of all nations) And l will fill this house with glory. The glory of this temple will be greater than the former temple. And the Lord will bring peace in the whole earth. We see how seemly the prophets sees his day but speaks over the centuries to describe a future kingdom when all men of every nation will fear the Lord. Lastly he has a vision from the Lord on the December 24th 520 BC (Christmas Eve) now that the temple is well on its way to be completed Haggai is told to ask the priests regarding the holiness of the service of the sanctuary. He reminds the people that the service of the Lord must be carried out in a state of cleanness before the Lord. Then the Lord spoke again saying one day in the distant future when l destroy the nations that rebel against me l will raise up Zerubbabel as the authority in which all men will serve the Lord. We learn from prophecy of Haggai the importance of putting God first in all our lives.
- Make a note of the dates of the Prophecies.
- How would you describe the message of Haggai?