Haggai: Give Careful Thought to your Ways (x5 repeated) 1:5, 7, 2:15, 18,
- KJV “Consider your ways…”
- GNV “Know what is happening to you now…”
1:1-15, 2:7-9 (Pastor Heo)
1 In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest: 2 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the LORD’s house.’ ” 3 Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” 5 Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6 You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.” 7 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the LORD. 9 “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the LORD Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house. 10 Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. 11 I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil and everything else the ground produces, on people and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.” 12 Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the LORD their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the LORD their God had sent him. And the people feared the LORD. 13 Then Haggai, the LORD’s messenger, gave this message of the LORD to the people: “I am with you,” declares the LORD. 14 So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the LORD Almighty, their God, 15 on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month. In the second year of King Darius,
2:7 I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD Almighty. 8 ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LORD Almighty. 9 ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the LORD Almighty.”
Chp 1 of Haggai (second shortest book in OT – next to Obadiah – only one chapter)
Only 2 chapters in Haggai, but a significant message.
Haggai = “festival” or “festive” or “feast” – the key message is Reconstruction of the Temple
This is a collection of brief messages that came to the prophet Haggai several times in 520BC (within that one year, only 4 months time).
- Chp 1:1 “In the second year of King Darius, 1st day of 6th month…”
- Chp 2:1 “On the 21st day of the 7th month…”
Zerubabbel = key character, governor of Judah
- Chp 2:10 “On the 24th day of the 9th month, in the 2nd year of Darius…”
- Chp 2:20 “The word of the Lord came to Haggai a second time on the 21st day of the month…”
This book Haggai = the message of God through the prophet Haggai given to Zerubabbel (governor of Judah) in order that they might restart their mission (rebuild the temple) which they started 16 years ago.
Haggai (name) appears here 9 times and in the book Ezra 2 times. So, in their background, these two are closely related.
Keyword of Ezra = temple (538BC – 438BC)
The time and background of Haggai is during the story of Ezra (520BC). So, who was Zerubabbel? The governor of Judah at that time – the first political leader of the returned exiles.
Zerubabbel = the ancestor of Jesus and offspring of David (his name is in the genealogy of Jesus – Matthew 1)
“1:12 After the exile to Babylon: Jeconiah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel, 13 Zerubbabel the father of Abihud, Abihud the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor,”
To understand the background and context of this book, let me say the history of Israel briefly.
- The united kingdom of Israel (divided into two – north = 10 tribes, south = 2 tribes – Judah and Benjamin in 930BC)
- Northern kingdom was ruined by Assyria in 722-721BC.
- Assyria’s capital city (Nineveh) was destroyed by Babylonia in 612BC.
- The country was totally destroyed by Babylonia in 605BC at the Battle of Carchemish.
- The southern kingdom was destroyed in 586BC by king Nebuchadnezzar – but at that time, God gave them a promise that they would return to Jerusalem (under king Cyrus) – by the prophet Jeremiah.
- In world history 538BC is very important.
- In 538BC, Babylonia was destroyed by Persia, and Cyrus (king) conquered all. When he became the king of Persia, God moved his heart to fulfill his promise through Jeremiah (70 years ago). Now, he would send the Jews back to Jerusalem to rebuild their hometown (Ezra 1:1).
“1 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia (538BC), in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:
3 Any of his people among you may go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the LORD, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem, and may their God be with them.”
So, because of this decree, under the leadership of Zerubabbel, the Jews returned (50,000) to rebuild (the First Return). As soon as they arrived, they began work on the temple (538BC). Two years later, (536BC), they completed the foundation with great rejoicing.
The rebuilding of the temple symbolized the restoration of the presence of God among them.
Unfortunately, their neighbors feared political repercussions and a thriving Jewish state so they resisted this rebuilding. So the job stopped for 16 years until the next king (Darius) became king of Persia.
Then, this job has ceased for 16 years and they became less and less interested in God and his temple, and more and more interested in their own house building and businesses and economy.
Even though this was the mission given to them from God, they justified and excused themselves not to build it.
- 1:2 “2 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the LORD’s house.’ 3 Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”
- 1:8-9 “Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the LORD. 9 “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the LORD Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house.”
In this context, this book was written – God called Haggai and gave him this message to start their mission again.
- So, we can say the message of chp 1 is very clear. “Rebuild the temple.” Otherwise, your effort, labor for yourselves will be fruitless.
- The message of chp 2 is “If you start to rebuild my house, I will bless you / I am with you.” 3x repeated “Be strong.” “The gold is mine, the silver is mine, all is mine.”
2:9 “ ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the LORD Almighty.”
2:23 “ ‘On that day,’ declares the LORD Almighty, ‘I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,’ declares the LORD Almighty.”
So they started to rebuild again and finished it and rededicated it to God again. But, this story is not written here (it took 4 years) – it is written in Ezra.
But this book Haggai is written in 520BC. But rebuilding the temple finished in 516BC.
“1 In the 2nd year of King Darius, on the 1st day of the 6th month,…”
15 The temple was completed on the 3rd day of the month Adar, in the 6th year of the reign of King Darius. 16 Then the people of Israel—the priests, the Levites and the rest of the exiles—celebrated the dedication of the house of God with joy. 17 For the dedication of this house of God they offered 100 bulls, 200 rams, 400 male lambs and, as a sin offering for all Israel, 12 male goats, one for each of the tribes of Israel. 18 And they installed the priests in their divisions and the Levites in their groups for the service of God at Jerusalem, according to what is written in the Book of Moses.”
- Original temple: Solomon’s temple
- This temple: Zerubabbel’s temple
#1: The temple is a type of Jesus Christ
- This is the place where we meet God to have a relationship/fellowship with God.
- It is a manifestation, presentation, revelation of God.
- And Jesus himself is a visible representation of the invisible God.
For example, in the gospels, they made the temple dirty with selling things, so Jesus cleansed it. He said, “tear down this temple and I will rebuild it in 3 days.” They were shocked – this temple took 46 years to build (Herod’s temple). But the reality of the temple is Jesus Christ, he was speaking of his body.
Jesus says, “I will build my church.”
Christ is the Head of the Church, we are his body.
Lesson #2: Give Careful Thought to your Ways
- Consider your ways
- Know what is happening to you now, today.
- Get your priorities straight.
What matters is a priority matter. Who/what is #1 in your priorities?
- Jesus says, “Whatever you do, whether you eat or drink do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31)
- “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness…” (Matthew 6:33)
- “Anyone who loves his father and mother more than me is not worthy of me.”
- Yes, we can agree with this challenge, but there is TOO much more “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children, brothers, sisters, even his own life, he cannot be my disciple.”
Jesus challenges us to hate our fathers, mothers, lives, wives, children, etc to be his disciple.
This is a BIG challenge. Can you (really) accept this willingly? So, then what does this mean?
Yes, actually, we must love our fathers, mothers, wives, children… but he’s talking about our Priority #1. Who/what is your #1 priority?
- Even when Jesus condemns the day of Noah, (“the story of Noah was like it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. In the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying, etc but they never knew what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”)
- Actually, Jesus is criticizing the matter of eating, drinking, marrying, building our own houses, etc….
- But are eating, drinking, shopping, working evil things? No… but what’s your Priority #1.
Here’s the point:
Every day we eat, drink, shop, work, play. These are not BAD things, but OTHER things.
***Key message **************
- These are GOOD things, but not the GOD thing. If GOOD things become our “GOD” things, then they become BAD things.
- But, if we do GOD things first (what he’s called us to do) and do our GOOD things second, then our GOOD things can become BLESSINGS.
Individually, we all have our own mission (GOD thing) that God is calling us to do today. Get your priorities straight.