Haggai

Voices for Revival – Study of Minor Prophets (Post-Exilic Period)
– Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi
Book Studies – Haggai

Book of Haggai
Book of Haggai (2 Chapters)
The first post-exilic prophet is Haggai. His name means “festival” (short form of “festival of Yahweh”). Probably because he was born on the day of a major feast e.g. Tabernacles.
The book of Haggai was written in a crucial time in Israel’s history.  A remnant of Jews has just been released and returned from captivity. 

They’re back in the land.  Within seven months we saw that they had built the altar.  Just after the beginning of the second year, they had begun to rebuild the walls of the temple and the foundation was laid and the face of the wall was put up.  But then because of opposition, they had stopped. 

The building of the temple was stopped for 16 yrs. Why?
1) Opposition from the Samaritans
2) Older Jews saw this temple as inferior to the 1st temple, Solomon’s Temple
3) Israelites were distracted by rebuilding of their own houses.

But God didn’t want it to stop. God wanted that temple built, God wanted that wall built and God wanted that whole thing set up the way He prescribed it in the Old Testament, and so He raised a prophet up to stimulate them to finish the job. And the prophet’s name is Haggai. 
{Delete? The book of Haggai has only 2 chapters, however it is the most precisely dated book in the Bible, with the dates of each sermon given to the exact day.}

Haggai was joined by another prophet, Zechariah, two months after he started. Together, they comforted and encouraged the people, and completed the Temple. The message is clear: there has to be a spiritual revival and a recommitment to complete God’s work.
God used Haggai and Zechariah to get the leaders and the people to once again focus on the work of God. {Delete? Through the leading of God, the ministry of the prophets, the decree and the funding of Darius I, and the leadership of Zerubbabel and Joshua the high priest,} the rebuilding of the temple was resumed and completed in 516 BC, exactly 70 years after its destruction.

Four Sermons of Haggai
Four Sermons in Haggai
So now that we understand how Haggai fits into the history of Israel, what is the Purpose of Haggai? It was to get the people to rebuild the temple – to get the people to resume construction on the temple. How does he do that? He preaches four sermons to the people.
Although the biblical scholars categorize Haggai a minor prophet, we can draw many life lessons from his divinely inspired words.

His principles are as relevant in today’s contact as they were during his time.
(1) Haggai admonished the people for having misplaced their priorities. He pointed out the errors of their ways chasing after the luxuries of life while ignoring God’s plan.

(2) The people responded to God’s message by resuming the work on the Temple. Their newfound obedience reconciled them back to God.

(3) The people’s courage and motivation came from the promise of God’s presence and His peace. This is the peace of mind that comes from knowing that God is in control.

(4) Haggai also dealt with the issues of living clean and godly lives so they would not defile their work and sacrifices. He also urged them to depend on God for life.

(5) And finally, Haggai ultimately gave them hope for the future by revealing that God was going to destroy their enemies and establish His kingdom for His chosen people. Haggai’s exertions ultimately resulted in a series of events that led to the completion of the rebuilding of the Temple. Its completion was a momentous occasion for it marked the start of a new religious life for the Jewish people.