Haggai 1:1-2:23 Commitment

        Haggai 1:1-2:23  July 8 2007

    Haggai,Zechariah, and Malachi prophesied in
    Jerusalem following  the Babylonian captivity.
    Under Cyrus’s edict in 538 B.C., Zerubbabel,
    Joshua, and others led about 50,000 Jewish
    exiles back to Jerusalem for the purpose of
    rebuilding the temple (Ezra 1:1-4;2:2,64-65).
    The foundation for the temple was laid, but
    work stopped soon thereafter due to strong
    opposition. No work was done for about 15
    years.  The people became comfortable with
    thing as they were. In 520 B.C. , when Darius
    was Persia’s king, God persuaded Zerubbabel
    and Joshua through the preaching of Haggai and
    Zechariah to lead the people to resume building
    the temple. Zechariah’s contribution to this
    project will be the study in the four lessons
    that follow this one.

    1. Evaluate Your Priorities (Hag.1:7-9)

Hag. 1:7   This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give
careful thought to your ways. 1:8   Go up into the
mountains and bring down timber and build the house,
so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says
the LORD. 1:9   “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 his own house.

    Planted much. . . Harvested little. A curse for
    disobedience (Deut.28:38-39). (Lev.26:20) also
    describes the unfruitfulness of a land judged by God.
    Drink. . . Fill. (Isa 55:1-2). The people experience
    futility in all their activities, legitimate or
    illegitimate ( Hos 4:10-11). Purse with holes. Famine
    causes prices to rise sharply.
    Mountains. . . Timer. Perhaps wood from the hills
    around Jerusalem was to supplement the cedar wood
    already purchased from Lebanon (Ezr 3:7). Take
    Pleasure in it. And in the sacrifices offered there
    (contrast Isa 1:11). Be honored. An obedient nation
    would bring praise and honor to God (Jer 13:11).
    Busy with .“running to.”
    Dew. Normally abundant, and often as valuable as
    rain (2Sam 1:21; 1Kings 17:1).

    2. Follow Godly Leaders (Hag.1:12-15)

Hag. 1:12   Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son
of Jehozadak, 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. 1:13  
Then Haggai, the LORD’s messenger, gave this message of
the LORD to the people: “I am with you,” declares the
LORD. 1:14   So the LORD stirred up the spirit of
Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the
spirit of Joshua son of Jehozadak, 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, 1:15   on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month
in the second year of King Darius.

    Mountains. The hills were cultivated, especially
    through terracing (Psalms 104:13-15; Isa 7:25;
    Joel 3:18). The grain , the new wine , the oil. The
    three basic crops of the land, often mentioned in
    a context of blessing or cursing (Deut 7:13; 11:14;
    28:51; Hosea 2:8,22). Olive oil was used as food,
    ointment or medicine. Men and Cattle. The drought
    affected men and cattle and so could be said to be
    “on” them too.
    Remnant. (Isa 1:9). Feared the Lord. Showing reverence,
    respect and obedience ( Deut 31:12-13; Mal 1:6; 3:5,16).
    Messenger. A title for prophets (2Chro. 36:15; Isa 42:19 )
    or priests (Mal 2:7). I am with you. A sure indication of
    success (Hag. 2:4; Nu 14:9; Ge 26:3 ).
    Stirred up the Spirit. The Hebrew for this expression
    is translated “moved (the) heart” in Ezr 1:5, where
    God stirred up many of these same people to return
    home and rebuild the temple.
    Twenty-fourth day of the sixth month. Sept. 21,
    520 B.C.

    3. Experience Life’s Fullness (Hag. 2:15-19)

Hag. 2:15   “ ‘Now give careful thought to this from this
day on  —consider how things were before one stone was
laid on another in the LORD’s temple. 2:16   When anyone
came to a heap of twenty measures, there were only ten.
When anyone went to a wine vat to draw fifty measures,
there were only twenty. 2:17   I struck all the work of
your hands with blight, mildew and hail, yet you did not
turn to me,’ declares the LORD. 2:18   ‘From this day on,
from this twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, give
careful thought to the day when the foundation of the
LORD’s temple was laid. Give careful thought: 2:19   Is
there yet any seed left in the barn? Until now, the vine
and the fig tree, the pomegranate and the olive tree have
not borne fruit. ‘From this day on I will bless you.’ ”

     This people. (Hag.1:2) . Whatever they do. . . is defiled.
    Even though the people were back in the holy land,
    that holiness did not make them pure. They needed to
    obey the Lord, particularly with regard to rebuilding
    the temple.  (Hag.2:12-13).
    Before one stone was laid. Before the 24th day of the
    sixth month (Hag.1:15).
    Heap. Probably of grain (Jer 50:26). Only ten. . . only
    twenty. The poor harvests were related to the sin of
    the people. (Hag.1:11; Isa 5:10) . Wine vat. A trough
    into which grape juice flowed. (Isa 16:10).
    Blight, Mildew. Mentioned as a curse for disobedience
    in (Deut 28:22;1Kings 8:37; Amos 4:9). The blight was
    probably caused by a scorching east wind (Gen. 41:6 ).
    Hail. Sent to destroy the fields and livestock of Egypt
    ( Exodus 9:25; Psalms 78:47-48). You did not turn. 
    (Amos 4:9).
    When the Foundation. . . Was laid. The same potential
    for blessing existed at the time when the foundation
    of the temple was laid in 536 B.C. (Ezr 3:11). This is
    a warning not to fail again.
    Vine. . . Fig tree. . . Pomegranate. . . Olive tree. Grapes,
    figs and pomegranates ripened in August and
    September, and olives from September to November.
    These harvests, like the earlier grain crops, had
    produced little. (Hag.1:11). I will bless you . Because
    of their response to Haggai’s message, future
    abundance is assured. (Mal 3:10).

    Summary :

        Haggai delivered four messages encouraging the
    leaders and people of Jerusalem to finish rebuilding
    the temple. His first message – addressed to Zerubbabel,
    son of Shealtiel, and to Joshua, son of Jehozadak –
    asked why the Israelites had built their houses but
    failed to build God’s house. Haggai diagnosed the people’s
    lack of basic physical necessities as God’s judgment for
    their having the wrong priority. God stirred up the
    spirits of Zerubbabel, Joshua, and the people.
        The prophet’s second message was a word of
    encouragement. (Hag.2:1-9).
        The third message began with two question: (1)
    Can holiness in one Object be transferred to another
    object? The answer was NO. (2) Can uncleanness in
    one object be transferred to another object? The
    answer was YES. (Hag.2:10-19).
        Haggai’s fourth message was a promise that God
    would establish a new kingdom and would bless
    Zerubbabel. (Hag.2:20-23).