"The Twelve"

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Haggai means "Festal One," possibly relating to his time of birth. Haggai is a contemporary of Zechariah, though is elder. Haggai preaches a message of misplaced priorities and affections, which is why we may refer to him as the Prophet of Priorities. Consistent with this theme, the title given to the book: A Message of Misplaced Priorities. This prophecy directs attention to the reconstruction of the temple of the Lord, since it was central to Israel's whole covenantal life. It was center to sacrifice, the priestly office, and worship. Beyond these essentials, it served as a symbol of Israel's spiritual identity and as a reminder of the person, power, and presence of God.

Section 1 – The Completion of the Latter Temple

In 538 BC Cyrus of Persia issued a decree allowing the Jews to return to their land and rebuild their temple.

1st Zerubbabel

  • 536, work on the temple began (cf. Ezra 4-6)
  • 534, work ceased
  • 520, (14 yrs) work resumed (Haggai 1:1 → Sept. 1, 520 BC) → only 23 days after the first oracle!
  • 516, completed (cf. Ezra 6:15)

v.1-3 - not as glorious as the first

v. 4-9 - will be more glorious than the first

Section 2 – Glory of the Latter Temple

Enthusiasm turns into discouragement. Elders remember the glory of Solomon's temple and lament.

Ezra 3:8 Now in the second year after their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak made a beginning, together with the rest of their kinsmen, the priests and the Levites and all who had come to Jerusalem from the captivity. They appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to supervise the work of the house of the LORD. 9 And Jeshua with his sons and his brothers, and Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together supervised the workmen in the house of God, along with the sons of Henadad and the Levites, their sons and brothers. 10 And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests in their vestments came forward with trumpets, and the Levites, the sons of Asaph, with cymbals, to praise the LORD, according to the directions of David king of Israel. 11 And they sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the LORD, "For he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever toward Israel." And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. 12 But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' houses, old men who had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice when they saw the foundation of this house being laid, though many shouted aloud for joy, 13 so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the joyful shout from the sound of the people's weeping, for the people shouted with a great shout, and the sound was heard far away.

Talmud indicates that the ark of the covenant, the shekinah glory, and the Urim and Thummim were not in the rebuilt temple.

Section 3 – Present Blessing of Obedience

2:11-13 → message to priests → illustrates the concept of contamination

2:14-19 → applies the principle to the nation

God requires holiness and obedience. The point is plain, priorities are misplaced, affections are misplaced!

Haggai 1:4 "Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? 5 Now, therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways.

Observations:

  • NOT mechanical, legalistic, self-centered, behavior modification
  1. great fear in reading texts (and commentators on texts) like these!
  • Purpose clause: 1:7-8 → The pleasure of God and His glory
  • Basis of assurance and foundation of blessing is not according to obedience, but rather covenant promises of God! (cf. 2:4-5)
  • God is holy, and you will not be used of God without holiness (cf. 2:11-13)
  • Key theme: "consider" (1:5, 7; 2:15, 18 [2x])

"consider"—

Ezekiel 40:4 And the man said to me, "Son of man, look with your eyes, and hear with your ears, and set your heart upon all that I shall show you, for you were brought here in order that I might show it to you. Declare all that you see to the house of Israel."

Job 23:6 Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power? No; he would pay attention to me.

Judges 19:30 And all who saw it said, "Such a thing has never happened or been seen from the day that the people of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt until this day; consider it, take counsel, and speak."

Job 34:14 If he should set his heart to it and gather to himself his spirit and his breath, 15 all flesh would perish together, and man would return to dust. 16 "If you have understanding, hear this; listen to what I say.

  • Consider → the point: these are the words of GRACE!
  1. {I am going to do this for you (glory, covenant), now set your heart on these things}
  2. their future blessing is not the product of obedience

Haggai 2:19 Is the seed yet in the barn? Indeed, the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have yielded nothing. But from this day on I will bless you."

The point is plain, priorities are misplaced, affections are misplaced!

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Matthew 5:6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.

Psalm 34:9 Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack! 10 The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

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