The Book of Haggai
Haggai was known as a post-captivity prophet. A messenger during this period of restoration of Jerusalem and the temple. The main appeal of Haggai was to inspire the Jews to finish building the temple which had discontinued. The spiritual revival of the return to the Holy City had turned to spiritual coldness and it seems significant that the last word of the Ole Testament is the word “curse.”
Haggai deals with a real situation in the lives of people. Not long after the Jewish “remnant” returned to Jerusalem and Judea, they began to neglect the things of the Lord and spend their time on building their own houses and forsook the rebuilding of the temple. For fourteen years they had been in this backslidden condition; and to this kind of a situation, the prophet Haggai sent with God’s message.
The Central Message:
Consider your ways- build the house (1:7-8)
The Structure of the Book:
First Sermon- Reproof-Chapter 1- (Sept 1- 24)
Second Sermon- Encouragement-Chapter 2:10-19 (Oct 21)
Third Sermon- Blessings- Chapter 2:10-19 (Dec 24)
Fourth Sermon- Promise-Chapter 2:20-23 (Dec 24)
First Sermon- Reproof-Chapter 1:
Haggai’s first sermon is to reprove the people for their neglect in building the Lord’s house. They were postponing what they had gone to Jerusalem to accomplish. Note V.2- These people say, the time is not come, that the Lord’s house be rebuilt. Haggai says “consider your ways-build the house. The people were satisfied to sit in their homes and wait until the time came and they wanted to do it. This speaks to us today; we just wait and do not work. We must do both wait and work.
Second Sermon-Encouragement- 2:1-9:
This is a word of encouragement by Haggai. He declares three facts: First – Jehovah’s covenant with Israel and His faithfulness to that covenant (V.5). Second- The Spirit of God remains with them, and they should have no fear (V.5).
Third Sermon- Blessings-2:10-19:
The people were to ask the priests concerning things of the law of Moses-V.11. The holy cannot make the unholy holy by contact but unholiness communicated by contact V.12-13. Haggai applies this to the Jews. Though they had returned to the land and rebuilt the temple, their hearts were far from God-V.14. God judged them because their hearts not changed toward Him V.15-17. Then God says “consider. “God would bless them now because they had obeyed. He would bless because of His grace.
The message directed to Zerubbabel, Governor of Judah, the message is the same as inV.6 and 7. It speaks of the final purpose of God. Gentil power will end. “In that day: the Lord will make Zerubbabel a “Signet”- a sign of authority, a guarantee of the greater David. It points to the Messiah. Zerubbabel was honored by a place in both the genealogies of Christ- Matthew 1:12-17 and Luke 3:27. Christ is truly the Son of Zerubbabel as well as Son of David. Zerubbabel was and is, a “signet” -prefiguring of Christ. Christ is the greater Son and Antitype of David, and Zerubbabel shall be the signet of Jehovah whereby He shall imprint His will, his perfect ideal upon all nations. From the moment of obedience, God blesses each of us. Are you building the spiritual house of the Lord, His Church, made of living stones?