Welcome back! As promised today I read the book of Haggai and officially completed my 10th book of the Bible in as many days. As I’ve said before Sunday’s are pretty packed in our home, so I’m glad a shorter book fell naturally on this day.
Haggai is a minor prophet of the Old Testament, after the people of Israel have begun to return from captivity and rebuild. The messages he receives from the Lord are for Zerubbabel, who is heading up rebuilding. The Lord sends 4 messages in this book.
First, he commands the people to start rebuilding the temple. He asks them why they are living in “luxurious houses” while the temple is nothing but a ruin (1:4). He then tells them that if they do not obey, there will be consequences.
Their response is beautiful. After generation upon generation disobeying the Lords commands and enduring 70 years of captivity this remnant of Israel finally had learned obedience. Haggai 1:12 says:
“Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of God’s people began to obey the message from the Lord their God. When they heard the words of the prophet Haggai whom the Lord their God had sent, the people feared the Lord.”
That moment alone is worth rejoicing! They have finally reached a point of unquestioned obedience.
As they begin to rebuild the temple it quickly become obvious that this temple will be nothing like the grand one Solomon built. And then, before they can become discouraged, comes the second message from the Lord. He declares that “The future glory of this Temple will be greater than its past glory…” (2:9). And with this encouragement the work continues.
The third message God commends them for their obedience, promising to bless them for it. And then later that same day he sends a message to Zerubbabel, saying that He is getting ready to overthrow the nations and that He will honor Zerubbabel, his chosen servant.
Personally a couple things jumped out at me.
1. We are called to be obedient. And in theory we know this. But do we always leap to obey like this remnant did? How often to I respond to the Lords commands with such enthusiasm?
2. God is always making something wonderful. It does not matter of tiny, dingy or delicate we think it may be- if God had commanded it, He has a purpose for it, and it will be wonderful because it shows His glory. Glitz and glam really doesn’t matter in the Kingdom- it is entirely about the heart. Don’t forget- the old beautiful temple was torn down because of their idolatry, yet this one is promised a future glory that will surpass that!
Are there good things that God is doing but because it doesn’t look like what we had in past we are missing the wonderful purpose He has in store?
Tomorrow and Tuesday I will be tackling 1 & 2 Peter if your following along.