The great Day of the Lord — when all nations will worship God (Zeph. 1:14; 2:11; 3:9). Rejoice, God is with you (3:14-20). Worship: Results of ignoring (Hag. 1:9-11). The presence of God and blessing promised (1:13; 2:4-5,19).
Haggai was among the first exiles to return from Babylon under the leadership of Zerubbabel, the governor, and Joshua, the high priest. Their purpose was to rebuild the Temple (Ezra 3:8; Hag. 1:14). They first set up the altar and established daily worship and rebuilt the foundation of the Temple. But the opposition by their Samaritan neighbors finally caused the construction to cease (Ezra 4:24). About fifteen years elapsed.
During this interval the people became occupied with their own personal affairs. Though times were hard, they managed to build for themselves homes but felt they had no time and money for the House of God.
Haggai disregarded all excuses and said: Consider your ways (Hag. 1:5) — meaning: "Why should you enjoy the comfort of your own houses while the House of God remains in ruins?" You reap a bad harvest. Your wages are not meeting your needs. You look for so much and get so little. Why?
Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the Lord's House should be built . . . Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled (roofed) houses, and this House lie waste? (1:2-4).
Upon hearing the Word of the Lord (1:3), the people renewed their commitment to rebuilding the Temple, the one place designated by God for His people to worship Him. This time they ignored the threats of their enemies and the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah. . . . And they builded, and finished it, according to the Commandment of the God of Israel (Ezra 6:14). The Temple was completed in just four years. Without the Word of the Lord as a standard, we easily fall prey to excuses. Reading the Word of God imparts the spiritual strength needed to put Him first in our lives.
These Israelites illustrate that, to gain the best in life: No man can serve two masters . . . Ye cannot serve God and mammon. . . . Take no thought for your life. . . . take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? . . . or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles (the unsaved) seek:). . . . But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:24-33).
Thought for Today:
We are labourers together with God.. . . But let every man take heed how he buildeth (I Cor. 3:9-10).
As King of Israel, even the Lord (Zeph. 3:15; compare John 1:49).
Zeph. 1:4 Chemarims adolatrous priests in charge; 1:9 leap on the threshold rush into houses to confiscate the property by extortion and deceit; 2:15 carelessly securely, with no equal; Hag. 2:7 the desire of all nations the One desired by all people, the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Pray for International Broadcasts sponsored by Lt. Col. and Mrs. Walter Swanson • Staff: Dr. John A. Hash • Government Official: Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (FL) • Country: Argentina (37 million) in southern South America • Major languages: Spanish and English • Religious freedom • 87% Roman Catholic; 8% Protestant; 1.5% Muslim; 1% Jewish; 2.5% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Praise the Lord for His mercy and loving-kindness (Ps. 86:15).
Memory Verse for the Week: