Haggai is the first messenger that God sent after the exile. His name means “feast.” While Zechariah prophesied for three years, Haggai only prophesied for four months.
The king of Persia allowed 50,000 broken yet hopeful Jews to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. Rebuilding Solomon’s Temple was a giant task. After laying the foundation, their progress slowed as the Samaritans harassed those who were working on the temple. As the Jews labored, they began to intermarry and wink at God while they worshipped the idols of the pagan people. For fifteen years the work on the Temple stopped as the priests got busy in building their private lives, according to their pleasures.
520 years before Jesus, in the second year of king Darius, the Chinese philosopher Confucius was a man of great popularity. While Zerubbabel was the governor of Jerusalem, and Joshua was the High Priest, Haggai’s prophetic thrust was that the temple was to be rebuilt. As each prophetic word was given, Haggai accentuated the date it was given.
The older priests expressed their disappointment with the new temple as it lacked the splendor of the one that was plundered and destroyed. God interrupted their complaining with a word of cheer from Haggai. God gave assurance that He would supply all that was needed to rebuild. “I will shake all the nations, and the desired of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord Almighty.” (2:7)
This good news gave them hope that God would finish what He started. “My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” (John 4:34)
“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) We can be assured by God’s promises that the Holy Spirit will help in the rebuilding of our faith, our hearts, as we are the temple He resides within.
Copyright © 2019 by Barbara Alley Hoyle.
All rights reserved.
“It is finished.” 5/18/19