Haggai Speaks

Alter Prophet
Seven days into Haggai, we already hear God’s message to us in the 21st century. I hope you took time to read up on the background to get the setting for the book. Here’s a review.

• In 586 BC the Babylonians invaded Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple and left the city in ruins. Most of the people were carried into exile to Babylon.
• In 539 BC the Persians conquered Babylon and one year later, Cyrus the Persian King issued a decree permitting any Jews to return home and rebuild the temple.
• Haggai the prophet writes 4 messages in 520 BC, to the group that returned.

Without going past the first seven verses, what have we learned so far?

About the people?
• Their priorities are inverted. They’ve been concentrating on building their own homes and meeting their own needs, instead of rebuilding God’s house.
• Their lives are full of hardships. They never seem to have enough food, clothes or money.

About God?
• He is the LORD Almighty, also translated the LORD of Hosts, which carries military overtones. He is the LORD over heavenly armies.
• He is not impatient or demanding with his people. It isn’t revealed in the text, but its been 18 years since the people returned, and they still haven’t gotten around to rebuilding God’s temple.
• Now is the time God is calling them to account. He asks them to carefully examine what they’ve been doing, and how that’s been working for them.

About the Temple?
• It’s not equivalent to our modern church buildings.
• The Temple was central to the Jewish way of life and their worship of God.
• Without the Temple their worship was on hold: no priests, no sacrifices, no festivals.

About us/me?
• We too, are self-absorbed and focused on our own agendas.
• We postpone God’s priorities until the time is right, but that time never comes.
• We have a responsibility as God’s people to carry out his plans for his kingdom.
• When I make my life all-about-me, it never turns out like I’d hoped. When I focus on God I don’t need to worry because he will accomplish what’s important.

We’re beginning week 2 of Haggai. So much more to learn. I am re-imbedding the links from last week because I did it incorrectly.



I’d love to hear what you have learned from the first seven verses of Haggai.

16 comments to Haggai Speaks

  • Richie

    I’m in. And I’m still up with you so far. This book is SO relevant. The verse, “give careful thought to your ways” is like the modern day “how’s that been working for you?”. I see already that I’m looking around at my own life examining what I “have time for” and what I don’t. I’m asking myself how all that is working for me. I already admire the boldness and bravery of this prophet who confronted these people as he is confronting me.

    • I so agree. I even anticipate years down the road that God will whisper (or maybe shout) “Janet, Consider your ways!” It’s so healthy to keep evaluating because we easily slip off the path and don’t realize it. I need this book.

  • Barbara Tyndall

    Even though I’m not going through Haggai with you, I am saving all the links and background info. Maybe I will go there after I finish 1 Peter. Thanks so much for sharing as you go.

    • Hi Barbara, great idea. Sometimes you can’t stop the one you’re on. And 1 Peter is definitely for the day and time we are living in. It’s probably my favorite book – ya, I do say that about most of them.

  • Chérie

    I learned in a sermon by Shea Sumlin at TVC, that “paneled houses” (I’m memorizing out of NIV84) is significant in Haggai because it was super unusual. The houses were made of the local material which wasnt wood. So the fact they had wood paneling means they were going the extra mile (literally….up into the mountains for the wood), and going to the extra trouble for the paneling. Why? I don’t think he said why. I’m gonna listen to it again to double check, but my thinking was that good old human nature was kicking in and it was one those “keeping up with the Jones dealios…?”
    What do y’all think?

    • That’s what we all do. We’re busy paneling our priorities and thinking that some day we will get around to God’s. It’s sooooo convicting. What a great book.

  • Chérie

    (The Village Church/Shea Sumlin)

    “Kingdom Priority” http://subspla.sh/25e5bba

  • Chérie

    Also…as the exhausted mom of an adopted child with Re-active Attachment Disorder. I realized something important re: when God instructs “give careful thought to your ways…”
    As I was working out my inflection and cadence of that verse, my first instinct was to say “Give careful thought to your ways”, as the stern, angry mom that RAD kids cause in us stressed out RAD moms…., but God actually reminded me about some things I’ve learned about how to talk with my son so he doesn’t go into “fight or flight” mode. I need to have soft, loving eyes and instruct him with the voice that says, “I don’t want bad things to happen to you…I want good for you, that is why you need to act and do things my way….”
    So I changed the cadence/inflection in that verse to reflect that. God isn’t ONLY wanting them to build His house for Him, but because when He is honored in the correct way; we reap the benefits, and He is honored again. Win-win.
    Sorry to go on and on–just thought that was worth sharing. 

  • Deb M

    I’m in too and on vs 7. I agree with you and Richie and keep hearing – “deb, give careful thought to your ways.” It makes me pause as I too am guilty as they were to put my priorities before the Lords. Glad Sue challenged me to join you! Excited to see what He has in store for us through this book.

  • Mike F.

    “Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts. “Consider your ways!” Haggai 1:5 This reminds me of Psalm 139:23 “Search me O God, and know my heart, Try me, and know my anxious thoughts.” Just as Israel had reason to consider their ways, so we in America have reason also. “Now these things happened as examples for us, so that we would not crave evil things as they also craved.” 1 Corinthians 10:6 They were complacent and we are lukewarm. “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline. Therefore, be zealous and repent.” Revelation 3:19
    It is remembering and recalling, and thus meditating on the word of God, to remember and recall, that breathes life into our heart. God’s divine way for us to be zealous and repent!

  • Catherine

    I started by memorizing the scriptures, I haven’t gone to dig deeper on the background and history of this book and this prophecy times. I was planning to do so on when we break, before starting chapter 2. Thanks Janet for sharing on the background. The Lord’s call to build the temple has heavily ministered to my spirit. In the N.T., we are referred to as the temple of God and where the Spirit dwells 1 Cor 3:16 and temple of the Holy Ghost, 1Cor 6:19.
    I am called of the Lord as I have been memorizing and meditating upon His word that this is the time to build the temple in me. Any tasks, desires, wants, that I place before the tasks of building the temple will not satisfy but will lead to more busyness of life, wants and desires.., with no life satisfactions.

  • Phyllis

    Oh how blessed to have a God that speaks to His people , who came to dwell among us!! May I never stop desiring to know what The Lord Almighty says…..

  • Dear Janet. I appreciate your showing the importance of study of the passage we memorize. Historical backgrounds are so essential to understanding the text!! I am not memorizing this book with you, since I’ve got others in the works, but I’m so encouraged with what you are doing!! Blessings, knit together because of our Life and Love Jesus Christ.