Haggai's Second Message

New House Construction Framing
What if your house were completely destroyed in a tornado? And then, what if, when rebuilding you realize the new house will not begin to compare with the charm and character of the original house? Perhaps that’s because your insurance money was inadequate to duplicate the fine craftsmanship and detail of the first house. Would you be discouraged? Would it dissuade you from continuing the long and laborious task of rebuilding?

This is the setup for Haggai’s second message (2:1-9). The Lord asks: “Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing?”

The Lord anticipates their thoughts and addresses the issue head-on. In the large group of workers there would only be a small percentage of those that would remember Solomon’s temple from their childhood. There were no photographs or videos back then, but surely there are drawings and paintings of its splendor.

A few negative comments can quickly sour the enthusiasm for the project. All seem to concede that this unimpressive temple will not compare with the grandeur of the first one.

Haggai brings another message from the Lord, casting a vision of what the future holds for the temple and the nation.

Often our work seems unimpressive to the world—even to ourselves. We get caught in the comparison treadmill—something done in the past by someone else becomes our unattainable standard. Or, we look around at what others are accomplishing now and conclude that we fall short.

The people rebuilding the temple allowed their eyes to discourage them, so the Lord intervened with a new message. “The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house. And in this place I will grant peace.”

The people will have to trust Haggai, and take God at his word because they will not see this prophecy come to fruition in their lifetime. Likewise, we will not see all that becomes of our labor for the Lord. We too must take God at his word, and not rely on what our eyes tell us.

Meanwhile let’s follow the Lord’s directive that remains clear: “Be strong, all you people of the land,” declares the Lord, “and work. For I am with you.”

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Haggai’s second message, or your progress in learning it.

5 comments to Haggai’s Second Message

  • When I was out walking this morning I decided to make a few changes to my blog post for today. So I think the new one is clearer and more concise. Thankful for editing options!

  • Richie

    I’ve seen a theme repeated throughout scripture, and it happened again at the end of chapter one: the people were confronted with their error, they obeyed and feared God. THEN, God said “I am with you”. He waits for us to turn so he can know our hearts before he really begins to work with us. This little book has several golden nuggets inside!

    • I agree that this little book is jam-packed. It reminds me that ALL scripture is God-breathed and useful for sooooooo many things. I easily overlook some scriptures. There’s a message in each book.

  • Chérie

    “Likewise, we will not see all that becomes of our labor for the Lord. We too must take God at his word, and not rely on what our eyes tell us.”
    ….love this, Janet?

    I’ve had so many insights into a book that previously (I’m embarrassed to admit) was just one in the series of 12 that I can say super fast from my VBS days as a kid and my adult days as an AWANA teacher.
    Building a house was foremost on my mind at the beginning of chapter one. I live in one of the 10 fastest growing cities in America. Houses are being built everywhere you turn. It’s easy to get a visual of this process here. But it wasn’t what the Lord wanted me to see.
    While doing laundry one day and looking up at my chapter on the wall, I glanced at chapter 2 which I was going to be memorizing next and saw “be strong all you people of the land and work…”
    “this is what I covenanted with you when I brought you out of Egypt….”

    AND IT HIT ME…..
    Our house-building gig is the work God has put in front of us to do as people who have been saved from the slavery of sin through His blood (Red Sea….ahem….)

    A ministry through church, a ministry of any kind, witnessing to the lost, the displaying of our faith through suffering (i.e. Chronic illness, raising an adopted kid with issues that could make a person run for their lives, having to care for ones elderly parents……)

    Carrying on with what God has put in front of us to do.

    Another awe-inspiring insight into Who this God is I worship. I recently read about all the massive, seemingly endless fires going on—exacerbated by ‘drought’, and not even a NANO-SECOND passed when in my mind I heard….
    “I called for a drought on the fields the mountains, on the grain, the new wine and oil and whatever the ground produces…..”
    Alrighty then….?
    Maybe it’s just me, but it was such a reminder of who is in charge and who we are building and working for.
    Be strong Chérie and work. For He is with me.

    • Wow Cherie, thanks for sharing that. I’m always amazed that whatever I’m memorizing, those truths scream at me from other places. Like the whole drought issue. God’s word never loses its relevance. So so powerful!!!