There are defining moments that shape the course of history. We remember many of them. When Julius Caesar crossed the RubiconRiver (taking his legions inside the line of no crossing) he set the stage for the Roman Empire as we know it. Young Martin Luther’s hammer on the Wittenberg church doors rang out a message that altered the course of the church to this day. When Hitler invaded Danzig at the end of August, 1939 it was England ’s response that has shaped Western history for the past nearly 60 years. Likewise, in redemptive history (the history of God’s work in people) the response of the Jews to a message they heard on September 1st, 520 BC shaped the course of biblical history. In 23 short days what had not happened in 16 long years took place. The Second Templewas started. The First Temple (Solomon’s) was destroyed in 586 BC. Herod later would not build a new temple but expand and embellish the second (Zerubbabel’s temple). So this was the beginning of thetemple of Christ , the Apostles and of AD 70’s destruction. A great turning point in history.
All of this is recorded in the 37th book of the Old Testament. Haggai stands at the front of the last division of the Old Covenant books. This is because the structure of the Old Testament is very symmetrical. It starts with 17 books of history. Five Major books (Gen-Deut) then 12 historic books (9 pre-exilic and 3 post-exilic). Then 5 books of poetry. These are in the middle of the Old Testament and deal with the heart of Jewish worship (Pain, Worship, Living, Life and Love). Then 17 books of prophecy. Five are major (Isaiah to Daniel) and 12 are Minor (of these 9 are pre-exilic and 3 are post-exilic).
I. Before we examine each division of this book, we need to look at the big picture. There are seven timeless truths about God we can trace from the pages of Haggai.
A. The Lord is Powerful. The Lord is 14x called by His name of power in this short little book. The Lord of Hosts is Haggai favorite name for God. In using this name our Lord God Almighty reveals the vastness of His control!
1. First we are shown He has all POWER
a) he is lord of all his universe Haggai 2:6 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land;
b) he is lord of all nations Haggai 2:7 And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.
c) he is lord of all wealth Haggai 2:8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts.
d) he is lord of all glory Haggai 2:9 The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.
2. Then we are shown He has EXPECTATIONS
a) as lord he has expectations of his people – repentance Haggai 1:7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.
b) as lord he has expectations of his worship – reverence Haggai 1:9 Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.
c) as lord he has expectations of his leaders – responsiveness Haggai 1:14 And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God,
d) as lord he has expectations of his priests – resislience Haggai 2:4 Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts:
e) as lord he has expectations of his word – reference Haggai 2:11 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Ask now the priests concerning the law, saying,
f) as lord he has expectations of his servants – reliance Haggai 2:23 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts.
3. The Lord is jealous In Haggai God expect the place of priority no matter what is going on in their lives! Haggai 1:2-3 “Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, saying: ‘This people says, “The time has not come, the time that the LORD’s house should be built.” ‘ ” 3 Then the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, saying, (NKJV). He also expects purity in 2:10-14. Jealous is a name the Lord describes Himself by often. NoteExodus 34:14 ‘(for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), (NKJV). See also Ex. 20:5; Dt. 4:24, 5:9, 6:15, 29:20, 32:16,21 as well as many references in Ezekiel especially! In the New Testament Paul warns that compromise and worldliness invites God’s JEALOSY 1 Corinthians 10:22 Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He? (NKJV).
4. The Lord is demanding Haggai 1:9 “You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?” says the LORD of hosts. “Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house. 10 “Therefore the heavens above you withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit. 11 “For I called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine and the oil, on whatever the ground brings forth, on men and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.” (NKJV). If the Lord is unheeded He will chasten and refine His way into our lives!
5. The Lord is trustworthy Haggai 2:5 ‘According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you; do not fear!’ (NKJV)
6. The Lord is changeless Haggai 2:3-9 ‘Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? In comparison with it, is this not in your eyes as nothing? 4 ‘Yet now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ says the LORD; ‘and be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; and be strong, all you people of the land,’ says the LORD, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ says the LORD of hosts. 5 ‘According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you; do not fear!’ 6 For thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; 7 ‘and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts. 8 The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts. 9 ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the LORD of hosts.” (NKJV). The Lord is the same Hebrews 13:8 . . . yesterday, today, and forever. (NKJV). He is not tied to our museums of past greatness! He wants to live powerfully in and through us TODAY!
7. The Lord is loving Haggai 2:15 And now, carefully consider from this day forward: from before stone was laid upon stone in the temple of the LORD — 16 ‘since those days, when one came to a heap of twenty ephahs, there were but ten; when one came to the wine vat to draw out fifty baths from the press, there were but twenty. 17 ‘I struck you with blight and mildew and hail in all the labors of your hands; yet you did not turn to Me,’ says the LORD. 18 ‘Consider now from this day forward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, from the day that the foundation of the LORD’s temple was laid — consider it: 19 ‘Is the seed still in the barn? As yet the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have not yielded fruit. But from this day I will bless you.’ ” (NKJV). Though He had to judge their past sins, there is blessing on the horizon!
8. The Lord is personal Haggai 2:23 ‘In that day,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘I will take you, Zerubbabel My servant, the son of Shealtiel,’ says the LORD, ‘and will make you like a signet ring; for I have chosen you,’ says the LORD of hosts.” (NKJV). After the word of wrath coming on the nations, the Lord assures an individual named Zerubbabel, he will be specially used of the Lord. God has big plans for each of us. Don’t miss them! What hinders usefulness? The priesthood of the Old Testament (which is vital to us in the New Testament because we are each individually priests) has some stunning details!
a) THE HOLY TEMPLE OF A PURE BODY(Exodus 20:26 ‘Nor shall you go up by steps to My altar, that your nakedness may not be exposed on it.’ (NKJV))
· God’s New Testament priests never expose their bodies in an unholy way. What is this? God has asked us to prevent any sexual display, any cause for arousing wrong desires in another, any flaunting of this temple (proudly, sensually, etc.) is an unholy thing.
· Remember in the mind of an adulterer are women God calls adulteresses because they have given their body to be seen by those men. 2 Peter 2:14 having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children. (NKJV). Be careful ladies what you expose to the lust filled eyes of this world. You are responsible as God’s priests to be a holy temple with a pure body!
· It also declares that the New Testament priest has a body given to the Spirit of the Lord and not to the flesh, the world or the Devil! How is your body this morning?Is it cleansed by the blood of Jesus? Are you keeping it holy for the glorious use of Jesus?
· As a New Testament priest, Holiness to the Lord must always be engraved upon our forehead. The supreme qualification of a godly man or woman is a clean mind. That is why Paul said Romans 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (NKJV)
· This pure mind also directly impacts the eyes! It is only as the purify Word is richly dwelling in our minds that we offer acceptible worship and service! RememberColossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. (NKJV)
· It also declares that the New Testament priest has eyes focused on the Lord and not on the flesh, the world or the Devil! How are your eyes and mind this morning? Are they cleansed by the blood of Jesus? Are they being kept holy for the glorious use of Jesus?
c) THE HOLY TEMPLE OF PURE EARS Exodus 29:20a “Then you shall kill the ram, and take some of its blood and put it on the tip of the right ear of Aaron and on the tip of the right ear of his sons . . .
· The anointing of the ears with blood speaks of cleansing away any past defilements of hearing (gossip, evil reports, filthiness, etc.) as well as keeping clean all future things listened to.
· It also declares that the New Testament priest has an ear tuned to the Spirit of the Lord and not to the flesh, the world or the Devil! How are you ears this morning? Are they cleansed by the blood of Jesus? Are they being kept holy for the glorious use of Jesus?
d) THE HOLY TEMPLE OF PURE HANDS Exodus 29:20b “Then you shall kill the ram, and take some of its blood and put it on the . . . thumb of their right hand.”
· The anointing of the hands (right thumb) with blood speaks of cleansing away any past defilements of actions we do ( filthy habits, misuse of money, impure activities, etc.) as well as keeping clean all future activities.
· It also declares that the New Testament priest hashands yielded to the Spirit of the Lord and not to the flesh, the world or the Devil! How are your hands this morning? Are they cleansed by the blood of Jesus? Are they being kept holy for the glorious use of Jesus?
e) THE HOLY TEMPLE OF PURE FEET (Exodus 29:20c “Then you shall kill the ram, and take some of its blood and put it on the big toe of their right foot, (NKJV))
· The anointing of the feet (right toe) with blood speaks of cleansing away any past defilements of places gone (where God is not honored, where false worship takes place, any occultic contact, places of violence, greed, places of sensuality, etc.) as well as keeping clean all future destinations.
· It also declares that the New Testament priest has feet given to the Spirit of the Lord and not to the flesh, the world or the Devil! How are your feet this morning? Are they cleansed by the blood of Jesus? Are they being kept holy for the glorious use of Jesus?
f) THE HOLY TEMPLE OF PURE SERVICEExodus 29:20d “Then you shall kill the ram, and take some of its blood . . . and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar. (NKJV).
· Every act of a New Testament priest in worship and service for Christ in His church, as His priest and for His glory must be pure and holy to the Lord!
· It also declares that the New Testament priest has become a bond servant to the Lord and not to the flesh, the world or the Devil! How is your servanthood this morning? Is it cleansed by the blood of Jesus? Is it being kept holy for the glorious use of Jesus?
· TAKE MY LIFE AND LET IT BE
The term “pre-exilic” prophets means they were sent by God to challenge His people in the North before the fall of Samaria in 722 BC and the South before the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BC. At first some of these men wrote giant books namely Isaiah and Jeremiah. Others directed God’s Word against the pagan nations around Israel like Obadiah ( Edom ), Jonah and Nahum (Ninevah). Some targeted the northern kingdom of Israel like Hosea and Amos. Others were directed by the Lord to speak to Judah in the South like Joel, Micah and Zephaniah. Some wrote during the exile (Ezekiel and Daniel). But now it is time to address the exiles returning. To this group God raises up three prophetic voices Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi and two servant leaders voices Ezra the priest and Nehemiah the Governor.
MESSAGE ONE: A Present Need of Completing the Temple (1:1-11) 9/1/520 BC. When the first message of Haggai was delivered (1:1) the timing was perfect. God chose for him to speak on the 1st day of Elul (the 6th month). This was a month after the annual remembrance of the Destruction of the Temple in 586 by the Babylonians on the 9th of Av (the 5th month). It was also a time already set aside for worship. The first day of the month was always set aside for the Lord as a holy time Numbers 28:11 At the beginnings of your months you shall present a burnt offering to the LORD: two young bulls, one ram, and seven lambs in their first year, without blemish; (NKJV). While the people were waiting before the Lord this first of four messages came.
II. Haggai wrote his four brief sermons in a four month period. The time in history was 16 years after the initial decree of Cyrus (Ezra 1:2-4) king of Persia had allowed 50,000 Jews to return with Zerubbabel to rebuild the Temple . Ezra 3:8-13tells us it took two years for the foundations to get laid. Then, with strong opposition from the half breed Samaritans and personal pursuits, nothing had been accomplished for God’s house in 14 years! But, God’s people had been quite busy. They were living in quite nice homes while the Temple lay in ruins.
A. The prophet Haggai confronted post-exilic Israel with their spiritual lethargy. He lists the dangers of coasting in God’s sight. Have you noticed in this week’s Sunday paper, the most expensive items advertised for sale were houses. All over our land people are leveraging and mortgaging to the hilt to get the biggest and most lavish piece of the American dream they possibly can. Houses are statements. They must be in the proper neighborhood, school system and price range. No time or expensed is spared in having absolutely every dream materialized.
B. Countless hours are consumed and priceless time is invested. Then the furnishings and decor are poured in at a fierce pace. The result? Sapped finances, depleted strength, added stress and a lack of focus on anything but keeping up with the payments and maintaining the house. This materialistic blight has swept America . Sadly enough, many of God’s people have been carried along. Although a home is important, good stewardship is commanded and a hedge against inflation is prudent, how much is too much? How big is too big? The prophet Hosea squares off against the homeowners ofJerusalem 2500 years ago and shouts: “When your house pulls your heart, money, time and desires away from God’s house, its time to CONSIDER YOUR WAYS!
C. GROWING: A LACK OF THE FRUITFULNESS THAT REMAINS Haggai 1:5-6a Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: “Consider your ways! “You have sown much, and bring in little;
1. John 15:16 “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. (NKJV)
[logs of Ephesus ]
2. James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. (NKJV)
3. Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (NKJV)
D. PURSUING: A LACK OF THE FEASTINGNESS ON THE WORD OF GOD Haggai 1:5-6b Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: “Consider your ways! You eat, but do not have enough;” (NKJV)
1. 2 Peter 3:18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory both now and forever. Amen. (NKJV)
2. 2 Peter 1:8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. (NKJV) Key is Faith!
E. DWELLING: A LACK OF THE FULLNESS OF THE SPIRITHaggai 1:5-6c Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: “Consider your ways! You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm;” (NKJV)
1. John 7:37-39 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” 39 But this He spoke concerning the Spirit, whom those believing in Him would receive; for the Holy Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. (NKJV)
2. The Holy Spirit is God’s agent for conforming us to the image of Christ. We are to be students in the school of Christ .
3. Ephesians 4:20-24 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. (NKJV)
a) put off
b) be renewed
c) put on list from Colossians!
4. proper growing conditions:
a) healthy talking: Ephesians 4:29-31 Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.
b) holy living: 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
c) healthy thinking: 31 Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. (NKJV)
F. RESISTING: A LACK OF THE FITNESS FOR THE FIGHTHaggai 1:5-6d Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: “Consider your ways! You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; (NKJV)
1. Their clothes were not protecting them.
2. The armor of the Lord will not work if we leave it in the closet! Ephesians 6:10-12 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. (NKJV)
G. INVESTING: A LACK OF THE FAITHFULNESS OF STEWARDSHIP Haggai 1:5-6e Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: “Consider your ways! And he who earns wages, Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.” (NKJV)
1. Luke 12:21 “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” (NKJV)
III. A Present Obedience Recorded (1:12-15) 9/24/520 BC The Temple is begun.
IV. A Future Temple Promised (2:1-9) 10/21 520 BC
A. Jehovah of hosts will shake heaven, earth, and all nations (2:6-8).
1. This refers to the judgments of the Tribulation period.
2. “The desirable things of all nations will come” (2:7).
a) This is identified as the treasures of silver and gold (2:8).
b) This phrase cannot refer to Christ because the verb is plural.
V. The glory of the latter house will be greater than the former (2:9).
A. This refers to the splendor of the Millennial temple (Ez. 40-48).
B. In this place Jehovah will give peace.
VI. A Present Obedience Brings Blessing! (2:10-19) 12/24 520 BC
VII. A Future Blessing Promised (2:20-23) 12/24 520 BC
A. Notice four “I wills” of God.