Haggai: Consider your ways!

Minor Prophets: A Survey  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  41:56
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The Background

Foundation matters. Today we journey to a time when a call to action is being issued to the remnant.
The Cyrus decree (539 B.C.) had been issued, the remnant about 50,000 Jews returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple and the city according to Ezra and the work had started but stalled, and that is where we are at now.
So, let’s lay some background this morning and do our survey of this short book. Where God through the prophet gives some words to the remnant to get busy!
Author: Haggai (Hag1:1); His name means “Festive” or “Festival.”
He is inferred to Ezra
He is a motivator to get busy along with Zechariah.
Time: Believed about 520 B.C. (Hag1:1)
That is to be believed to be about the 2nd year of Darius. - more to follow on this in a bit.
The Message: Build the temple (get to work!)
In the message it comes in 4 parts
A word of reproof (Hag1)
A word of support (Hag2:1-9)
A word of explanation (Hag2:10-19)
A word of promise (Hag2:20-23)
That it the basics of how we will break this down today in a survey format.
When preparing for this today there was so much information I am really going to try to convey what I can in our alloted time but ask that you note down some things along the way for your own scouring of the scripture.
More background:
Remnant returned to Jerusalem under leadership of Zerubbabel (536 B.C.) and the foundation for the temple was laid (note down Ezr3:8-13)
Problems, opposition arose and the building stopped (Note down Ezr4:1-24)
God then raised up, brought up Haggai and Zechariah to get the people to get to work on the temple (note down (Ezr5:1-2; 6:14)
The time of the proclamation of Haggai was very short, 4-months (Hag1:1, 2:1, 10, 20) - those we will get to as we survey.
Have you ever gotten started on anything and then petered out and the zeal, the desire, the effort slowed down or even stopped?
Well that happened with the rebuilding of the temple. Work stopped from 536-520 due to the opposition and loss of zeal (Note down Ezr4:1-6, 24)

A word of reproof

Reproof, I think most of us are familiar with the word that scripture is used for that (2Tim3:16) and it’s meaning is (N): an expression of blame or disapproval.
Other words that go with reproof are rebuke, reprimand, reproach, admonishment, disapproval, criticism, blame.
The main reproof in this passage is to remind them to put God first.
The reproof - Time to rebuild temple is overdue (Hag1:1-4; ref: 2Chr36:22-23; Ezr2:1-2, 36, 40; 3:2-8)
I will pose some questions along the way to glean from the scripture
Haggai 1:1–2 NASB95
1 In the second year of Darius the king, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the Lord came by the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying, 2 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘This people says, “The time has not come, even the time for the house of the Lord to be rebuilt.” ’ ”
When did the word of the Lord come to Haggai, and to whom (v.1)?
Second year of Darius, to Zerubbabel and to Joshua
Cyrus had issued the decree for the exiles to go home (2Chr36:22-23) and lead out by Nehemiah as noted by Ezra (Ezr2:1-2) that Zerubbabel who would be governor of Judah, and Joshua the high priest.
Haggai 1:3–4 NASB95
3 Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, 4 “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate?”
What is the reproof, the admonishment you see in (v.4)?
You live in panelled houses but the house of the lord is desolate (destroyed)
The people had been saying that it was not time to build the temple, the time is not right (v.2); but the reproof is given to them because of their outlook. He then tells them
They had offered excuses, - Billy Sunday offered this “an excuse is the skin of reason stuffed with a lie.”
There was evidence given that God was behind the temple being rebuilt, provided what they needed as noted in 2Chr36, and in Ezra1. Did the king provide them everything needed for the reconstruction project? Isaiah prophesied about the Cyrus decree (Isa44:28, 45:13)
They had the prophesies, they had the provision, but they had the priorities wrong. They were not seeking the kingdom of God first.
Let me ask a question to contemplate, do the people today do anything different than the Jews then?
Do we contemplate our possessions or our position in Christ Jesus as priority. I love what it says
Proverbs 3:9–10 NASB95
9 Honor the Lord from your wealth And from the first of all your produce; 10 So your barns will be filled with plenty And your vats will overflow with new wine.
(Transition) - this leads to our next section our first of consider your ways
Consider your ways (Hag1:5-11)
Haggai 1:5–6 NASB95
5 Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways! 6 “You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes.”
Think about what the prophet says in (vv.5-6) why does he tell them to consider your ways?
they have sown much, eaten much, they drink, they cloth, they earn but it avails little, like putting wages in a purse with holes.
Haggai 1:7–8 NASB95
7 Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways! 8 “Go up to the mountains, bring wood and rebuild the temple, that I may be pleased with it and be glorified,” says the Lord.
What are the instructions given, after being told to consider your ways (v.8)?
Go up, bring wood, rebuild the temple
And the results will be God will be please and be glorified. hag
Haggai 1:9–10 NASB95
9 You look for much, but behold, it comes to little; when you bring it home, I blow it away. Why?” declares the Lord of hosts, “Because of My house which lies desolate, while each of you runs to his own house. 10 “Therefore, because of you the sky has withheld its dew and the earth has withheld its produce.
Haggai 1:11 NASB95
11 “I called for a drought on the land, on the mountains, on the grain, on the new wine, on the oil, on what the ground produces, on men, on cattle, and on all the labor of your hands.”
While the temple lay in ruins, they were going about building their own houses, therefore God called for a drought. This now brings some words that are heeded
Testimony of the prophet heeded (Hag1:12-15)
Haggai 1:12–13 NASB95
12 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the Lord their God had sent him. And the people showed reverence for the Lord. 13 Then Haggai, the messenger of the Lord, spoke by the commission of the Lord to the people saying, “ ‘I am with you,’ declares the Lord.”
What did Zerubbabel, Joshua and the remnant of people do (v.12)?
They obeyed and showed reverence for the Lord.
Haggai 1:14–15 NASB95
14 So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God, 15 on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in the second year of Darius the king.
What was the result of the obedience and reverence now seen in (v.14-15)?
The Lord stirred up the spirit.
The people got busy working on the house of the Lord on the 24th day of the sixth month
(Transition) So this was a short 24 days from reproof to reconstruction and it was not long (about a month later) the next word comes.

A word of support (keep at it!

Motivation needs to turn to perseverance to press on to complete the task. God sends a word of support to them now.
The former glory and the present promise (Hag2:1-5)
Haggai 2:1–2 NASB95
1 On the twenty-first of the seventh month, the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet saying, 2 “Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people saying,
When did the second message come according to (v.1)?
Twenty-first day of seventh month.
Haggai 2:3–4 NASB95
3 ‘Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Does it not seem to you like nothing in comparison? 4 ‘But now take courage, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord, ‘take courage also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and all you people of the land take courage,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ declares the Lord of hosts.
Haggai 2:5 NASB95
5 ‘As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear!’
It was said that those who had seen the glory of Solomon’s temple wailed and cried for the new temple was nothing in comparison.
What is the promise God reminds them of in (v.5)?
He is with them, abiding in their midst and do not fear!
The future glory will be greater (Hag2:6-9)
Haggai 2:6–7 NASB95
6 “For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. 7 ‘I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the Lord of hosts.
Haggai 2:8 NASB95
8 ‘The silver is Mine and the gold is Mine,’ declares the Lord of hosts.
God was going to provide the means for the reconstruction, hold on, hold fast, you need to wait just a little bit, see how God is going to do it.
they may have thought since they returned from Babylon to the promised land that God was just going to bless them, but He called for a drought (Hag1:9); withheld His blessings for a time. It was important they get the concept of seeking God first (for us Mt6:33)
God was going bless them for their obedience, but they were going to have to wait.
Haggai 2:9 NASB95
9 ‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ declares the Lord of hosts.”
What is the greater glory noted in (v.9)?
I will give peace.
Do you think this is a messianic prophesy about the Prince of Peace who would bring a greater glory to the temple?
God never made a prosperity covenant with the church, He made and everlasting covenant with the Church through Jesus Christ, eternal life in a kingdom that cannot be shaken. And because of that assurance we should put God first.
Matthew 6:33 NASB95
33 “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
This is not a prosperity promise as some claim for the sermon on the mount starts like this
Matthew 5:3 NASB95
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(Transition) Now that they are encouraged there was still more that needed to be said about 2 months later.

A word of explanation

The message from Haggai is consider your ways, in this section you will see that again as well as Haggai calling for them to think.
It is about 2 months later, December 18th if we figure out the dates right; keep in mind the Jewish calendar is not the same as the Gregorian calendar we use today. There is still a sin problem. God wanted to bless the people, but He could not do it as He wished because they were defiled. They needed to clean themselves before the Lord.
The prophet went to the priests, the authorities and asked two simple questions to help them to look within and consider. So, that is where we are coming from in this section.
Looking within they are offering work that is unclean (Hag2:10-14)
Haggai 2:10–11 NASB95
10 On the twenty-fourth of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to Haggai the prophet, saying, 11 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Ask now the priests for a ruling:
Haggai 2:12–13 NASB95
12 ‘If a man carries holy meat in the fold of his garment, and touches bread with this fold, or cooked food, wine, oil, or any other food, will it become holy?’ ” And the priests answered, “No.” 13 Then Haggai said, “If one who is unclean from a corpse touches any of these, will the latter become unclean?” And the priests answered, “It will become unclean.”
There are two questions posed in (vv.12-13), can you see and understand the questions, maybe use your own words?
Can holiness be transferred by touching something? - - - NO!
Can defilement be transferred by casual touch? - - - - YES!
So now, check out (v.14)
Haggai 2:14 NASB95
14 Then Haggai said, “ ‘So is this people. And so is this nation before Me,’ declares the Lord, ‘and so is every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean.
Haggai 2:14 NASB95
14 Then Haggai said, “ ‘So is this people. And so is this nation before Me,’ declares the Lord, ‘and so is every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean.
What is he saying? He is saying unclean people with unclean hands cannot build a holy temple. So, any offering they offer would be unclean too. So, time to consider your ways and God’s too.
Looking within they are asked to consider God - - - here is the application section (Hag2:15-19)
Consider God and His history (Hag2:15-17)
Haggai 2:15–16 NASB95
15 ‘But now, do consider from this day onward: before one stone was placed on another in the temple of the Lord, 16 from that time when one came to a grain heap of twenty measures, there would be only ten; and when one came to the wine vat to draw fifty measures, there would be only twenty.
Haggai 2:17 NASB95
17 ‘I smote you and every work of your hands with blasting wind, mildew and hail; yet you did not come back to Me,’ declares the Lord.
God does not bless the work for provide abundantly for the work when the people do not turn to Him
Consider God and his promises (Hag2:18-19)
Haggai 2:18–19 NASB95
18 ‘Do consider from this day onward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month; from the day when the temple of the Lord was founded, consider: 19 ‘Is the seed still in the barn? Even including the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate and the olive tree, it has not borne fruit. Yet from this day on I will bless you.’ ”
Look around you, consider since the foundation was laid is your provision there? Is it in the barn (NO); how about the vine (NO); OK, fig tree, pomegranate and olive tree (NO)
But from this day I will bless you! Consider while we were yet sinners Christ died for us (ref: Rom5:8)!
Why would God want to bless rebellious people? He wants them to return, to turn to Him (to repent) and to get busy building the temple and yet God has one more word to bring to the people through Haggai the prophet.

A word of promise

The promises of God are yes and amen (2Cor1:20) for God cannot lie (Heb6:18; Tit1:2) so they should be pretty motivated, excited when the prophet brings a word of promise to them.
God will overthrow thrones, kingdoms and power (Hag2:20-22)
Haggai 2:20–21 NASB95
20 Then the word of the Lord came a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, saying, 21 “Speak to Zerubbabel governor of Judah, saying, ‘I am going to shake the heavens and the earth.
Haggai 2:22 NASB95
22 ‘I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms and destroy the power of the kingdoms of the nations; and I will overthrow the chariots and their riders, and the horses and their riders will go down, everyone by the sword of another.’
God gives a special promise to Zerubbabel (Hag2:23)
Haggai 2:23 NASB95
23 ‘On that day,’ declares the Lord of hosts, ‘I will take you, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, My servant,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you,’ ” declares the Lord of hosts.
God chose Jesus
Jesus chose you
What are you going to do with His choosing you?
(Prayer) (Exit)
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