Explore the Bile Series
July 8, 2007
Background Passage: Haggai 1:1-2:23
Lesson Passage: Haggai 1:7-9, 12-15; 2:15-19
sent the prophets Haggai and Zechariah to challenge the backslidden conditions
of Post-Exilic Judah in the late Sixth Century B.C. As we shall see, the exiles had returned to
Authorship: We know little personal information about the
prophet Haggai. His name, which means
“festal”, indicates that he may have been born during a season of religious celebration,
perhaps during one of the feast celebrations of the Jewish calendar. It seems reasonable to surmise that Haggai,
Date: After early progress on
Organization and Message:
Though this is one of the shortest books in the Bible, the Prophecy of
Haggai provides a storehouse of valuable information and instruction. The book falls into four,
clearly-identifiable sections. Haggai delivered these messages in a four month
period, 520-519 B.C., and the oracles were intended to correct and encourage a
religiously distracted people. For almost two decades the work on the
The First Address: The Command to Reconstruct the
(v. 1): Haggai had a sense of the historical significance of his work, and he
took great pains to date his messages. The
prophet addressed this oracle to the Jewish leaders in
invalid excuses of the people (vv. 2-6): The Jews contented themselves that
they had viable reasons why they had not rebuilt the
C. God’s instructions for his indolent people (vv. 7-11): If the Jews wanted the Lord to reverse this state of affairs then they needed to gather their building materials and get back to work.
repentance of God’s people (vv. 12-15): Zerubbabel and Joshua immediately
organized the people to resume the
The Second Address: The Latter Glory of the
Lord’s commands: Haggai addressed this
oracle to a broader audience than the first message. This time, in addition to the religious
leaders, the prophet spoke to all of the people (See v. 2). Jehovah issued a series of commands to
rekindle the Jews’ resolve to reconstruct the
1. “be strong”: Notice the three-fold repetition of this injunction. God called them to resolute steadfastness to overcome their reluctance to complete the work.
2. “work”: Their strength would be manifested in their willingness to work hard. Kingdom-building always stirs men to work hard.
3. “fear not”: Fear of the Samaritans had engendered the failure of the people to complete their task.
B. The Lord’s promises
1. “for I am with you”: Jehovah had not forgotten his covenant, and he pleaded his presence and power to those who would labor faithfully. The fullness of this promise culminated in Jesus, Emmanuel, “God with us.”
will shake the nations”: The Jews, at this time, seemed weak and desperate;
yet, the Lord promised that he would shake the nations and fill the temple with
glory, a glory that would outshine the splendor of Solomon’s
3. “I will give peace”: This promise certainly pertains to military and political security, but it must also include spiritual peace that comes to the Lord’s elect.
III. The Third Address: God’s Promise of Blessing (2:10-19)
A. Haggai’s address to the priests (vv. 10-12): The prophet again addressed the leaders of Judah, in particular, the priests. They, above everyone, should have understood the Lord’s message about spiritual purity.
B. The principle of moral cleanness (vv. 13-18): The Law of Moses explained the serious consequences of moral corruption. The people, as long as they remained morally unclean, could never expect the blessing of the Lord. Their present circumstances indicated that God’s hand of blessing did not rest on his defiled people.
C. The Lord’s promise to bless the faithful (v. 19b): This oracle concludes with a wonderful promise, from this day forward, God would bless the Jews of Jerusalem. This blessing, of course, issued not from the merit of the people but from the grace of the Lord. This promise certainly centers on the coming of the Lord Jesus.
The Fourth Address: Haggai addressed this oracle to
Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel and governor of