In The Word
Read: Haggai 1
Haggai Begins Temple Building
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.”’” 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?” 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.”
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. 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. 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.”
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.” 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.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Walking In The Word
Haggai was a prophet used by God to bring a word to the Israelites after they returned from exile in Babylon. King Cyrus let them go during the time of the prophet Daniel. King Darius was influenced by God through Daniel. It is encouraging to know that God is always at work accomplishing His plan. The challenge is knowing where we are in that plan. Also, note that even though Israel was under a pagan king, it did not stop God’s plan from moving forward. For God is over everyone and can even move the hearts of kings and rulers to do His bidding. We can be encouraged by this in America. At any given time, we can be under an ungodly ruler, but we know the God that presides over them. We are not meant to lose hope, but to believe in God’s plan and promises.
However, we need to know where we are in His plan. Daniel recognized where he was, and Haggai recognized his responsibility. But the governor, priest, and people that had come back to Jerusalem from exile didn’t recognize their place in God’s plan. God called for them to consider their ways; the people lost their focus on building God’s kingdom and were only concerned about building their own kingdom. The people’s hearts were stirred and awakened by God’s message brought through Haggai. After twenty-four days of reflection, evaluation, communication, and repentance, the people refocused on why they were freed: to build the kingdom of God.
May I be a Haggai to you today? Where is your focus? Is it on God’s kingdom or your own? Recognize your place in God’s plan and rise up to do your part.