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Monday, 10 November 2008

Haggai Notes

Haggai Notes


"Note: The last three books of the Old Testament are by the "post-exilic" prophets."INTRODUCTION:

No More Kings of Israel,10 Tribes of Israel Scattered and Oppressed Since 722 B.C.
No More Kings of Judah, 586 B.C.BABYLONIAN CAPTIVITY/FALL OF JERUSALEM (In three stages: royals taken captive 606, thousands of leaders taken captive 597, Jerusalem captured 586 B.C.)
DANIEL ("Sovereignty of God," foreign c.605-530)EZEKIEL ("Precision Judgment of God" c.593-560)

DECREE OF PERSIAN KING CYRUS TO ALLOW THE RETURN OF CAPTIVES TO JERUSALEM, 538 B.C.538 B.C. Cyrus defeats Babylon, decrees that Jews may return to holy land.[Ezra 1-6 covers the events of 536 to 515]536, First wave of captives return with Zerubbabel, lay foundation for temple.521, Smerdis/Darius I/Hystaspes takes throne.520, Haggai's ministry.518, Zechariah's ministry.515, Temple completed.486, Xerxes takes throne, Jews falsely accused.479, Ester's crisis (reign circ. 482-473)464, Artaxerxes takes throne458, Second wave of captives return with Ezra [Ezra 7-10 covers this event].450-424, Malachi's ministry444, Third wave of captives return with Nehemiah.430, Nehemiah's return to Jerusalem.
HAGGAI ("House of the Lord" Jerusalem c.520)ZECHARIAH ("Old Testament Apocalypse" Jerusalem c.520-518)MALACHI ("Who, Me?" Jerusalem c.430-420)



* We know that Haggai lived to see the first wave of 50,000 Babylonian captives (now Persian captives since the fall of Babylon) return to the Holy Land under the leadership of Zerubbabel (538-515 B.C.).

* He is mentioned in Ezra 5:1 and 6:14 as being a part of this contingency (along with Zechariah).

* He delivered only four messages in 3 1/2 months (from the 6th month of 520 B.C. [1:1] to the 9th month [2:10]).
* He served alongside a godly governor in Jerusalem, Zerubbabel, and beside a godly high priest, Joshua, and beside a godly fellow-prophet, Zechariah (1:1-2 and Zechariah 4:1-14).

THE MESSAGE OF HAGGAITHEME:THE HOUSE OF THE LORD(because Haggai's calling was to motivate the people to rebuild the temple) "1:2 Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the Lord's house should be built.3 Then came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet, saying, 4 Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? "

OUTLINE:CHAPTER 1 A MESSAGE OF REBUKE IN THE 6THMONTH (The people of Jerusalem have been selfishly attending to their own preferences and ignoring the priority of attention to God and His temple reconstruction.)

CHAPTER 2:1-9 A MESSAGE OF ENCOURAGEMENT IN THE 7THMONTH (The new temple is actually going to be more important than Solonon's temple was.)

CHAPTER 2:10-23 ONE MESSAGE OF PURITY AND ONE OF HOPE IN THE 9TH MONTH (In response to their obedience, the judgment on their finances has been lifted, and Israel will overcome all their enemies in the end.)

LESSONS FOR MY PERSONAL FINANCIAL STRATEGY"1:5 Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. 6 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. 7 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. 8 Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord. 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. "

* Even lost people are usually graced with a good many "creature comforts" in their lives. The fact that they don't give God credit or thanks for these gifts is immaterial to the realities of God's provision.
* On the other hand, without guaranteeing or promising any special "breaks" to godly people, the universal testimony of Scripture is that God gets a special joy out of helping his faithful followers with their finances, and He often chooses to bring financial hardship on those who neglect Him in life.

* Realizing these truths, the wise Christian's financial strategy will "start" with an eagerness to follow the Lord. If a "faithful" saint is in financial hardship, he may rest in the knowledge that his hardship is not a "spanking" or a "time out" from the Lord. The disobedient saint has the burden of being poor "and" out of favor with God in some way.

WHAT IT MEANS FOR GOD TO BE WITH ME OR NOT WITH ME"1:13 Then spake Haggai the Lord's messenger in the Lord's message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the Lord. "2:4 Yet now be strong...and work: for I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts."

* These passages remind us that God who is omnipresent-everywhere at once-can still be "especially" present in certain places under certain circumstances. In one sense it seems silly to pray, "Lord, please be with John in his job interview tomorrow." If God is omnipresent, how could he not be with John? On the other hand, Scripture focuses on the happy state of the people whom God is with in a special, warm, relational, favorable, and powerful sense. He is especially "with" those who gather in His name, those who go into all the world with the gospel, those who are "with Him," those who fear Him, those who have a meek and contrite heart, etc.

I CAN QUICKLY AND TOTALLY CHANGE MY WAY OF LIFE FOR JESUS"1:12 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, 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... 13 Then spake Haggai the Lord's messenger in the Lord's message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the Lord. 14 And...they came and did work in the house of the Lord of hosts, their God, 15 in the four and twentieth day of the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king."

* Haggai's message was delivered on the 1st day of the sixth month (1:1) and the people were on the job by the 24th day. It didn't even take one month for the people to change their daily routines to include time for temple-building.

* One month can (and should) make all the difference in a person's way of life. It only takes 50 days, they say, to form a new habit.

OBEDIENCE CHANGES THE ENTIRE TRAJECTORY OF MY LIFE"2:15 And now, I pray you, consider from this day and upward, from before a stone was laid upon a stone in the temple of the Lord: 16 since those days were, when one came to an heap of twenty measures, there were but ten: when one came to the pressfat for to draw out fiftyvessels out of the press, there were but twenty. 17 I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands; yet ye turned not to me, saith the Lord. 18 Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of the Lord's temple was laid, consider it. 19...from this day will I bless you."

* "From today, the 24th day of the ninth month." This is when Haggai delivered this message. "The day the foundation of the Lord's temple was laid" is a reference to three months earlier, when the people resumed their work on the temple, 1:15. The second temple's main foundation was actually laid 16 years earlier, in 536 B.C.
* The Lord is telling the people that their lives are going to be easier now since they've begun to obey Him. While He has not specifically promised easy lives for New Testament saints who obey Him, the entire thesis of Scripture is that "the way of transgressors is hard," but that "the righteous shall flourish" (Proverbs 13:15, Psalm 92:12). Without guaranteeing ease, the Lord everywhere suggests a relationship between obedience and pleasantness, disobedience and pain.

SIN IS A LOT MORE CONTAGEOUS THAN HOLINESS"2:12 If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No. "[Touching something ordinary with something extraordinary does not convert the ordinary to something special.]" 13 Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean. "[Touching something corrupt to something ordinary converts the ordinary to dirty.]"14 Then answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the Lord; and so is every work of their hands; and that which they offer there is unclean. "

* If I get a glass of water from an unflushed toilet, and another glass of clean water beside it, and then pour them both into a pitcher, the good water touching the filthy water does not make the filthy water clean, but the filthy certainly makes the good water filthy.

* So be careful who you associate with in life-refrain from mixing with corrupt friends-and what you occupy your time with.

* Since God's people were neglecting their sacred duty in rebuilding the temple, everything else they did was offensive to Him.

* Full obedience is the demand of Jesus. Notice how if a man treats his wife harshly, his prayers are hindered, even if they are otherwise really fine prayers (1 Peter 3:7). And, perhaps like Martha when Jesus visited her home, the church at Ephesus did everything right except for one thing, so Christ offended enough to warn them of their demise (Luke 10:41, Revelation 2:4).

SURPRISE! THE SPLENDOR OF THE SECOND TEMPLE ENDED UP SURPASSING THAT OF SOLOMON'S TEMPLE"2:3 Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? 4 Yet now be strong...and work: for I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts....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. 8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts. 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."

* When we get disappointingly small results after making such great efforts for righteousness, we may feel like our work is "as nothing."

* My time and money are important for carrying out my personal "romance" with Christ, but not for accomplishing God's work on earth.

* This is where the lesson of Gideon is instructive. There is very little correlation between "manpower" and whatever the Lord is accomplishing on earth. (Gideon's 300 in God's care was somehow better than 32,000 original soldiers.)

* When the Messiah Himself visited this temple-many times teaching and healing there-this prophecy by Haggai was fulfilled. Jesus' presence at the second temple made the glory of that temple far superior to Solomon's. (If your child were dying of cancer, would you rather visit Solomon's temple in the days of Israel's rebellion, or the second temple while Jesus was sitting in its courtyard?)

THE COMING END TIMES "SHAKE UP" OF ALL THINGS"2:5 according to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not. 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; 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. "

"2:21 Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth; 22 and I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother. 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."

* Haggai associates this earthquake with a "heaven-quake" as well, plus the coming of the Messiah (the desire of all nations), the overthrow of all human governments, and the arrival of the Day of the Lord. The word "earthquake" occurs six times in Revelation, and Jesus referred to earthquakes as a sign of his coming in Matthew 24.
* The author of Hebrews speaks of this "shake-up" as an event of the last days (12:26-28), when only "those things that cannot be shaken" will "remain."

* To earthquake-proof our lives,we must focus our lives on the "kingdom which cannot be moved, and let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear."