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The Book of Haggai
This chapter contains the first sermon of the Prophet Haggai to the people of the Jews. It is directed to Zerubbabel the governor, and Joshua the high priest. The date is fixed. His sermon begins with a charge against that people.
Haggai 1:1 In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying, (KJV)
Haggai means feast or festival. He was the first prophet after Babylon captivity (Hag.1:1,3,12; 2:1,13-14,20; Ezra 5:1; 6:14).
In the second year of Darius the King . . . Darius was the king of Persia. He is spoken of as if he were the only king in the world, and he really was at that time, the greatest king. Second year: (Hag.2:10; Ezra 4:24; 5:1-2; Zec.1:1).
Zerubbabel means sown in Babylon. He was of the royal line of Judah through David; governor of Judah as a Persian province (Hag.1:1,12-14; 2:2-4,21-23; 1 Chron.3:19; Ezra 2:2; 3:2,8; 4:2-3; 5:2; Neh.7:7; 12:1,47; Zech.4:6-10). He was called Zorobabel (Mat.1:12-13; Lk. 3:27). Zerubbabel: (1 Chron.3:19; Ezra 2:2; 3:2,8; 4:3; 5:2; Neh.7:7; 12:1; Hag.1:1,12,14; 2:2,4,21-23; Zec.4:6-10; Mat.1:12-13; Lk.3:27).
Shealtiel, governor of Judah means I have asked of God. Son of Jechoniah or Jehoiachin, king of Judah, who was taken captive to Babylon (Hag.1:1,12,14; 2:2,23; Ezra 3:2,8; 5:2). He was called Salathiel (1Chron.3:17; Mat.1:12; Lk. 3:27). Shealtiel, Salathiel: (Ezra 2:2; 3:2; Ezra 3:8; 4:2; 5:2;
Joshua means Jehovah is salvation. First high priest after the captivities to Babylon (Hag.1:1,12-14; 2:2-4; Zech.3:1-9; 6:11).
Josedech means Jehovah is righteous (Hag. 1:1,12-14; 2:2-4; Zech. 6:11), Josedech was Joshua's son.
In the sixth month . . . sixth month of the Hebrew year, not of Darius' reign (Zec 1:7; 7:1,3; 8:19). Two months later ("the eighth month," Zec.1:1), Zechariah began to prophesy, going along with Haggai. The Jewish month Elul, is part of August, and part of September; which was the sixth, counting from the month Nisan. "In the first day of the month" . . . which was the feast of the new moon.
Jewish calendar: http://www.jewfaq.org/calendar.htm
Came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet . . . meaning that he was the one chosen by the Lord to deliver His Word to the people. The word the prophet spoke was NOT from Haggai, but was the Divine Word of the Lord. It was to be honored and observed. They were to pay attention to it! By the hand of His servant: (Ex.4:13; 1 Ki.14:18; 2 Ki.14:25; Ezra 6:14). Speak unto: (Hag.1:12,14; 2:2,4,21-23).
Unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel . . . Shealtiel was also called Salathiel (Mat.1:12). Zerubbabel was "governor of Judah" . . . not king; for the country was under the rule of the king of Persia, and Zerubbabel was a deputy governor under him, or "chief of the fathers" (Ezra 4:2). "And also he commanded that Sisinnes the governor of Syria and Phenice, and Sathrabuzanes, and their companions, and those which were appointed rulers in Syria and Phenice, should be careful not to meddle with the place, but suffer Zorobabel, the servant of the Lord, and governor of Judea, and the elders of the Jews, to build the house of the Lord in that place.'' (1 Esdras 6:27)
For more on Zerubbabel see:
According to Josephus (Ant., xi. I. 3), Zerubbabel was made governor of the captive Jews, when in Babylon, being in great favor with the king of Babylon; and, with two more, were his body guards; and he was continued governor by the Persians, when the Jews returned to their land. Under the name "Sheshbazzar" Zerubbabel is spoken of both as the "prince" and the "governor" (Ezra 5:14) of Judah.
And to Joshua the son of Josedech the high priest . . . who is called Jeshua, and his father Jozadak (Ezra 3:2). "Joshuah the son of Josedech, the high priest," whose father went into captivity (1 Chron 6:15), when his grandfather Seraiah was slain by Nebuchadnezzar (2 Ki.25:18-21). To these two main people, Zerubbabel and Joshua, in the commonwealth of Judea was the word of the Lord sent by the prophet. Zerubbabel was ruler in civil things, and Joshua in religious things; both being an influence upon the people; but both very negligent in the work of building the temple; so the message was sent to them, to get them moving.
Saying . . . in the following:
Haggai 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. (KJV)
Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts . . . the "hosts" are the armies of the Lord, above and below. Reverence, honor, respect, obedience and worship should be given to the Almighty God by one and all! Only He is able to protect them and from their enemies.
This should have been an encouragement to them; and make them realize that He could punish them for their neglect of building the temple. This introduction is made, to show that what follows were NOT the words of the prophet, but of the Lord, therefore to be highly regarded, and the truth of them was NOT to be doubted.
Saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD'S house should be built . . . Haggai repeats the words of the Jews to Zerubbabel and Joshua, that they might see the wickedness and ingratitude in them. "This people" . . . are they who were recently brought out of the captivity of Babylon. They had been loaded with many different kinds of blessings and benefits; and not just a few of them, but the general population of them . . . and still, they spoke such ungrateful words when pressed to build the temple. WHY they did not think it was time, they did not say. It was a ridiculous excuse. This slothful people: (Num.13:31; Ezra 4:23-24; 5:1-2; Neh.4:10; Pro.22:13; 26:13-16; 29:25; Ecc.9:10; 11:4; Song 5:2-3).
In the Book of Nehemiah, when they were rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem, the opposition was terrible. They had the same kind of opposition in rebuilding the temple, and the people said, "It is not the Lord's time to build it."
Do you see what God says? "This people say" . . . normally He calls them "My people," but NOT here. By this He does NOT mean that He has disowned them . . . He is just VERY displeased with them. They are NOT in His will, and they are trying to hide their disobedience with a pious-sounding excuse, "It is just not the right time to build the Lord's house."
The time had long since come, when, 16 years before, Cyrus had given command that the house of God should be built. The ban on building, under Artaxerxes or Pseudo-Smerdis, applied directly to the city and its walls, NOT to the temple. The ban did NOT hinder their building of big, fancy houses, as appears from Haggai's rebuke.
Haggai addresses his sermon to the chiefs, and yet accuses directly, NOT their apathy but that of the people. In order that both of them before the people be honored and to teach that their sins are to be blamed privately NOT publicly, so that their authority would not be harmed, and the people would not be incited to rebel against them.
Haggai 1:3 Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying, (KJV)
Then came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet . . . this is a second prophecy, distinct from the first one; that was delivered to the two governors. Before, Haggai prophesied nothing, just repeated the stupid saying of the people. But, now he contradicts it in his prophecy, and repeats, again and again, that what he says is NOT of himself, but from the mind and mouth of God. Word brought by Haggai: (Ezra 5:1; Zec.1:1).
It is characteristic of Haggai to repeat and hammer home, that his words are not his own, but the Words of God. The prophets, both in their threats and prophecies, repeat again and again, "Thus saith the Lord," teaching us that we should greatly prize the Word of God, hang onto it, have it ever in our mouth, reverence it, reflect on it, utter it often, praise it always, make it our continual delight (Ps.1:2; 37:4; 40:8; 119:16,24,35,47,77,174-175). .
Saying; as follows:
Haggai 1:4 Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? (KJV)
Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses . . . the Lord hits home with this one! It was not time to build the Lord's house, BUT . . . they not only found abundant leisure time and convenience to build houses for THEM to dwell in, but line them with cedar. As bad as the times were complained of; they still sat in them, indulging themselves in luxury, ease and laziness! WHY then was it not a convenient time to build the house of the Lord?
And this house lie waste? . . . with these straight forward words, carnal Israel is reproved, for they have NO zeal for God, but are full of self-love and greed. They had made NO effort to repair, build or strengthen the temple of the Lord. In things such as these, the love of the Lord does not glow. Isaiah warned (Isa.5:8,12). We as well should be warned!
Haggai 1:5 Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. (KJV)
Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts . . . the Lord God is omniscient and omnipotent, and He saw all their actions and thoughts (Eze.11:5), and could punish for them for their unconcern of the temple, being interested only in their fancy houses. He wants them to sit down, and seriously think of all these things.
Consider your ways . . . their sinful ways, repent and forsake them, especially their ingratitude and slothfulness.
The Lord wanted them to "consider" their civil ways, their common ways of life; their labor, work and greedy business that they were continually employed in. All they were interested in was their attempts to support and enrich themselves and families. It would do them well to consider also their neglect of the house of God.
Consider your ways: (Ex.9:21; Pro.7:24; Hag.1:7; 2:15-18; Lam.3:40; Eze.18:28; 40:4; Dan.10:12; Lk.15:17; 2 Cor.13:5; Gal.6:4-5).
"I set before you the way of life and the way of death" (Jer.21:8). "Thou wilt show me the path of life" and "In Thy presence is the fullness of joy and at Thy Right Hand there are pleasures forevermore" (Ps.16:11). "Reproofs of instruction are the way of life" (Pro.6:23).
Pro. 4:18-20 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. 19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble. 20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. (KJV)
Pro.4:24-27 Put away from thee a froward mouth, and perverse lips put far from thee. 25 Let thine eyes look right on, and let thine eyelids look straight before thee. 26 Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established. 27 Turn not to the right hand nor to the left: remove thy foot from evil. (KJV)
Pro. 10:17 He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth. (KJV)
Pro.15:24 The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath. (KJV)
Pro.5:5-6 Her feet go down to death; her steps take hold on hell. 6 Lest thou shouldest ponder the path of life, her ways are moveable, that thou canst not know them. (KJV)
Pro.14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (KJV)
Pro.15:24 The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath. (KJV)
Pro.16:25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death. (KJV)
Isaiah 59:8 The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace. (KJV)
Set your heart on your ways, your affections, thoughts, words and deeds, so as to be cautious in all things, as the apostle Paul says (1 Tim.5:21). We should do NOTHING without the Lord's approval and consent (Philemon 1:14). Put away a froward mouth; Let let thine eyelids look straight before thee (Pro.4:24-25). Proverbs 4:23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life. (KJV)
Haggai 1:6 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. (KJV)
Ye have sown much, and bring in little . . . the seed that is sown is a small amount, compared to what springs up and is reaped and gathered into the barn. BUT . . . here, the Lord tells them much land was tilled, and much seed was sown; but it resulted in a very poor crop. Little was gathered into the barn; a blessing being withheld from them and their work, because of their sins.
Nothing you do shall prosper if you neglect your duty to God. The punishment corresponds to the sin. They thought they could escape poverty by not building, but keeping their money to themselves, but instead, brought God's wrath down on them for not building His house (Pro.13:7; 11:24; Mat.6:33). Instead of cheating God, they had been instead cheating themselves.
Ye eat, but ye have not enough . . . what the earth did yield was NOT enough to satisfy their hunger. The Lord did NOT bless it for their nourishment, or possibly they had a raging appetite so that they were never satisfied. More, more, more! Have you ever known anyone like that? Nearly ALL the "rich" are in this category!
Ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink . . . no matter how much water or wine they drank, it was NOT enough to quench their thirst.
Ye clothe you, but there is none warm . . . they cannot put on enough clothes to stay warm, not enough to heat themselves. So extreme did the cold feel, that their clothes did not keep them warm, even though the climate was usually hot.
And he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes . . . if a man is hired and receives wages, and brings it home, and lays it up; or if he trades for merchandise, and has great gains by it, and thinks he will amass great riches; yet, what through losses, and the dreariness of provisions, and the many ways he has for the spending of his money, it disappears! It is like he put it into a bag full of holes. It was gone as fast as he put it in. All his pains and labor were in vain. A proverb . . . for labor and money spent profitlessly (Zec.8:10; Isa.55:2; Jer.2:13). Contrast, spiritually, the "bags that wax not old, the treasure in heaven that faileth not" (Lk.12:33). Because of the high cost of things, those who work for a day's wages parted with them immediately, as if they had put them into a bag with holes in it.
The harder the people worked to enrich themselves, the less they had, because they ignored God! The same thing happens to us, BUT if we put God first, He will provide for ALL our needs (Phil.4:19). If we put the Lord in any other place than FIRST (Mat.22:37), all our efforts will be futile. Caring only for your physical needs while ignoring your relationship with God will lead to utter ruin.
God will NOT bless them in any labor of their hands, unless they rebuild His temple and restore rightful worship to Him. This verse contains a five proverbs.
Matthew 6:33 Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. (KJV)
They thought they could escape poverty by not building, and keeping their money to themselves; but Almighty God lowered the boom on them for not building (Pro. 13:7; Pro.11:24; Mat.6:33). Instead of cheating God, they had cheated themselves.
Haggai 1:7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. (KJV)
Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Consider your ways . . . the Lord has already warned them in verse 5. It is repeated again to impress it the more firmly on their minds; and to show them the importance of it, and the necessity of such a conduct.
We ALL must choose the way that is pleasing to God. "Set your heart and your soul to seek the LORD your God" (1 Chron.22:19); "Your heart shall live that seek God" (Ps.69:32); "Cast away from you all your transgressions" (Eze.18:31); "Turn ye even to me with all your heart" (Joel 2:12); "And rend your heart, and not your garments" (Joel 2:13). Zechariah 1:3 Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts. (KJV) Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. (KJV)
Haggai 1:8 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. (KJV)
Go up to the mountain . . . they themselves, the people, were to go up to the mountainous country where the trees grew, "and bring wood." The Lord did NOT require expensive gifts, He wanted their heart! It is the same today. Their neglect to build the temple was in fact neglect of Himself, who ought to be worshiped there. True worship of Him, sanctified the offering, and offerings were acceptable, only if made with a pure heart (Hos.14:1-2; Rom.12:1-2; Heb.13:15-16; 1 Pet.2:5). IF a person's heart is NOT right with God, his offering will NOT be accepted (Pro.15:8-9; 21:27; Jer.6:19-20; 14:12; Hag.2:14; Mal.1:10; Heb.10:6).
And bring wood . . . get lumber from Lebanon, or any other mountain on which wood grew, to Mount Moriah.
And build the house . . . the temple's foundation had already been laid, but the rest of the building was neglected. The Lord now would have them get moving with it immediately, with the utmost diligence and power; and NOT stop until the whole building was done.
And I will take pleasure in it . . . Almighty God, who has declared that He has no "pleasure in thousands of rams, in ten thousands of rivers of oil" (Mic.6:7), but has great pleasure in "those that fear Him" (Ps.147:11) that are "perfect in their way" (Pro.11:20), that "deal truly" (Pro.12:22), and the "prayer of the upright is His delight" (Pro.15:8). And so too, in the temple too, when it would be built to His glory.
Fear of the Lord: fear = honor, reverence, respect, obey, worship (Ps.2:11; Ps.25:12-14; Ps.31:19; Ps.33:8; Ps.33:18; Ps.34:7; Ps.34:9; Ps.67:7; Ps.96:4; Ps.111:10; Ps.115:11; Prov.1:7; 3:7; 8:13; 9:10; 14:2; 15:16; 22:4; Mat.10:28; Jam. 2:19).
And I will be glorified, saith the Lord . . . the Lord would be honored by His people, and by the worship and service they would perform. He would show His glory, causing His Shekinah (Theophany) to dwell there in His house. For more on the Shekinah of God, see: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/13537-shekinah
When man serves the Lord, He will be glorified, and He manifests the Lord's greatness; in His great doings to His people (Isa.26:15; 44:23; 60:21; 61:3). But, He also chastises those who disobey Him (Ex.14:4; Eze.28:22). God allows that glory, which shines indescribably throughout His Creation, to be darkened by man's disobedience, BUT, it can shine anew on his renewed obedience. The grace and mercy of God is unspeakable! It simply is too wonderful to be put into words.
When God is truly honored and glorified, He can show His glory, by His grace and acceptance. In fact, the glory of God is OUR glory. The more highly and sweetly WE glorify God, the more WE benefit!
Vast multitudes today, are slow to faith, or there are those who say they believe, but refuse to shake off their sinful greed, passions and sins of worldly pleasure. These today are like those in Haggai's time, who cry out: "The time is not come, the time that the LORD'S house should be built" (verse 2). BEWARE!!!
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. (KJV)
Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little . . . they looked for a large harvest, but instead what they got was very small. Isaiah also condemned them by God's Word (Isa.5:10). God's judgment on covetousness is severe!
And when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it . . . when they brought into their barns or houses the produce of their land and labor, the Lord blew a blast upon that little they did get, and brought rottenness and worms into it. God did NOT bless it, He put a curse on it! Sometimes God strips men of that little substance they have; because riches by His orders they make themselves wings, and fly away (Pro.23:5).
Why? saith the Lord of hosts . . . what was the reason of this? This question is not on God's account, who knew full well; but for their sakes, to whom He speaks. He wanted to wake these sinners up from their deep, lazy sleep!
Because of mine house that is waste . . . He answers His own question! They were NOT at all concerned that His House lay waste, and that they had NO concern or even thought about the rebuilding of it. Because of this, the Lord resented and cursed all their work. If we do not place God FIRST, we are in BIG trouble, maybe not in this life time, but my friend, an eternity lies ahead of us all! Our souls are eternal! BEWARE!!!
And ye run every man unto his own house . . . they were very eager, earnest and diligent, in building, beautifying and adorning their own houses. They spared no cost or pains to promote their own worldly interest. They did any and all things to increase their worldly substance; but were totally idle and lazy, careless and negligent, about the house of God and the affairs of it.
Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (KJV) . . . Man either forgets this, or tries to reverse it, seeking his own things first, and when that happens, God withholds His blessings. BEWARE!!!
Haggai 1:10 Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit. (KJV)
Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew . . . (compare Jer.2:12-13). God points out the moral cause of the drought. People today come up with so many reasons why things do not go well for them; the variations of the seasons is one, and another one today is 'climate change,' or 'Mother Nature.' That is their ridiculous reasoning! I have one question: WHO is Mother Nature? My dear friend, Almighty God is in complete charge of all "nature" ALL His Creation! The stupid, Biblically ignorant news media are some of the worst, because they pound into people's brains, that is what it is! How many people do you know that ever consider that it just may be God's judgment on this country's SIN? Very few, if any! All the freaks in nature that we have been seeing all over the world . . . do YOU think it is climate change? OR is it possible that God may be trying to tell us something?
And the earth is stayed from her fruit . . . do you think that it might have been 'climate change' that stopped the Earth from producing its fruits? Ridiculous! God said it was HE that did it, because HE had stopped the dew (moisture).
Because the Jews had put a stop to building the Lord's house, He had put a stop to the dew, which then put a stop to the Earth's blessings to them! Their SINS was the reason for it all.
Haggai is trying to direct their mind to the higher Cause, that as they withheld their service from God, so, on their account and by His will, His creation withheld their service from them. God IS in control: (Lev.26:14-29; Deut.28:23-24; 1 Ki.8:35; 17:1; Jer.14:1-6; Hos.2:9; Joel 1:18-20).
Nature Sent As Punishment: (Ex.9:23; 1 Sam.2:10; 7:10; 2 Sam.22:14; Job 28:26; 40:9; Ps. 18:13; 77:18; 104:7; Isa. 29:6; Rev.4:5; 8:5,7; 11:19; 18:18,21).
See our articles: http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_earthquakes.1.htm
Haggai 1:11 And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands. (KJV)
And I called for a drought upon the land . . . upon the whole land of Judea. Just as He withheld the dew and rain from falling on it to make it fruitful; so too the Lord ordered a vehement heat to dry and parch everything. He directed the sun's rays to beat down with great force upon it, and cause whatever fruits there were to wither. ALL God's Creation obeys His every call, NOT like mankind! It is quite clear here, that reveals the justness of God in such a procedure. The people allowed the house of God to lie in "waste," (Hag.1:4,9) so He calls for a "wasting" drought, to come upon their land. God is a GOOD God, but when sinner's covetousness and disobedience will not let up, His Holy wrath sets in, and judgment comes! But, my friend, He will always warn first! The Bible is full of warnings, if one would just open its cover and read. God will warn you, in some way, before He brings judgment down on you.
And upon the mountains . . . where grasses grew, and herds of cattle and flocks of sheep were fed. But now the grass was withered away because of the drought, and so there was no pasture for them. In the end they would die.
And upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil . . . upon the grain fields, and grape vines and olive trees. The drought allowed very little grain, wine and oil. These three things were the principal necessaries of life in Judea, and when these became scarce, it was NOT good.
And upon that which the ground bringeth forth . . . all else that the Earth produced, such as figs, pomegranates and other fruits and vegetables.
And upon men, and upon cattle . . . men and livestock not only suffered in this drought, but also by diseases it produced upon them, such as the pestilence and fever among men, and "murrain" upon the cattle (Ex.9:3; Ps.78:50). None of Israel's cattle died in the fifth plague in Egypt (Ex.9:4), but here it seems the cattle did die!
And upon all the labour of the hands . . . the work of men done in fields and gardens, and trees and plants of every kind, that were set and cultivated by them. Of this drought, and the famine that came from it, we find nowhere else; but there seems to be no doubt that it came to be.
The prophet may also allude to the other meaning of the word, "waste," "desolation." They had left the house of the Lord "waste," therefore God called for waste, desolation, upon them.
God's natural judgments upon the land: (Deut.28:22; 1 Ki.17:1; 2 Ki.8:1; Job 34:29; Lam.1:21; Am.5:8; 7:4; 9:6; Hag,.2:17).
Haggai 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, as the LORD their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the LORD. (KJV)
Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech the high priest . . . now follows an account of the success of Haggai's prophecy. With power and effectiveness, the Word of the Lord by the prophet reached out and affected the hearts of the rulers and the people, bringing them to obedience to the will of God.
With all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the Lord their God . . . not just the two leading men in church and state, but all the people that came out of the Babylon captivity, who were but a remnant; the few that were left through various calamities they had been exposed to. They all were now ready and willing to do the work of the Lord.
Remnant of Israel: (Ezra 9:8,15; Neh.1:3; 9:31; Isa.1:9; 4:3; 10:20; 11:11,16; 17:6; 37:4,32; 45:20; 46:3; 65:8; Jer.5:18; 6:9; 23:3; 30:11; 31:7; 40:11; 41:16; 42:2,15,19; 43:5; 44:12,14; 46:28; 50:20; Eze. 6:8; 12:16; 14:22; Joel 2:32; Amos 3:12; 5:3,15; 9:8; Mic. 2:12; 4:7; 5:3,8; 7:18; Zep.2:7,9; 3:13; Zec.8:6; 8:12; 13:8; Rom.9:27,29; 11:5).
And the words of Haggai the prophet . . . the words of Haggai the prophet were considered by the people as having come from the Lord Himself.
As the Lord their God had sent him . . . they now knew that Haggai had a mission and 'words' from the Lord to deliver to them.Word of the Lord: (Hag.1:14; Ezra 5:2; Isa.55:10-11; Col.1:6; 1 Thes.1:5-6; 2:13-14).
Fear: (Gen.22:12; Ps.112:1; Pro.1:7; Ecc.12:13; Isa.50:10; Acts 9:31; Heb.12:28-29).
Haggai 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. (KJV)
Then spoke Haggai the LORD'S messenger . . . Old Testament prophets were the Lord's messengers (Isa.42:19; Mal.2:7; 3:1). Haggai was sent by God as an ambassador in His Name (2 Cor.5:20) with a vital message to His people. The people, by the Words of God, were convicted of their sin, and were terrified with the judgments of God upon them, fearing that worse might still come.
In the Lord's message unto the people . . . the words Haggai spoke to the people did NOT come from his own head, but as a prophet of the Lord, bringing Words from the Lord.
Saying, I am with you, saith the Lord; to pardon their sins . . . the Lord would accept them and pardon them, now that they were now willing to start to work on the Lord's house. God makes a Promise to them "I am with you" and if He is with them, who could be against them (Rom.8:31). In His Presence is comfort: (Ps.23:4; 91:15; Isa.43:2).
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, (KJV)
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 . . . Haggai, with the Lord's Words, roused the governor and the high priest and the Jews up from a deep and quite lazy sleep. He brought about in them, the desire and will to do the work in building the Lord's house. He instilled in them a spirit both of hard work and courage, which enabled them to cast off that lazy, sluggish disposition they had, and the fear of men which had taken possession of them (Mat.10:28). They were now ready to go to work. And the Lord stirred up the spirit (1 Chron.5:26; 2 Chron.21:16; Jer.51:11; Ezra 1:1,5).
And they came and did work in the house of the Lord of hosts, their God . . . the governor and high priest directed and encouraged the people by their presence and example. Consider: they did NOT on their own, do what would please God, until He was with them and stirred up their spirit.
We should always remember, even though we might earnestly decide to do good, we will accomplish NOTHING, unless God be with us! The Lord must stir up our spirit and be with us! (John 15:1-5,19; 9:33; 1 Cor.15:10; 2 Cor.13:8; Phil.4:13).
The Holy Spirit's Work: (Jn.14:16,26; 15:26; 16:13-14; Acts 1:8; Rom.8:5,26; Rev.22:17) . . .
Because each verse contains either the number 6,7 or 8, this is called "The 6's, 7's and 8's of the Holy Spirit."
Haggai 1:15 In the four and twentieth day of the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king. (KJV)
In the four and twentieth day of the sixth month . . . the sixth month is mentioned (Hag.1:1). In the four and twentieth day of the month . . . this period of 23 days must have been spent in cutting stones, and sawing and hewing lumber, and preparing for work in the temple. Since the message came on the first of the month, and the obedience was immediate, twenty three days after Haggai delivered the prophecy, they were working.
Zechariah began to prophecy the same year as Haggai, two months later (Hag.1:1; Zec.1:1).
Haggai received his commission on 6/1 and by 6/24 he had completely succeeded. He had the satisfaction to see all the people willingly, laboring hard doing the Lord's work. They left their own houses to build that of the Lord. The prophet was one of the few to see he had been successful in reaching the people. Here was a faithful reprover, and he found obedient ears; and the Lord's work was done, because the Lord had stirred the people's spirit, and they were ready to work.
The people returned to God in the way of duty. In attending to God's ministers, we must have respect to Him that sent them. The Word of the Lord has success, when by His grace He stirs up our spirits to submit to it. When God has work to be done, He will always find someone, or make someone fit to do it. Those who work for Him, have Him with them; and if He be with us, who can be against us? Shouldn't this stir us up to be diligent?
Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. (KJV)
Book of Haggai
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