God’s Renewing Word of Thankfulness and Praise
Haggai 1:1-15: Haggai was one of the prophets who urged the people to rebuild the Temple. The people had returned from exile in Babylonia (538 B.C.) and had lived in Jerusalem for nearly twenty years, but the Temple still lay in ruins. Haggai warns the people that their failure to rebuild the Temple has brought about the hardship they are experiencing but that these hard times will end once construction work begins.
THE LORD’S COMMAND TO REBUILD THE TEMPLE
1 During the second year that Darius was emperor of Persia, on the first day of the sixth month, the Lord spoke through the prophet Haggai. The message was for the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and for the High Priest, Joshua son of Jehozadak.
2 TheLordAlmighty said to Haggai, “These people say that this is not the right time to rebuild the Temple.”3 The Lord then gave this message to the people through the prophet Haggai:4 “My people, why should you be living in well-built houses while my Temple lies in ruins?5 Don’t you see what is happening to you?6 You have planted much grain, but have harvested very little. You have food to eat, but not enough to make you full. You have wine to drink, but not enough to get drunk on! You have clothing, but not enough to keep you warm. And workers cannot earn enough to live on.7 Can’t you see why this has happened?8 Now go up into the hills, get lumber, and rebuild the Temple; then I will be pleased and will be worshiped as I should be.
9 “You hoped for large harvests, but they turned out to be small. And when you brought the harvest home, I blew it away. Why did I do that? Because my Temple lies in ruins while every one of you is busy working on your own house.10 That is why there is no rain and nothing can grow.11 I have brought drought on the land—on its hills, grainfields, vineyards, and olive orchards—on every crop the ground produces, on people and animals, on everything you try to grow.”
The People Obey theLord’s Command
12 Then Zerubbabel and Joshua and all the people who had returned from the exilein Babylonia, did what theLordtheir God told them to do. They were afraid and obeyed the prophet Haggai, the Lord’s messenger.13 Then Haggai gave the Lord’s message to the people: “I will be with you—that is my promise.”14 TheLordinspired everyone to work on the Temple: Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah; Joshua, the High Priest, and all the people who had returned from the exile. They began working on the Temple of the Lord Almighty, their God,15 on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month of the second year that Darius was emperor.
TODAY’S KEY VERSE: HAGGAI 1:13
Haggai gave the LORD’s message to the people, “I will be with you—that is my promise.”
What was Haggai’s message to the people? What were the consequences of their apathy? How did Haggai stir the people to action? Within your community of faith, how are people inspired to take action when faced with a task?
Lord God, forgive me whenever I am apathetic and fail to carry out your will. Thank you for your steadfast love and words of encouragement from the Scriptures. Inspire me to act when confronted with a task that will further your Kingdom. Amen.
Haggai 2:1-23: The splendor of the new Temple is described.