Today’s Reading: Haggai 1-2
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Key Verses: Haggai 1:5, 7, 2:7a
Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways!…” Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways!…and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,” says the Lord of hosts.
Haggai was probably one of the older generation who remembered what the Temple of Solomon had looked like. They started construction of a new Temple with great enthusiasm (read Ezra 3:10-13). But the people who had not been to Babylon harassed and discouraged the project. Construction was halted as a result, but Haggai and Zechariah did their job and the Temple was finally completed (read Ezra 4:24-5:2).
The word “consider” is repeated by Haggai five times. Daily through this blog we “consider,” “think about,” “contemplate,” “examine,” “review,” “ponder,” “evaluate,” “assess,” etc. Haggai tells his people and us, “Consider your ways!” As a result of Haggai’s preaching, “The Lord stirred up the spirit” of both the governor and the high priest and resumed building the Temple (Haggai 1:14). Consider Haggai 2:5-7. King Herod, 500 years later, enlarged their Temple, and when Jesus entered that Temple, the “desire of all nations” was present (Haggai 2:7). The ultimate fulfillment of Haggai’s prophecy will be at Jesus’ return to Jerusalem, as predicted by the angels and recorded in Acts 1:6-11.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord God, through this blog and through the preaching of my pastor, I pray that my spirit will be stirred up so that I may be motivated again to work tirelessly for You, working with Jesus Who said, “I will build My Church,” and in Whose Name I pray. Amen!!!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
I’ve just found in my home library book #8 in the series, Day unto Day, by Jim and Cathy Cantelon (New Testament commentaries), and Nizar and Ellen Shaheen (Old Testament commentaries). There are eleven paragraphs on Haggai, chapters 1 & 2. Here’s just one paragraph from my son-in-law, Nizar, and my daughter, Ellen:
“Even before they had received the official notification (the decree of Persian Emperor Cyrus which had earlier permitted the construction of a new Temple), the Lord had stirred up the people because of the exhortation of Haggai (along with that of Zechariah), and they resumed the building of the Temple; it had been lying unfinished for about 16 years. In his exhortation, Haggai told them the reason they had not experienced the blessing of God upon their fields and finances. They had put their own interests ahead of the interests of God. God desired them to build His Temple and thereby bring glory to Him (1:8). By leaving His dwelling in ruins, they were not honouring God. When believers today do not work to build up the Kingdom of God by pointing the lost to Jesus, and when they do not support or participate in the work of the Lord (the local church and other outreach ministries), then this also does not bring glory to God. Our faithful service to Him and fulfilling His desires should be our primary concern. Many people today are guilty of the same thing for which Haggai rebuked the people of Jerusalem in his day. There was nothing wrong with working hard in their fields or building fine homes; what was wrong was that they did these things while neglecting their duty to the Lord. Their priorities were out of order, and thus the Lord’s displeasure was upon them. For this reason they had not been blessed in their work or income.”
Yours for faithfully keeping the Lord our top priority and experiencing His blessings,
P.S. The Day Unto Day series consisted of eight books published over two years. Although it has been out of print for over 20 years, when you do a Google search, it’s amazing how many copies are still floating around for sale. For example, here is one, here is another, and here is yet another.