The Book of Haggai: A Call to Renewed Devotion; Don’t Get Hacked By The Enemy!

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The Book of Haggai: A Call to Renewed Devotion; Don’t Get Hacked By The Enemy!

Last, weekend I read the Book of Haggai and it was like God was talking to me directly. After all, we as true followers of Christ believe the Bible is the true Word of God. I have been going through a year where I have spiritual growth but my life was not moving in what had in my head. It was like I prayed and asked but did not receive. I knock and nothing opens. I read my Bible nearly every day for the last year, I mean, I only miss a couple of days a month. I constantly need to re-read passages just to remember them,  so I have not read all the books yet this year. 

One thing is clear, there was or is this strong man who tried to make me stagnate in my faith in Christ. Why, because the work of the principalities, the powers, the rulers of the darkness of this age and, the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Knows, that when they get you to stagnate and relax, especially a Christian Soldier, that soldier tends to drop his Shield of Faith or his Helmet of Salvation or kick off his Sandle (Boots) of the Gospel of peace. However, we have a great Commander and God as He assured his Children of one thing, a thing our Enemies will never have… 

God’s assurance came: “I am with you.” My assurance after feeling frustrated when I stagnated and felt relaxed, God reminded me through the Book of Haggai. 

The Book of Haggai: A Call to Renewed Devotion and Continue What We Are Called To Do!

The Book of Haggai is one of the twelve minor prophets in the Old Testament. This relatively short book, comprising only two chapters, carries an impactful message that is both timely and timeless. At its core, Haggai challenges the people of Judah to reorder their priorities and focus on their spiritual responsibilities.

Historical Context:

To fully grasp the significance of Haggai’s message, it’s essential to understand its historical backdrop. In 586 B.C., the Babylonians, under King Nebuchadnezzar, destroyed Jerusalem and the First Temple (Solomon’s Temple). Consequently, a significant portion of the Jewish population was exiled to Babylon. However, in 539 B.C., the Babylonian Empire fell to the Persians. Cyrus, the Persian king, decreed in 538 B.C. that the exiled Jews could return to Jerusalem and rebuild their temple. Despite this decree, the temple’s rebuilding process faced opposition and apathy, leading to significant delays.

By the time Haggai delivered his prophecies around 520 B.C., the temple’s foundation had been laid, but the work had stagnated for about 16 years. The returned exiles had settled into their routines, prioritizing their comfort and personal endeavours over the temple’s reconstruction.

Haggai’s Central Message:

Haggai emerges during this period of stagnation to deliver a straightforward message: Consider your ways! The prophet points out that while the people dwell in their panelled houses, the house of the Lord remains in ruins. Their skewed priorities, Haggai propounds, have resulted in God withholding His blessings. They sow much but harvest little; they eat and drink but are never satisfied. The root of their problems isn’t external opposition but internal apathy and misplaced priorities.

Structure and Themes:

1. A Call to Rebuild (Haggai 1:1-15):
In the first oracle, Haggai addresses Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, and Joshua, the high priest. The message is clear: the time has come to rebuild the temple. In response, the leaders and the people obey the Lord’s voice. This section highlights the importance of obedience and prioritizing God’s work.

2. Future Glory of the Temple (Haggai 2:1-9):
The second oracle is given a month after the temple work resumes. Haggai speaks to those who had seen the former temple and were dismayed by the new temple’s perceived lack of splendour. Haggai reassures them, prophesying that the latter glory of this house will surpass the former. This message serves as an encouragement, emphasizing God’s presence and the eternal value of spiritual endeavours.

3. Blessings for a Defiled People (Haggai 2:10-19):
The third oracle occurs two months later. Through a series of questions, Haggai addresses the issue of holiness and defilement. The people’s negligence in rebuilding the temple has led to spiritual defilement, affecting every aspect of their lives. However, from the day they decide to prioritize the temple, God promises to bless them. This section highlights repentance and God’s redemptive power.

4. Promise to Zerubbabel (Haggai 2:20-23):
The final oracle, delivered on the same day as the third, contains a personal promise to Zerubbabel. Despite the political upheaval and kingdoms’ shaking, Zerubbabel is chosen as a signet ring, representing God’s seal of authority and purpose. This message showcases God’s sovereign control over history and His faithfulness to His servants.

Key Takeaways:

1. Priorities Matter: Haggai’s message underscores the importance of prioritizing spiritual responsibilities over personal comfort. When God’s work takes a backseat, it leads to spiritual barrenness.

2. Obedience Invokes Blessings: The moment the people heeded Haggai’s words and resumed the temple’s construction, God’s assurance came: “I am with you.” God honours obedience.

3. God’s Presence is Paramount: The temple’s primary significance wasn’t its material splendour but God’s presence. Haggai reminds the people that God’s presence amidst them is their greatest treasure.

4. Renewed Hope: The Book of Haggai offers a message of hope. Despite past failures and present challenges, God remains faithful, ready to bless His people when they return to Him.

The Book of Haggai serves as a potent reminder that spiritual apathy can seep into our lives if we’re not vigilant. When personal pursuits overshadow God’s work, it results in a life of frustration and lack. Yet, God, in His grace, sends messengers like Haggai to redirect our paths. The invitation remains the same today: Consider your ways! Prioritize God’s work and experience the joy and blessings of His presence.

Bible VerseDescriptionCross-referenceApplication
Proverbs 3:5-6Trust in the LORD and He shall direct your paths.Jeremiah 29:11Spirit: Seek God’s guidance. Mind: Depend on God’s wisdom. Body: Walk in His direction.
Haggai 1:5-7Consider your ways; you have sown much, but harvest little.Proverbs 4:26-27Spirit: Reflect on your actions. Mind: Assess if your efforts align with God’s will. Body: Ensure your actions yield fruit.
Proverbs 14:12A way seems right to man, but its end is death.Isaiah 55:8-9Spirit: Evaluate life direction. Mind: Trust in God’s wisdom. Body: Avoid harmful paths.
Psalm 119:105God’s word is a light to our path.2 Timothy 3:16-17Spirit: Use Scripture as guide. Mind: Meditate on the Word. Body: Walk by God’s Word.
Proverbs 4:26-27Ponder your path; avoid evil.Hebrews 12:1-2Spirit: Stay true to God’s path. Mind: Intentional decisions. Body: Avoid temptations.
Psalm 37:23God orders the steps of a good man.Proverbs 16:9Spirit: Delight in God’s guidance. Mind: Recognize God’s direction. Body: Walk honorably.
Proverbs 21:2Man’s way vs. God’s perspective.1 Samuel 16:7Spirit: Seek pure motives. Mind: God knows our thoughts. Body: Act with integrity.
Proverbs 16:25A way seems right but leads to death.Proverbs 14:12Spirit: Seek discernment. Mind: Avoid self-deception. Body: Choose life-giving actions.
Matthew 7:13-14Narrow gate vs. wide path.Proverbs 2:12-15Spirit: Choose God’s way. Mind: Understand the cost of choices. Body: Walk the narrow path.
Psalm 1:1-3Blessed are those who walk in God’s counsel.Joshua 1:8Spirit: Delight in God’s Word. Mind: Meditate day and night. Body: Be firmly planted.
Jeremiah 6:16Ask for the old paths to find rest.Matthew 11:28-30Spirit: Find rest in God. Mind: Value old teachings. Body: Walk confidently in His ways.
Proverbs 2:8-9God guards the paths of justice.Micah 6:8Spirit: Seek justice. Mind: Understand God’s righteousness. Body: Act justly.
Psalm 23:3He leads in paths of righteousness.Isaiah 30:21Spirit: Trust in God’s leading. Mind: Know His righteousness. Body: Follow the right paths.
Proverbs 20:24Man’s steps are directed by the Lord.Jeremiah 10:23Spirit: Depend on God’s sovereignty. Mind: Recognize our limitations. Body: Walk humbly.
Isaiah 2:3The path of the Lord’s teaching.Micah 4:2Spirit: Learn God’s ways. Mind: Absorb His teachings. Body: Walk in His paths