Daily Devotional Thursday 29th September 2022by William Moody
The Command to Rebuild the Temple
1:1 In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest: 2 “Thus says the LORD of hosts: These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the LORD.” 3 Then the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, 4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? 5 Now, therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways. 6 You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.
7 “Thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways. 8 Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the LORD. 9 You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the LORD of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house. 10 Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce. 11 And I have called for a drought on the land and the hills, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the ground brings forth, on man and beast, and on all their labors.”
The People Obey the Lord
12 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, 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 feared the LORD. 13 Then Haggai, the messenger of the LORD, spoke to the people with the LORD’s message, “I am with you, declares the LORD.” 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 Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people. And they came and worked on the house of the LORD of hosts, their God, 15 on the twenty-fourth day of the month, in the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.
Today we begin the book of Haggai and below is some history to help you.
|The reign of Solomon||1 Kings 1-11||971-931 BC|
|The kingdom is divided||1 Kings 12||931 BC|
|Northern Kingdom falls||2 Kings 17||722 BC|
|The Fall of Jerusalem||2 Kings 25||586 BC|
|Exiles return with Zerubbabel||Ezra l||538 BC|
|Haggai’s First Message||Haggai 1 v1||1st day of 6th month (Aug. 29) 520 BC|
|Second Message||Haggai 1 v15||24th day of the 6th month (Sept. 21) 520 BC|
|Third Message||Haggai 2 v1||21st day of 7th month (Oct. 17) 520 BC|
|Fourth Message||Haggai 2 v10||24th day of 9th month (Dec. 18) 520 BC|
|Fifth Message||Haggai 2 v20||24th day of 9th month (Dec. 18) 520 BC|
|Ezra arrives in Jerusalem||Ezra 7||458 BC|
|Nehemiah arrives, walls rebuilt||Nehemiah 2 v11||445 BC|
Jewish tradition says that Haggai was a young priest that returned from Babylon. He was a contemporary of Zechariah. Haggai is mentioned in Ezra Sv1 & 6v14. Rebuilding the temple was one of the main reasons for the return from exile (see Ezra 1 v2-4). Among the 42,360 people who initially returned 5,700 were associated with the worship and upkeep of the temple. With great joy the rebuilding of the temple began. (Ezra 3 v7-13}
The work faced opposition from the enemies of God’s people (Ezra 4 v1-5). During the reign of Artaxerxes the work was stopped after a letter from these opponents was sent to the king. (Ezra 4 v7-24) So 18 years after the exiles first returned the temple is still not rebuilt. The people had lost sight of why they were there.
It is to these reluctant builders that Haggai comes with a message from the Lord (v2-3). It came on the first day of the sixth month (Aug. 29), which was a new moon and therefore a feast day. The people would have been resting and had come to hear the prophet speak.
Are there excuses you make for either not starting or not continuing what God wants you to do? Pray about this.
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