Daily Devotional: Tuesday 4th Februaryby 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,
Today we begin the book of Haggai and below is some history to help you.
|The reign of David||2 Samuel||1011 – 971 BC|
|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|
|Fall of Jerusalem||2 Kings 25||586 BC|
|Exiles return with Zerubbabel||Ezra 1||538 BC|
|Haggai’s First Message||Haggai 1v1||1st day of 6th month (Aug. 29) 520 BC|
|Second Message||Haggai 1v15||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 5v1 & 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 begun. (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’s not that the people would not rebuild the temple, but they said the time was not yet right.
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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