Written by Jan Jalowiec
While minor in size, Haggai is major in message! The book of Haggai neatly follows the 3-part pattern set in Romans 15:4 “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
1- Things written aforetime are for our learning
2- We receive comfort from the Scriptures
3- The Scriptures also give us hope
Through the prophet Haggai, the Lord is telling the Jewish nation to take a hard look at what they have – and HAVE NOT – been doing. After a 70-year exile, they were back in the land with a newly rebuilt wall around Jerusalem. Self-absorbed, they neglected to establish their place of worship- the Temple.
The Lord – ever long-suffering and gentle – pointed out some things to them. TWICE He said, “consider your ways”.
1:5 Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.
1:6 Ye have sown much, and bring in little;
ye eat, but ye have not enough;
ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink;
ye clothe you, but there is none warm;
and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.
1:7 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.
(1) These things have been written for our learning.
So what can we learn? For one, if we are quite literally spinning our wheels and FAILING, we need to consider our ways! If everything we do seems futile and vain, we would be wise to take a long, hard look at ourselves. Knowing we are the New Testament Church, and WE are now the Temple of the Holy Ghost, (1 Corinthians 6:19) this admonition becomes very personal. We should consider our ways.
Have I kept my first love? (Luke 10:27)
Am I walking in obedience to what I know is right? (James 4:17)
Am I growing in grace and maturity in the LORD? (Psalm 119:165)
Hard but necessary questions to be sure.
Knowing life will have tribulations, the Word of God is key to avoiding the pitfalls the Jews found themselves in. Through the trials of this life, God teaches us to know Him and trust Him in all things.
(2) We will be comforted knowing that patience will have her perfect work. (Romans 5:3, James 1:4)
A faithful truth about God is that he ALWAYS rewards us for either “the good, the bad or the ugly” in our lives.
Chapter 2 is filled with promises that come with obedience.
2:4 “…for I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts:”
2:9 “…I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.”
2:19 “…from this day will I bless you.”
2:23 “…for I have chosen thee, saith the Lord of hosts.”
(3) Living in obedience is what qualifies us to claim promises of God, and that is the definition of Hope!
Lots of verses to look up, but I promise you will be glad you did.