Now the prophets, Haggai and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel who was over them. Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak arose and began to rebuild the house of God that is in Jerusalem, and the prophets of God were with them, supporting them. – Ezra 5:1-2
Haggai’s brief ministry takes place around 520 B.C., when the project of rebuilding the temple of Jerusalem had been stalled for over a decade. Today, you’ll get to read what the LORD said through him that motivated the workers to return to the task. More importantly, you’ll read how the LORD felt about this project, seven decades after He had allowed Solomon’s temple to be destroyed.
I want to let Haggai’s words stand on their own, so I don’t want to say too much more. You’ll notice that there are at least four distinct oracles spanning just three months. Remember the characters Zerubbabel the governor and Joshua the priest from Ezra. Remember also the resistance they experienced from the people of land, who bribed counselors against them to frustrate their purpose… and made them afraid to build. This is the setting into which Haggai is commissioned to charge, thus says the LORD of hosts: “Consider your ways.”
Our verse for this week is Colossians 3:23: Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.
The prophet Haggai. Now let’s read it!
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,