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Haggai 1. As the Bible says:

The book of Haggai is narrative history and prophetic oracle. The prophet Haggai wrote it approximately 520 B.C. Haggai is among the most carefully and accurately dated books in the entire Bible. It is a post-exile book, meaning that it was written after (post) the captivity (exile) in Babylon. The key personalities are Haggai, Zerubbabel and Joshua.

The purpose of this book was that Haggai was called by God to encourage the people to finish the construction of the temple in Jerusalem. Construction had stopped because of opposition and neighboring countries, and the Jews were afraid.

Reference to Chapter 1

In chapter 1, God called Haggai to deliver his message. The Jews lived in their comfortable homes while the temple, the house of God, was unfinished: “Thus says the LORD of hosts:

“This people says: “The time has not come, nor the time that the house of the LORD will be rebuilt” (1: 2). The Jews began to work 24 days after Haggai’s message (vs. 15).

Do you remember how, in the book of Amos, all the bad things that happen to God’s people are a judgment for oppressing the poor? Bad things are still happening, but this time it is because they are not contributing to the restoration of the temple. 

It’s not a bad throw, but a more experienced fundraiser would have offered at least a prayer cloth to each donor. Haggai begins with a statement of the exact date God spoke to Haggai. Biblical scholars have determined that it is August 29, 520 B.C. seriously.

God complains to Haggai that people are more interested in building their own houses while the Big House is still in ruins from the Babylonian invasion.

He points out that, if they have been paying attention, they have realized that things are not going very well for the community. Once the Temple is rebuilt, God will make sure things get better. People seem to get the message and get back to work on September 21st, that was fast.

Commentary on Haggai 1: 12-15

People returned to God in the path of duty. In serving God’s ministers, we must respect the one who sent them. The word of the Lord succeeds, when by his grace he stirs up our spirits to fulfill it. It is in the day of Divine power that we are willing. When God has work to do, He will find or make men fit to do it. All helped, as was their ability; and this they did with regard to the Lord as their God. 

Those who have wasted time, need to redeem time; and the more we have harassed ourselves in folly, the more we must hurry. God found them in a form of mercy. Those who work for him have him with them; and if he is with us, who can be against us? This should encourage us to be diligent.

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