Haggai was a Hebrew prophet during the building of the 2nd temple in Jerusalem, after the exiles returned from Babylonian Captivity. He is one of the “minor” prophets in the Bible and the author of the book of Haggai. His name means “My Holiday”. He was the first of the 3 post-exile prophets (with Zechariah & Malachi) who belong to that period of time after the return.
Almost nothing is known of his personal life. He may have been one of the captives taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar, or he may have been born during the 70years there. He began his ministry about 16years after the return to Judah. The work of rebuilding the temple had been halted through interruptions by the Samaritans. After an 18year stall, the work was resumed through the efforts of Haggai & Zechariah encouraging Zerubbabel & Jeshua. The 2 prophets encouraged the leaders and the people, which roused them from their lethargy, and induced them to take advantage of a change in policy of the Persian government under Darius the Great.
– Intro… Hag. 1:1,2; Ezra 5:1;6:14
Look for the 4 appeals, each introduced by “the word of the Lord came…”
I. A Call to Construction of the Temple
* The Reprimand (Hag. 1:3-6)
* The Remedy (Hag. 1:7,8)
* The Rebuke from God (Hag. 1:9-11)
* The Reaction of the People (Hag. 1:12-15)
II. A Call to Courage in God (Hag. 2:1-9)
III. A Call to Clean Living (Hag. 2:10-19)
IV. A Call to Confidence in the Future (Hag. 2:20-23)
Haggai could be called the “1year prophet”. God gave him a very specific mission that required him to deliver 4 messages over the course of 1year. He was speaking to Jews who had been home from the Babylon exile for almost 20years. He criticized them for looking after their own comfort while leaving the rebuilding of the temple undone.
Haggai used the condition of the temple as a metaphor to illustrate the spiritual life of people. Their relationship with God was in shambles, and needed to be rebuilt… from the bottom up.
Haggai’s message reminds us that the daily habits of our relationship with God (church attendance/fellowship, outreach, discipleship, worship, ministry, etc) need constant attention. If you’ve been letting some spiritual things slide, ask God to show you how this affects your fellowship with Him.
* Great things come with a restored relationship with God.
You can read Haggai’s story and sermons in the book of Haggai; & Ezra 5,6.