Verse 1 – In the seventh month, on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, saying:
Verse 2 – “Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people, saying:
Verse 3 – ‘Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory?And how do you see it now? In comparison with it, is this not in your eyes as nothing?
There were some that remembered the glory of the first temple, Solomon’s. Evidently, they were upset that this second temple was not as glorious as the first. God wouldn’t have said what He said if He wasn’t able to see into their hearts and feel their disappointment.
Verse 4 – ‘Yet now be strong Zerubbabel,’ says the LORD; and be strong Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; and be strong, all you people of the land,’ says the LORD of hosts.’
Verse 5 – ‘According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you; do not fear!’
Verse 6 – “For thus says the LORD of hosts: “Once more, in a little while, I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land;
Verse 7 – ‘and I will shake nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory’ says the LORD of hosts.
Verse 8 – ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine; says the LORD of hosts.
Verse 9 – ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of host. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the LORD of hosts.”
Jesus, some 500 years later would walk in this temple and fill it with His glory and peace.
Verse 10 – On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, saying,
Verse 11 – “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Now, ask the priests concerning the law, saying,
Verse 12 – “If one carries holy meat in the fold of his garment, and with the edge he touches bread or stew, wine or oil, or any food, will it become holy?” ‘ ” Then the priests answered and said, “No.” (Can touching something holy transfer holiness, no.)
Verse 13 – And Haggai said, “If one who is unclean because of a dead body touches any of these, will it be uncleaned?” So the priests answered and said, “It shall be unclean.”
Verse 14 – Then Haggai answered and said, “So is this people, and so is this nation before Me, says the LORD, and so is every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean.”
Sin and selfish attitudes stain everything they touch. Even good deeds done for God can be tainted by sinful attitudes. Do you know people who only do things for others, expecting something in return?
Verse 15 – ‘And now, carefully consider from this day forward: from before stone was laid upon stone in the temple of the LORD –
Verse 16 – ‘since those days, when one came to a heap of twenty ephahs, there were but ten; when one came to the wine vat to draw out fifty baths from the press, there were but twenty.
For many years, the grain had only given 50 percent of harvest and the wine even worse.
Verse 17 – ‘I struck you with blight and mildew and hail in all the labors of your hands; yet you did not turn to Me,’ says the LORD.
Verse 18 – ‘Consider now from this day forward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, from the day that the foundation of the LORD’S temple was laid-consider it:
Verse 19 – ‘Is the seed still in the barn? As yet the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have not yielded fruit. But from this day forward I will bless you.’ ”
The people relaid the temple foundation and immediately God blessed them. He didn’t wait for it to be complete. God will bless and encourage with our first obedient steps.
Verse 20 – And again the word of the LORD came to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, saying,
Verse 21 – “Speaking to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying: ‘I will shake heaven and earth.
Verse 22 – I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms; I will destroy the strength of the Gentile kingdom. I will overthrow the chariots and those who rule in them; the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by sword of his brother.
God promised to work on the behalf of His people to determine who would win the wars at that time.
Verse 23 – ‘In that day,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘I will take you, Zerubbabel My servant, the son of Shealtiel,’ says the LORD, ‘and will make you a signet ring; for I have chosen you,’ says the LORD of hosts.”
Making Zerubbabel as a “signet ring”, signifies his authority to act as God’s legitimate Davidic ruler, a right that God had removed from the evil King Jehoiakim.
Haggai’s message helped the people to get their priorities straight and stop worrying about things that didn’t matter. So many today are more worried about their personal “comfort,” than what matters most – God’s Kingdom!