Preaching of Haggai and Zechariah

“The people of Israel are experiencing droughts and famine and putting off work on the temple until they are prosperous enough to give it their attention.

The two men who come to the rescue of the temple project are Haggai and Zechariah, both prophets of God.  It is surmised that Haggai is one of the exiles who remembers the former temple before its destruction.  If so, he is probably at least 75 years old.  His very young associate, Zechariah, was evidently born in Babylonia into the priestly family of Iddo, his grandfather.

Through Haggai, God tells the people why they have been facing such economic problems.  It is because they have set their own selfish interests as the highest priority rather than totally committing themselves to construction of the temple.”

Read:  Haggai 1:1-11

“People respond favorably to Haggai’s preaching and the work is renewed in earnest.”

Read:  Haggai 1:12-15

“God asks Haggai to address the concern of the older exiles, who had wept when the temple foundation was laid.  Remembering the beauty of the great temple of Solomon, they know that its replacement will be smaller and less ornate.  But God will one day fill this new temple with an even greater glory.  Perhaps the message alludes symbolically to another temple, or possibly to the fact that the Messiah will personally walk through the very building they are now erecting.”

Read:  Haggai 2:1-9

“Zechariah is given a brief message for the people to remind them how their forefathers had fallen time and again into sinful practices.  Now that the work on the temple is underway, there can be no turning back, except a turning back to God.”

Read:  Zechariah 1:1-6

“Haggai contends that the temple workers cannot claim to be righteous simply because they are working on the house of the Lord.  In fact, if their personal lives are not holy, their involvement in the temple’s construction will actually desecrate the holy sanctuary.”

Read:  Haggai 2:10-19

“God brings a special message, ostensibly for Zerubbabel the governor.  However, there is reason to believe that Zerubbabel himself is not being referred to in the prophetic wording, but rather another leader of God’s people — the coming Messiah.”

Read:  Haggai 2:20-23

“The work on the temple now fully underway, Haggai slips from further notice in the historical record.  Brief as his recorded ministry may have been, it has filled a most significant need in the restoration of the nation and its religious life.”

All quotations taken from The Daily Bible.
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