Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi – Back from Exile
· Chapter 1 can be summed up this way: "I called for a drought" in 1:11 becomes "I am with you" in 1:13
· The Hebrew people were beaten, weak, in need of encouragement. What kind of person would God need in this situation?
· Haggai, "The Model Worker", was humble. He wrote no details about himself.
· He allowed himself to be a messenger. Of the 38 verses in the book, 25 refer either directly or indirectly to the authority of the Word of the Lord
· He practiced what he preached. His message was "Build the house". (See Ezra 5:1,2)
· He not only rebuked, he encouraged. The people responded so fast they didn't even consult the Persian authorities when they resumed work! (See Ezra 5:1-5)
· Remember how the date of the message in 1:1 was important? Here, in 2:1, the date is also important. See Leviticus 23:34,39-40,43? What is the significance?
· But God is not here to rub it in. The message of encouragement will be a constant. Notice 2:3-5 "Be strong", "I am with you" (says the Lord Almighty…)
· Verses 2:10-19 are simply interpreting cause and effect from the standpoint of the Mosaic Law, just as Haggai had done in Ch.1 when talking about drought.
· Verses 12-13 say that moral cleanness cannot be transmitted, but moral uncleanness can, like health vs. disease. In v. 14 God refers again to "these people". The people were making sacrifices, but because of their disobedience they were unclean. The altar did not impart righteousness! So, vs. 15-19 are a reminder to the people to consider their condition, and ends with another encouragement.
· See Hebrews 12:25-29. That passage relates these verses to the Second Coming. But see Rev. 21:22. How is the temple of heaven referred to there?
· Seem confusing? See II Peter 1:20-21
· Zerubbabel would be a signet ring (v. 23). He was just a governor, and would never be king. But, he would be in the lineage of Christ. (See Matthew 1:12-13)
#1) No matter what is going on around us, our relationship with God should be most important
For next week, read Zechariah 1 & 2