In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest: 2 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord.” 3 Then the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, 4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? 5 Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. 6 You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.
7 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. 8 Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the Lord. 9 You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house.10 Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce.11 And I have called for a drought on the land and the hills, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the ground brings forth, on man and beast, and on all their labors.”
12 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the Lord their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared the Lord. 13 Then Haggai, the messenger of the Lord, spoke to the people with the Lord‘s message, “I am with you, declares the Lord.” 14 And the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people. And they came andworked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God, 15 on the twenty-fourth day of the month, in the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
1. What is the purpose of the book of Haggai? Which genre(s) of biblical literature (prophecy, epistle, narrative, wisdom, etc.) is the book of Haggai? What is the historical backdrop for this book?
2. What was the people’s position on rebuilding the temple? (2) Did God agree with them? What did God say about the priority of rebuilding the temple? (3-4) Read Acts 7:48-50. If God doesn’t need a building to live in, why was it so important to Him, and to the people, that they rebuild the temple? What are the two reasons God gave for rebuilding the temple? (8)
3. List the negative consequences the people experienced for neglecting to rebuild the temple. (6,9,10-11) What reason did God give for sending these negative consequences (9), and what was their intended purpose? What does God mean when He says, “Consider your ways,” in verse 5? In verse 7?
4. What were the two ways the people responded to the prophecy? (12) What were the two ways God responded back to them? (13-14) How is this similar to God’s response to our repentance? How would the words “restoration” and “reconciliation” apply in both this passage and in our repentance today?
5. What does this passage teach us about prioritizing our relationship with Christ, and our obedience to His word, above all other temporal concerns and activities? What can we learn about the negative consequences of sin? Has God ever used the negative consequences of sin to get your attention and draw you to repentance? What is God’s response to our repentance and obedience?