• William T. Howe Ph.D.

September 28, 2021

Daily Reading: Haggai 1-2

Haggai 1:13

Then spake Haggai the LORD'S messenger in the LORD'S message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the LORD.

Haggai is the first book in a three-book series containing “Post Exilic Prophecies” (Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi). Post Exilic is the time after the 70 years of captivity that Israel spent in Babylon. In 536 B.C, according to the edict of King Cyrus about 50,000 Jews returned to Jerusalem. Their first order of business was to rebuild the Temple which was destroyed as related in II Kings 24 & 25. It was during the time of these post-exilic prophets that the events of the books of Esther, Ezra, and Nehemiah took place. After delays due to lack of interest in rebuilding the Temple, it was finally finished around 516 B.C.

Haggai’s message from the Lord God coupled with Zechariah’s spurred the people on to finish the work of the Temple. God informed the nation that the reason for their poverty and lack of good harvests and fleeing riches was because they delayed putting first things first; meaning the rebuilding of the Temple allowing them to fulfill the worship rites as outlined in the law of Moses.

In this message of Haggai, the Lord twice confirms that He was with them (1:3, and 2:4). This must have been like cool water to a thirsty tongue after enduring the 70 years of captivity. Likewise, today we have such a promise as well! Hebrews 13:5 states: Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Whatever the issue, whatever the condition, whatever the problem, whatever the shortcoming, whatever the difficulty, whatever the victory; the Lord God through the Holy Spirit is with you. That is if you are a believer in Christ, born again by the Spirit of the Living God through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Setting the physical Temple aside, Haggai also spoke of the coming spiritual temple through Messianic prophecies that he probably did not even know or understand. He was speaking of the physical Temple; the Lord God was alluding to the spiritual temple of the Church age. It is evident on occasions that our Father in Heaven gave messages to His prophets that neither they, nor those to whom they preached could possibly understand. Haggai is an example. Today we can look back and understand having the New Testament to teach us, but in his day, the prophet simply spoke forth the message God gave him by faith. The same is true today with much that preachers preach. Understanding it not completely but delivering the Word of God by and through faith and faith alone. One day, perhaps soon, we will understand all because we will see it happen. Amen until then!

Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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