Keith Hunt - Haggai For Today Restitution of All
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Haggai For Today

Chapters 1 to 2

                             HAGGAI FOR TODAY


                              Chapters 1 - 2



Haggai's messages were delivered to the Jews in Jerusalem during
the last half of the year 520 B.C. The rebuilding of the Temple
had been delayed for 18 years when Haggai aroused his people to
renewed activity. In four brief passages Haggai encourages the
builders, who completed the Temple by 515 B.C.
(From my old KJV Study Bible)


From The New Living Translation

(I'm not sure how they came to the dates they have, but take that
as the least to be concerned about)


CHAPTER 1

A Call to Rebuild the Temple

......

     Just as Zephaniah is from the start, clearly a prophecy for
the yet future, so Haggai was a prophecy encouragement for his
time and day, with no reference to any time other than that which
has come to pass centuries ago. BUT VERY IMPORTANT LESSONS CAN BE
GLEANED FROM HAGGAI WHICH ARE TIMELESS!

......


1 On August 29 of the second year of King Darius's reign, the
Lord gave a message through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son
of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Jeshua son of Jehozadak,
the high priest. 2 "This is what the Lord Almighty says: The
people are saying, "The time has not yet come to rebuild the
LORD'S house - the Temple.'"
3 So the Lord sent this message through the prophet Haggai: 4
"Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in
ruins? 5 This is what the Lord Almighty says: Consider how things
are going for you! 6 YOU have planted much but harvested little.
You have food to eat, but not enough to fill you up. You have
wine to drink, but not enough to satisfy your thirst. You have
clothing to wear, but not enough to keep you warm. Your wages
disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with
holes!
7 This is what the Lord Almighty says: Consider how things are
going for you! 8 Now go up into the hills, bring down timber; and
rebuild my house. Then I will take pleasure in it and be honored,
says the Lord. 9 You hoped for rich harvests, but they were poor.
And when you brought your harvest home, I blew it away. Why?
Because my house lies in ruins, says the Lord Almighty, while you
are all busy building your own fine houses. 

......

     The Bible in its entirety teaches that there is no sin in
physical riches per se. Many of God's people were wealthy and
rich with physical goods. BUT what IS IMPORTANT is that however
the Lord has blessed you, and if with much physical wealth or
even just good means to make a nice living, YOU MUST NOT FORGET
THE WORK OF THE LORD! You may not (most are not) be called to
preach and teach the Word of the Lord; you may be called to do
other charitable duties; you may be called to serve other people
in many different ways, with what the Lord has given you to do
with what you have been given. We are all given talents in one
way or another, some few, some many; we are to USE what we have
been given TO THE BENEFIT OF OTHERS, TO HELP, TO COMFORT, TO
ENCOURAGE, TO PRAY, TO WORK IN THE TEMPLE OF GOD, as what He has
called you to do, with the means you have been given. The cares
of the world are not to CHOKE you off from being an active part
in the HOUSE of God, the family of God. If you have been called
to see the will and ways of the Lord, and you neglect to do, to
speak, to live, the way of the Eternal, then He may well take
away from you the physical blessing you find yourself with.
     This is the lesson of these first verses!

......


10 That is why the heavens have withheld the dew and the earth
has withheld its crops. 11 I have called for a drought on your
fields and hills - a drought to wither the grain and grapes and
olives and all your other crops, a drought to starve both you and
Your cattle and to ruin everything you have worked so hard to
get."

......

     As SHOCKING as it will sound to many, it is very possible
that AT TIMES, for various reasons that need to be changed for
the better and for the right, God DIRECTLY steps in to bring EVIL
upon people. We certainly know that at many times the Lord ALLOWS
nature to take its natural cause. We know many hurricanes and
wild storms and tornados are NOT STOPPED by the Lord from
bringing horrible destruction as they move along their pathway
across cities, towns, and villages. It is only too obvious to us
that God does not step in to prevent such desolation coming on
people. The Eternal can, with the word of His mouth, calm the
stormy seas, rest the violent storms, turn away the hurricanes.
All nature is at His command. God is in control of the entire
UNIVERSE! Nothing happens without Him allowing it! 
     What we need to bear in mind, the lesson from these verses
is that God may have a very GOOD reason for why He allows fierce
nature to take its course of destruction upon mankind.
     AND the lesson also from these verses is that AT TIMES God
may be having a DIRECT COMMAND on the destructions and bad
weather that parts of our lands encounter. In other of the
prophets God says he does it or allows it, to BRING PEOPLE TO
HUMILITY AND REPENTANCE, TO DRAW NIGH TO HIM, TO SEEK HIM WITH
TEARS. 
     If you escape with your life, and you stand there with utter
ruin all around you, you should realize physical things are just
that ... physical, and in the big scheme of things, do not mean a
lot. Maybe you should take the opportunity at that time to ask
two things: (1) Am I being foolish to live in this area that
regularly has times of such massive destruction from nature? Is
it possible for me to move to a more peaceful nature area where
such weather patterns are much kinder; (2) Am I still alive in it
all because the Lord wants me to search for Him in a DEEPER way,
a way that really pleases Him more, a way that is hungering and
thirsting for RIGHTEOUSNESS!
     The Lord does control the weather, and sometimes in a manner
that is against us, for reasons that He desires us to turn from
forgetting Him, and to work in His work, doing His will, putting
Him and His way FIRST in our lives, then knowing all other things
will be added to us, for the Lord, as Jesus said, knows we are in
need of the basics of physical life. "Seek ye first the Kingdom
of God and His righteousness, and all these other things will be
given you" (Mat.6:33).

......
     

Obedience to God's Call

12 Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the
high priest, and the whole remnant of God's people obeyed the
message from the Lord their God. It had been delivered by the
prophet Haggai, whom the Lord their Cod had sent, and the people
worshipped the LORD in earnest. 13 Then Haggai, the Lord's
messenger, gave the people this message from the Lord: "I am with
you, says the Lord!" 14 So the Lord sparked the enthusiasm of
Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, Joshua son of
Jehozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of God's
people. They came and began their work on the house of the Lord
Almighty, their God. 15 This was on September 21 of the second
year of King Darius's reign.


CHAPTER 2

The New Temple's Splendor

1 Then on October 17 of that same year, the Lord sent another
message through the prophet Haggai. 2 "Say this to Zerubbabel son
of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Jeshua son of Jehozadak,
the high priest, and to the remnant of God's people there in the
land: 3 Is there anyone who can remember this house - the Temple
- as it was before? In comparison, how does it look to you now?
It must seem like nothing at all! 

......

     If there was anyone still alive after 70 years of captivity
in the land of Babylon, the Temple construction would have seen
as nothing in comparison to the mighty Temple that stood there
from the days of Solomon.

......
 

4 But now take courage, Zerubbabel, says the LORD. Take courage,
Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Take courage, all you
people still left in the land, says the LORD. Take courage and
work, for I am with you, says the LORD Almighty. 5 My Spirit
remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt.
So do not be afraid.
6 For this is what the LORD Almighty says: In just a little while
I will again shake the heavens and the earth. I will shake the
oceans and the dry land, too. 7 I will shake all the nations, and
the treasures of all the nations will come to this Temple. I will
fill this place with glory, says the LORD Almighty 8 The silver
is mine, and the gold is mine, says the LORD Almighty. 

......

     Yes kingdoms were shaken; great things were done by the
Lord; the mighty Roman Empire came along; Herod spent 46 years in
building the Temple in Jerusalem that was a marvel of building
scope and engineering. The "Wailing Wall" that still stands today
in Jerusalem was part of the outer wall of this huge Temple
structure build under Herod the Great.

......


9 The future glory of this Temple will be greater than its past
glory, says the LORD Almighty. And in this place I will bring
peace. I, the LORD Almighty, have spoken!"

......

     Oh indeed the future glory of the Temple being constructed
by the people under Zerubbabel and later under Herod, was WAY
MORE GLORIOUS than ever, FOR the LORD from heaven would COME AND
WALK AND TEACH INSIDE ITS VERY WALLS. THE ONE WHO WOULD BRING
SALVATION PEACE WOULD PUT HIS FEET INSIDE ITS STRUCTURES. WHAT
MORE GLORY COULD THERE HAVE BEEN THAN HAVE GOD ON EARTH WITHIN
THE TEMPLE OF GOD. 


     Today, the apostle Paul says the very Church of Christ, the
members of His body are the TEMPLE of God! Jesus said that those
who love Him and will do the will of the Father, will have BOTH
He and the Father LIVING IN THEM! See that incredible promise in
John 14:21-24.
     What a GLORIOUS TEMPLE we have today! It is more glorious
than any physical building made out of stones.

......


Blessings Promised for Obedience

10 On December 18 of the second year of King Darius's reign, the
LORD sent this message to the prophet Haggai: "This is what the
LORD Almighty says! Ask the priests this question about the law:
12 If one of you is carrying a holy sacrifice in his robes and
happens to brush against some bread or stew, wine or oil, or any
other kind of food, will it also become holy?"
The priests replied, "No."
13 Then Haggai asked, "But if someone becomes ceremonially
unclean by touching a dead person and then brushes against any of
the things mentioned, will it be defiled?"
And the priests answered, "Yes." 14 Then Haggai said, "That is
how it is with this people and this nation, says the LORD.
Everything they do and everything they offer is defiled. 

......

     Oh what a state to be in! To have the Eternal God say to you
that all you do is defiled! If we walk after our own heart and
mind, if we do what seems right to man but the ways are only
death, if we neglect searching for the ways of the Lord, if we
only have a "form of religion" but our depth of religion goes not
beyond and deeper than our skin, we shall hear those words from
the Lord, "Everything they do and everything they offer is
defiled."
     Nay, when it is written that even OUR righteousness is but
as FILTHY RAGS before God, what can be said for those whose
religion is in vain - all it is DEFILED! Jesus put it this way:
"In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the
commandments of men; for full well you reject the commandments of
God that you may keep your own traditions" (Mark 7).
     We are clean and holy, without sin to God, when we are under
His grace. When we have accepted Christ Jesus as our PERSONAL
SAVIOR, when we have REPENTED of sin, when he have been
CONVERTED, when we have set our MIND and HEART to WANT to DO the
will of God, to live by His every Word, to be willing to be
CORRECTED, to want to grow in grace and knowledge of Christ
Jesus, THEN WITH THAT MIND-SET WE ARE BLAMELESS, SINLESS IN GOD'S
SIGHT! We are under His grace. When we sin, as we surely will do
for we are still in the flesh, we can go to Him acknowledging we
are sinners and we are WASHED BY THE BLOOD OF THE LAMB, we are
sinless, we are righteous and holy in His sight. WHAT A BLESSING,
WHAT A GIFT!
     But on the other hand, if we just set our face to turn it
away from God and His commandments, if we are just not interested
in Him or His Word, IF our religion is only an outward form, that
does not hunger and thirst after righteousness, then indeed all
we do is counted as DEFILED! It is all in VAIN! It is all
useless, truly it is all defiled!

......
 

15 So think about this from now on - consider how things were
going for you before you began to lay the foundation of the
LORD'S Temple. 16 When you hoped for a twenty-bushel crop, you
harvested only ten. When you expected to draw fifty gallons from
the winepress, you found only twenty. 17 I sent blight and mildew
and hail to destroy all the produce of your labor. Yet, even so,
you refused to return to me, says the LORD.

......

     Sometimes the way of man is such that the Lord has no choice
but to use DRASTIC measures at times to try and GET HIS
ATTENTION! Sometimes our heart is so HARD, sometimes we are so
STIFF-NECKED, sometimes are minds are so cold as the South-Pole,
that it leaves the Eternal with no choice but to have to use
HARSH means to get some kind of SPARK lighted in our souls. The
book of Revelation is beyond the nightmares of our mind; it is
hard to realize that after many of the TRUMPETS poured out on
this earth in the last days, that STILL SOME WILL NOT REPENT OF
THEIR SINS AND WICKEDNESS!
     God does not want to have to do it this way. He takes no
delight in having to get the attention of mankind through
horrific destruction be it by the hand of nature or the hand of
wars men wage against men.

     YOU friend can have the opportunity now as you read these
words, to let God touch you the easy way, the way of KINDNESS,
GENTLENESS, LOVING EMBRACE. The Eternal Father wants you to let
go of your stony heart, just pick up His word the Bible, let him
speak to you through it. Let your heart and mind be soft so He as
the master potter can shape you, form you, into the image of His
dear Son Christ Jesus, and so you also can be called the son of
God.

......


18 "On this eighteenth day of December - the day when the
foundation of the LORD'S Temple was laid - carefully consider
this: 19 I am giving you a promise now while the seed is still in
the barn, before you have harvested your grain and before the
grapevine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have
produced their crops. From this day onward I will bless you."


......

     The foundation of the Lord's Temple, His New Testament
Temple was laid on the day of Pentecost in 30 A.D. It is still
being laid, build up in Jesus Christ, to be the Temple of all
temples, the very FAMILY of God! If you accept the invitation to
be part of that foundational structure of God's Temple, you will
be BLESSED beyond what the human mind can imagine. I have tried
in various studies on this Website to bring you a little glimpse,
a little of looking through the glass darkly, and showing you the
UNBOUNDING WEALTH of what the Father wants to share with you for
all eternity. "From this day onward I will bless you" does not
always mean in physical matters, here and now on this earth, but
I can tell you IT DOES MEAN IN SPIRITUAL MATTERS AND IN ETERNITY!

......


Promises for Zerubbabel

20 The LORD sent this second message to Haggai on December 18. 21
"Tell Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, that I am about to shake
the heavens and the earth. 22 I will overthrow royal thrones,
destroying the power of foreign kingdoms. I will overturn their
chariots and charioteers. The horses will fall, and their riders
will kill each other. 23 But when this happens, says the LORD
Almighty I will honor you, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, my
servant. I will treat you like a signet ring on my finger, says
the LORD, for I have specially chosen you. I the LORD Almighty,
have spoken!"

......

     Zerubbabel was chosen in his day for the glory of God. What
is said about Zerubbabel, he being a signet ring on the Lord's
hand, can be said about EVERY CHILD of God.

     Jesus said many are called BUT FEW CHOSEN!  You can be
called, oh that is not hard, that is the easy part. But being
CHOSEN, well that has much to do with you friends. You have to
WANT IT, DESIRE IT, CRY (maybe literally at times) OUT FOR IT,
HUNGER AND THIRST FOR IT. But if you so do I can surely tell you
the Father will say:

"I WILL TREAT YOU LIKE A SIGNET RING ON MY FINGER!"

                           .....................


Entered on this Website September 2008 


 
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