HAGGAI WAS SENT by God to the Jews who had returned from captivity in Babylon. They had been led back by Zerubbabel (of royal descent) and Joshua (a High Priest). The foundations of the new temple had been laid in Jerusalem, but after opposition from neighbouring nations enthusiasm for the building work had waned. Now, 18 years on, God’s message through Haggai and Zechariah (see Ezra 5:1) was intended to stir the nation into action.
“Consider Your Ways!”
Not only were the returned exiles distracted by adversaries hindering the work, but they were becoming comfortable and complacent: “Thus speaks the Lord of hosts, saying: ‘This people says, “The time has not come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built.” ’… Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your panelled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?” (Haggai 1:2, 4).
They did respond, and the temple was finished.
God strengthened Zerubbabel and Joshua for the work, and helped His people. He told them of a great King-Priest who would build an even greater “house” for God (Haggai 2:6–9). This was a prophecy of the coming of Jesus Christ, as High Priest for God’s people and the future King of all nations.
Haggai, as well as other prophets, foretold the building of a future temple at Jerusalem. It will be a focal point for the worship of God by all nations. See for example Isaiah 2:2–3; 56:7; Ezekiel 40–48; and Zechariah 14:16–21.
Jesus Christ is a descendant of Zerubbabel (Luke 3:27) and is the one spoken of as God’s chosen representative, having God’s royal authority, appointed to rule as King of Israel and of the world (Matthew 28:18).
By kind permission of ‘The Christadelphian’
Some interesting links with other parts of the Bible
- Haggai 1:1—see Ezra 4:24; 5:1; Zechariah 1:1.
- Haggai 1:4—see 2 Samuel 7:2, 12, 13; Psalm 132:1–5.
- Haggai 2:6–7—see Joel 3:16–17; Hebrews 12:26–28.