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Summary: This sermon is for my fellow co-workers in the Lord’s Vineyard. Read this sermon and be encouraged! I would be delighted if you could rate this sermon and give a brief feedback.

Introduction (Secure Attention):

We all go through it. We face it many times in our lives.

Whenever it comes, it paralyzes our spiritual lives.

I’m talking about discouragement.

Are you discouraged this morning?

Have you ever wanted to do something for the Lord, but got discouraged in between?

Have you ever compared your work for the Lord with that of others and got discouraged?

Saints, if you are discouraged, I have good news for you.

The Lord wants to encourage you this morning!

Brief Background of the Passage:

Hanko: This message would have been delivered on the last day of the feast of tabernacles (Lev. 23:34-42).

This is of more than passing interest in view of the fact that the feast celebrated Israel’s deliverance from Egypt, to which God himself makes reference in the verses that follow.

That deliverance would have been on the minds of the people, therefore, and must have made them wonder whether God was really with them as he had been in the days when they came out of Egypt.

Then they were a great host, now they were but a remnant.

Then they had been on their way to a land flowing with milk and honey, now they were having difficulty even subsisting in the land.

Taylor: Less than two months had elapsed from the time of Haggai’s first message when work on the temple stalled due to discouragement on the part of the participants.

At this point of time, Haggai preached the second of his four messages to the remnant.

The Exegetical Idea (The Exegetical Theme):

Since the Jews were discouraged that the present temple was lacking in glory in comparison to Solomon’s temple, God encouraged them to move forward in building His house.

Fallen Condition Focus (FCF; Demonstrate the relevance of the sermon to the contemporary audience):

In our Christian lives, just like these post-exilic Jews, we often get discouraged while working for the Lord. That’s why the Lord encourages us in many ways to persevere in working for Him!

Proposition:

By listening to Haggai’s message, we will be encouraged to persevere in working for the Lord!

Sermonic Interrogative (Interrogative Sentence):

How can we be encouraged to persevere in working for the Lord?

Transitional Sentence:

We can be encouraged to persevere in working for the Lord by remembering the following truths (Key Word).

Main Points:

I. God is Concerned about the Discouraged Saints who Work for Him (vv. 1-3).

Read vv. 1-2

twenty-first day of the seventh month. Oct. 17, 520 B.C., the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles.

It was a time to celebrate the summer harvest (see Lev 23:34-43), though the crops were meager (see 1:11; cf. Jn 7:37).

Solomon had dedicated the temple during this feast (1Ki 8:2).

Piper: {The workers are discouraged because the memory is still alive of how glorious the temple used to be.

Less than 70 years ago it stood in this very spot, the apple of God’s eye, the magnificent achievement of Solomon, for centuries the center of holy worship.

But instead of inspiring the people, this memory made the people look at the pitiful edifice they were building and feel hopeless.}

Haggai asks three rhetorical questions which disclose the discouragement that the people had in their hearts.

A. Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? (v. 3a)

Some present may have been able to answer yes to the first question.

They had seen the temple of Solomon in their childhood.

They would have to be at least seventy years old because that temple was destroyed in 586 B.C., and Haggai was speaking some 66 years later (520 B.C.).

Probably Haggai himself saw the house in its former glory.

B. How does it look to you now? (v. 3b)

The next question addressed those who might have remembered Jerusalem before Nebuchadnezzar destroyed it.

Their response may have been: "Although it certainly does not compare in opulence, it is the temple of the Lord, and we are happy to see it being built."

There was no way these relatively poor exiles could have matched the extravagances of Solomon with his professional craftsmen working with imported woods and huge quantities of gold.

What’s the use, they say. We can’t match the glory of Solomon’s temple.

We’re wasting our time. Nothing beautiful or worthwhile will ever come of it.

We got along without it in Babylon; we can do without it here.

Better to have the beauty of a great memory than a paltry imitation.

So their hands are slack in the work.

The original temple was built at the height of Solomon’s glory.

It had taken 183,000 laborers 7 years to build this temple.

It was built using the resources King David had set aside for its construction, but it was also financed by taxes imposed by King Solomon during his reign.

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