Summary: It emphasizes how God points out the apathetic attributes of Israel.
Haggai: Lesson One § Student Handout
Subject: Spiritual Apathy to Spiritual Awakening!
1. The Relevance of Haggai’s Message for the Church today.
A.Directed to God’s people some 2,500 years ago
B.Haggai is one of the Post-Exilic prophets of the Restoration, the other two being Zechariah and Malachi.
C.Haggai saw his ministry produce positive results among the people of God.
1)Results: Great Spiritual Awakening & Revival under his ministry.
2)Benefit: Shows what can happen when God’s Word is faithfully preached and when God’s Spirit begins to work in the hearts of God’s people.
2. Two themes that Dominate the Message of Haggai.
3.Background Information about Haggai.
A.Notes from The Nelson Study Bible, 1531.
1)Haggai was a prophet to the Jews who had returned from the Exile in Babylon [538 BC].
2)His first task was to force them to see where their hearts and priorities really lay.
3)He urged them to do what they should have done from the start:
a.To rebuild the temple with a willing heart.
b.To these admonitions he added the promise of God to be with them.
c.With this promise, the people could return to their first enthusiasm and carry out God’s purposes for them. Then their worship would be joyful and sincere.
B.Notes from the Open Study Bible.
1)Sixteen years after the process of rebuilding the temple begun, the people have yet to finish the project.
2)Haggai preached a series of sermonettes designed to stir up the nation to finish the temple.
3)He calls the builders to
a.Renewed courage in the Lord
b.Renewed holiness of Life
c.Renewed Faith in God who controls the future.
4.“Haggai’s message is summed up in three words, "consider your ways."
A."Wait a moment, listen to me,"
B.Haggai tells his countrymen, "there’s something gone wrong in your relationship with God, and I’m going to reveal the insight that God has given to me." "Consider your ways": the instruction is to think long and hard about our motives and actions, and the consequences that flow from them. Haggai’s word from the Lord can be summarized in three questions. The first is: What are your priorities?”
5. Life Application Notes comments “Haggai encouraged the people to finish rebuilding the temple. Opposition from hostile neighbors had caused them to feel discouraged and to neglect the temple, and thus neglect God. But Haggai’s message turned them around and motivated them to pick up their tools and continue the work they had begun.”
6. Haggai was a “Minor” Prophet with a “Major” Message!
EXPLORE Scripture Haggai 1:1-11
The Work of God is Neglected - Confirmation of Spiritual Apathy.
Synonyms for Apathy: indifference, lack of concern, lack of interest, lethargy, laziness, and boredom.
One of the first confirmations of spiritual apathy in the life of a Christian or in the life of a church of God’s people is:
1. PROCRASTINATION of God’s People (READ 1:2).
2. PRIORITIES of God’s People (READ 1:3-4).
A. “Instead of rebuilding the temple, the people put their energies into beautifying their own homes” (LAN).
B.God’s people had turned inward toward self.
C.God has always called His people outward toward Him.
D.Why? Selfish – taking care of themselves. God’s people were “All of self, none of Thee.” Apathetic to God’s Work. Then? Now?
3. PROFILE of God’s People (READ 1:5-6).
(1:5) “Consider your ways” (NASB-U). “Give careful thought to your ways” (NIV). “Think about what you have done” (NCV). Evaluate your spiritual condition.
(1:6) What have you done on your own?
Sown much=Harvest Little § Eat=Not satisfied
Drink=No affect § Put on Clothing=No warmth
Earn Money=Hole in your pocket
1. “The harder the people worked for themselves, the less they had, because they ignored their spiritual lives. The same happens to us.
2. If we put God first, he will provide for our deepest needs.
3. If we put him in any other place, all our efforts will be useless.
4. Caring only for your physical needs while ignoring your relationship with God will lead to ruin” (LAN).
4. PLAN for God’s People (1:7-8).
(1:7) Look at yourselves! Evaluate your spiritual condition. What are your priorities?
(1:8) Go – Bring – Rebuild. Why? To please God; To Glorify God.
5. PUNISHMENT of God’s People (1:9-11).
Look: Little Results (Self seeking; selfish) not for God.
Bring: Blows away (Shallow substance) not for God.
Why? Declares the Lord
My house lies desolate
Each runs to his own house (no teamwork).
Selfishness. All of self, none of Thee!
(1:10) Therefore! Because of you (God’s people)
What did they do? Actions, self-seeking, selfish, shallow, and apathetic.
1) Sky withhold dew
2) Earth did not produce
(1:11) Drought on: -Land –Mountains –Grain –New wine
–Oil –Men –Cattle –Labor of the hands
Dry place spiritually – Dry place physically