Summary: God's Call
Haggai 1:1-15 "The Call to God’s People" 520 BC; Sixteen years earlier, in 536 BC, the Persian emperor Cyrus had issued a decree permitting the Jewish exiles in Babylon to return to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple (Ezra 1:2-4). In response, nearly 50,000 people returned under Zerubbabel, the newly appointed governor of Judah, and the high priest, Joshua. They cleared the temple of rubble; replaced the altar; and began daily sacrifices. This was in autumn, and by the spring of the next year, they had laid the foundations of the temple. Then opposition began! The Samaritans, began to oppose the work. Also, Cyrus had died in battle, and his successor, Cambyses, (Ahasuerus) was pressured to stop the work. Ezra 4:4 Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, 5 And hired counsellors against them, to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia. 6 And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, wrote they unto him an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem. When the work ceased, the people began to focus on private affairs, After 16 years of complacency, the Lord sent Haggai with a startling message 1. The People They Were The Right People - They were willing to leave the captivity in Babylon. Many thousands of other Jews chose not to leave. They separated themselves from their own brethren. In The Right Place - Babylon was not their home! They departed from the land of captivity and had gone back to the land of their forefathers. While today, the Lord can be worshipped anywhere, during the days of Haggai, the city of Jerusalem was the place where God chose to be worshipped by Israel. The reason they were in Babylon was because of their unbelief! Doing The Right Work - There were many things that needed to be done. They needed to provide for their families; make a living; establish schools; shops; commerce; trade; and other secular activities. However, they chose first to do the work of the Lord! And notice the willingness to provide for the work of the Lord - Ezra 2:69 - They gave after their ability unto the treasure of the work threescore and one thousand drams of gold, and five thousand pound of silver, and one hundred priests’ garments. They gave a freewill offering equivalent to $5 Million of gold and a $1/2 Million silver in order to pay masons, carpenters, and import cedar logs from Lebanon. For The Right Reasons - They did not want to throw up some little shack to worship in; nor did they desire to construct a Tower in which they could glory - They wanted to construct the temple for one reason only - to glorify God!
2. The Problem v. 2 Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD’S house should be built. They were the right people; in the right place; doing the right work; for the right reasons. What Happened? Opposition came; the work stopped; the people lost focus on spiritual matters. For a time they did do the will and work of God - BUT - life moved on; children came; job demanded time; circumstances changed They left the work of the Lord for OTHERS to do! 3. The Procrastination 2 Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD’S house should be built. I. The Excuse For Delay (1:2). (a) The Root Of Opposition (from the Samaritans) (Ezra 4). (b) The Result Of Opposition Became discouraged by the work and adversity. (c) The Rational To Opposition (it must not be the time to build.) "God isn’t in this project." (d) The Response To Opposition They decided to maintain the status quo. II. The Extravagance Of Delay (1:3-4). Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying, 4 Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste? Conflict of interest. Putting self interests ahead of God’s interests. v. 9 Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house. III. The Exhortation In Delay (1:5) Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; "CONSIDER YOUR WAYS!" CONSIDER THE : - (a) Righteousness of your ways (b) Reason of your ways (c) Result of your ways There are many exhortations to "consideration" in the Scriptures CONSIDER CREATION Ps. 8:3-4; When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; 4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? CONDUCT Heb. 10:24; And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: CRUCIFIXION Heb 12:3; For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. GOD'S CARE Luke 12:24 Consider the ravens: for they neither sow nor reap; which neither have storehouse nor barn; and God feedeth them: how much more are ye better than the fowls?