It helps to understand a bit of what is happening in Zerubbabel’s back story. We know from reading Haggai that he was the governor of Judah after the people returned from exile in Babylon. What I didn’t remember was that he was the grandson of King Jehoiachin, a king in the line of David (see Jesus’ lineage in Matthew 1:12).
You may recall from my reflections on Jeremiah 22 and 2 Kings 24, that King Jehoiachin had fallen out of favor with God. Jehoiachin was taken captive to Babylon in the first deportation of God’s people and imprisoned. God had promised David in 2 Samuel 7:12-16 that there would always be an heir on the throne. Fast forward to the Israelites’ return from exile, and the question is now, “what about Zerubbabel?”
Continue reading “Haggai 2:20-23 – Chosen by God”
I hadn’t thought about the fact that the people rebuilding the temple would probably have never seen the original one now in ruins. Would those memories have been kept alive in families living in exile? If there were any faithful ones still alive that had seen the glorious splendor of the original temple, Haggai’s words were a comfort for them. “My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt. So do not be afraid.”
How can human hands build a house worthy of the glory of God? A big project like building a temple for God may have seemed overwhelming. It certainly was the first time around for Solomon. You may recall Solomon’s father, King David had the vision for a grand temple, but it was God’s plan that Solomon be the one in charge of its construction. We read about that in 1 Kings 8. Solomon’s prayer of dedication is beautiful.
Continue reading “Haggai 2:1-9 – God is With Us”
Haggai is one of the post-exilic prophets who spoke to those returning from exile in Babylon. Haggai’s messages begin the second year of King Darius’ reign in approximately 520 B.C. Babylon had been defeated by King Cyrus in 539 B.C.
The Persian Empire was in control in those days, and the Israelites had been allowed to return to their homeland. From what God says through Haggai, it appears the people are still living selfishly and not putting God in first position. His temple still lies in ruins.
Continue reading “Haggai 1:1-11 – Put God First”