Haggai 1

DateVersionReading Plan
@December 11, 2023ESV (2016)ESV Prophets Plan 2023


  • The Command to Rebuild the Temple
  • The People Obey the Lord


Haggai addressed his prophecy to Zerubabbel, governor of Judah, and Joshua, the high priest. The people had returned from exile and were saying that it was not yet time to rebuild the temple. Haggai meets this with a rebuke that they had built nice, “paneled houses” (Hag. 1:4) while the house of the LORD lies in ruins. The LORD through Haggai instructs the people to gather wood and build His house so that He may take pleasure in it and that He may be glorified. God had purposefully prevented the fruitfulness of their crops because they had not prioritized Him and the rebuilding of His temple. Zerubbabel, Joshua and all the remnant of the people responded in reverent fear and “obeyed the voice of the LORD their God” (Hag. 1:12). The LORD stirred the spirits of Zerubbabel, Joshua and the people and they began to rebuild the temple twenty-three days after Haggai’s first prophecy—September 21, 520 BC.

Particularly striking was the contrast in God’s exhortation between His house that lied in ruins and that each of them busied themselves with his own house. It is no sin to have a nice house or nice things, but their acquisition is not to take precedence over God in our hearts. Every follower of Christ is to be led by the Spirit and their own conscience to balance these things properly. By God’s grace, He has taken me through some very difficult circumstances and shown me the unhealthy fruit of an imbalanced life. By revealing Himself as the supreme treasure, He simultaneously reveals the inherent worthless of worldly comforts and pursuits. Having now lived both ways, I can testify that nothing can be compared to the fullness of joy found only in Christ.

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