Haggai Part 2 Priorities Changed
Created by Jon Taylor - Wednesday 03 Apr 2019
Jon Taylor
Haggai Part 2 Priorities Changed
Haggai rallied Judah to rebuild the temple and this offers valuable lessons in how we need to order our lives. The temple had been in ruins whilst Judah remained in luxury panelled houses. Haggai had summoned Israel to consider her ways and gave the command to fetch some wood from the hills and build the house of the Lord.
The trees would have grown significantly during the years of captivity though the irony was that the crops weren’t doing too well. God withheld the rain. Imagine a summer like last year but still hotter, dryer and for longer. In that location and juncture in history, those conditions would have been disastrous.
Sometimes when we are too busy and preoccupied, God will do whatever is required to ensure we change our priorities. Comfort can breed complacency and God may chasten us for our good and His glory. It is good to be busy but to be busy in the right things. One may protest, “Oh but my house will fall down if I don’t attend to it!” If we neglect God’s house and His righteousness, then the most essential building blocks of our lives will be crumbling and will be precariously balanced on shaky foundations. At other times we can so easily become distracted and putting God first helps with that.

Priorities put in place

Zerubbabel, Joshua and the people obeyed God. God had stirred the Jewish people as he had originally stirred Cyrus to endorse the temple project initially. It took them 23 days to get around to it, though that was better than the fifteen years of earlier deliberations. Doesn’t that resemble our procrastination and unnecessary ambivalence? We may often be slow to obey God, though no one benefits from delayed obedience. Stubbornness, deliberation and unnecessary excuses affect our relationship with God. Conversely, ready obedience predicated by the fear of the Lord is a blessing.
Some of the folk were understandably distressed as the temple wasn’t as spectacular as Solomon’s one. Sometimes we can be locked in time remembering the years of former blessings that we find it hard to be motivated with ministry in the present. Maybe you can remember Christian education in schools with a profound influence on many, packed Sunday schools, Sunday observance or a national day of prayer. We should never despise the day of small things since the Lord has work for us today.
If you can remember that, be strong and be encouraged since the Lord is with you. Continue to commit to your ministry. Don’t grow weary of doing good since His Spirit is with you. The Lord who did the former things is able to help and guide you so look to Him. It is easy to compare the current times with former years or simply compare oneself with others. Nevertheless, it is God who gives the increase, so we need only concern ourselves with loving God and our neighbours and being faithful to our allotted sphere of service.

Holiness put in place
In determining doctrine and right actions we usually enquire what the Bible says. Haggai wanted them to consider their ways and God wants us to think biblically. Haggai skilfully and wisely addressed the holiness issue by asking a series of questions enquiring what the priests would say about the law. The inference was that one can become unclean with contact with that which is unclean, though you can’t catch holiness! Their service was unclean since they were unclean, which reminds us of our need to consider our thoughts and attitudes prior to service. Before we serve God in our ministry, we need to ask Him to help us get our house in order.

God’s glory put in place

The purpose of building the temple was so that the Lord would take pleasure in it and that He would be glorified (Hag. 1:8). The temple would have more glory than the former one, not due to the materials used and the grandeur of the building, but because the Desire of all nations would fill the temple with glory (Hag. 2:7).
Zerubbabel was singled out, chosen and given the signet ring. Under Persian rule he was a governor and considered not quite a king, though a signet ring was worn by the king. He was in the line of David from the tribe of Judah and is a type of Messiah. He was also in the line of descendants from both Joseph and Mary, the kingly and priestly tribes. He is therefore a crucial link in the chain of prophesy pointing towards the everlasting rule of our Lord and Messiah.

Haggai was no doom and gloom prophet. He provides a message of hope and of priorities. He calls us to obey God, to fear Him and to live in holiness. He reminds us that God is with us and helps us to consider who God is. He encourages us with zeal and joy. Consider your ways and be strong. Work for the Lord and for His glory and pleasure. He has promised to be with us, and His glory and reign is from everlasting to everlasting.
Wednesday 03 Apr 2019