The LORD's House Should Be Built
Zerubbabel and Joshua the priest returned from Babylonian captivity to rebuild Jerusalem. The LORD rebuked the people through Haggai, because they neglected to rebuild the Temple. God demands that we put Him first.
Haggai 1:2,4,8 - "This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD'S house should be built. ...Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? ...Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD."
There Is No True Prosperity Apart From God's Plan
Every man must make God his priority. If you fail, your life will come to naught. You sow much but bring in little. You eat and drink but are never full; clothed but never warm; earn wages to put into a bag with holes. "Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house." Seek first His kingdom. Fulness only comes from Him.
Haggai 1:10-11 - "Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit. And I called for a drought..."
Haggai - An Encourager From The LORD
The encouraging ministry of Haggai to the Jews returning from exile exemplifies the way God sends His word to help and heal those who are in need.
Haggai 1:13-14 - "Then spake Haggai the LORD'S messenger in the LORD'S message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the LORD. And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel ...governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua ...the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God."
The Desire Of All Nations Will Come
Haggai published one of the great Messianic prophecies. "The desire of all nations shall come." Men may not realize it, but Jesus will fulfill mankind's deepest cravings. But before He comes, God will have to shake heaven and earth.
Haggai 2:6-7 - "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts."
The Glory Of The Latter House Will Be Greater
Only the oldest Jews remembered the temple as it was before the Babylonians destroyed it seventy years earlier. Haggai prophesied that it would yet be far more glorious than it was. Eventually, Herod reconstructed a much larger and more lavish temple. But still much greater, Jesus will build a new temple there, and live in it during His 1000-year reign in Jerusalem - the ultimate glory.
Haggai 2:9 - "The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts."
Blasting, Mildew And Hail - Tools Of God's Punishment
The LORD told Haggai to ask the priests to confirm that they knew that there were consequences for defiling themselves, such as contaminating holy meat by touching unholy items, or priests becoming unclean by touching a dead body. "So is this nation before me, saith the LORD; and so is every work of their hands." God cursed Israel's harvests. Twenty measures diminished to ten, fifty vessels diminished to twenty.
Haggai 2:17 - "I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands; yet ye turned not to me, saith the LORD."
When Rebukes Bring Blessings
The rebukes that Haggai handed down to the returning remnant were not intended to ostracize or banish them from God, but to correct their errors and move them forward on the right track. Haggai actually reversed their misfortune, and pronounced a rich blessing on them. Don't assume that a rebuke from the LORD is the end. Whom He loves, He chastens.
Haggai 2:19 - " Is the seed yet in the barn? yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, hath not brought forth: from this day will I bless you."
Zerubbabel Will Be Prominent In Kingdom Of Christ
Bible commentaries offer many exotic theories about the meaning of Haggai 2:21-23, but it is best taken at face value. Just as David will rule in Jerusalem under Christ following Armageddon, God promised Zerubbabel a prominent role in His millennial kingdom.
Haggai 2:21-23 - "I will shake the heavens and the earth; ...I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; ...In that day, ...will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, ...and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD."