September 18, Haggai

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In the second year of King Darius,[a](A) on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the Lord came through the prophet(B) Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,(C) the governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest:(D)

“The Lord of Armies says this: These people say: The time has not come for the house of the Lord to be rebuilt.”(E)

The word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: “Is it a time for you yourselves to live in your paneled houses,(F)while this house[b] lies in ruins?” Now, the Lord of Armies says this: “Think carefully(G)about[c] your ways:

You have planted much
but harvested little.
You eat
but never have enough to be satisfied.
You drink
but never have enough to be happy.
You put on clothes
but never have enough to get warm.
The wage earner puts his wages
into a bag with a hole in it.”(H)

The Lord of Armies says this: “Think carefully about your ways. Go up into the hills, bring down lumber, and build the house; and I will be pleased with it and be glorified,” says the Lord. “You expected much, but then it amounted to little. When you brought the harvest to your house, I ruined[d] it. Why?” This is the declaration of the Lord of Armies. “Because my house still lies in ruins, while each of you is busy with his own house.

10 So on your account,[e]
the skies have withheld the dew
and the land its crops.(I)
11 I have summoned a drought
on the fields and the hills,
on the grain, new wine, fresh oil,
and whatever the ground yields,
on people and animals,
and on all that your hands produce.”

The People’s Response

12 Then Zerubbabel(J) son of Shealtiel, the high priest Joshua son of Jehozadak, and the entire remnant of the people(K) obeyed the Lord their God and the words of the prophet Haggai, because the Lord their God had sent him. So the people feared the Lord.(L)

13 Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, delivered the Lord’s message to the people: “I am with you(M)—this is the Lord’s declaration.”

14 The Lord roused the spirit(N) of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, the spirit of the high priest Joshua son of Jehozadak, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people. They began work on the house of the Lord of Armies, their God, 15 on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month, in the second year of King Darius.

On the twenty-first day of the seventh month,(A) the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: “Speak to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, to the high priest Joshua son of Jehozadak, and to the remnant of the people: ‘Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Doesn’t it seem to you like nothing by comparison?(B)Even so, be strong, Zerubbabel—this is the Lord’s declaration.(C) Be strong, Joshua son of Jehozadak, high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land—this is the Lord’s declaration. Work! For I am with you(D)—the declaration of the Lord of Armies. This is the promise I made to you when you came out of Egypt,(E) and my Spirit is present among you; don’t be afraid.’”

For the Lord of Armies says this: “Once more, in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth,(F) the sea and the dry land.(G) I will shake all the nations so that the treasures of all the nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,”(H) says the Lordof Armies. “The silver and gold belong to me”—this is the declaration of the Lord of Armies. “The final glory of this house[a] will be greater than the first,”(I) says the Lord of Armies. “I will provide peace in this place”(J)—this is the declaration of the Lord of Armies.

From Deprivation to Blessing

10 On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Haggai: 11 “This is what the Lord of Armies says: Ask the priests for a ruling.(K) 12 If a man is carrying consecrated meat in the fold of his garment, and it touches bread, stew, wine, oil, or any other food, does it become holy?” (L)

The priests answered, “No.”

13 Then Haggai asked, “If someone defiled by contact with a corpse touches any of these, does it become defiled?” (M)

The priests answered, “It becomes defiled.”

14 Then Haggai replied, “So is this people, and so is this nation before me—this is the Lord’s declaration. And so is every work of their hands; even what they offer there is defiled.

15 “Now from this day on, think carefully: Before one stone was placed on another in the Lord’s temple, 16 what state were you in?[b] When someone came to a grain heap of twenty measures, it only amounted to ten; when one came to the winepress to dip fifty measures from the vat, it only amounted to twenty. 17 I struck you—all the work of your hands—with blight, mildew,(N) and hail,(O) but you didn’t turn to me—this is the Lord’s declaration. 18 From this day on, think carefully;(P) from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, from the day the foundation of the Lord’s temple was laid; think carefully. 19 Is there still seed left in the granary? The vine, the fig, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have not yet produced. But from this day on I will bless you.”(Q)

Promise to Zerubbabel

20 The word of the Lord came to Haggai a second time on the twenty-fourth day of the month: 21 “Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah: I am going to shake the heavens and the earth.(R) 22 I will overturn royal thrones and destroy the power of the Gentile kingdoms.(S) I will overturn chariots and their riders. Horses and their riders will fall, each by his brother’s sword. 23 On that day”—this is the declaration of the Lord of Armies—“I will take you, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, my servant”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“and make you like my signet ring,(T) for I have chosen you.”(U) This is the declaration of the Lord of Armies.

God responds to the people who want to delay in rebuilding his house. He asks, how can you love in your nice houses and leave mine in disrepair? This was a good question to ask them and it can apply today. How is your house compared to God’s? I’m not asking about your physical house, but your spiritual house? Do you give your best to God? Do you give your best financially? Do you give your best with your time? Do you give your best with your talents? These are questions we all need to grapple with As the people of God.

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