We start and finish the two chapters of the book of Haggai today. Haggai was a prophet to the exiles who returned from their captivity in Babylon. He is wanting the exiles to shift their focus towards a more appropriate building program.
Haggai 1:The Command to Rebuild the Temple
1 In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest:
2 "Thus says the LORD of hosts: These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the LORD."
3 Then the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet,
4 "Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your panelled houses, while this house lies in ruins?
5 Now, therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways.
6 You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.
7 "Thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways.
8 Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the LORD.
9 You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the LORD of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house.
10 Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce.
11 And I have called for a drought on the land and the hills, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the ground brings forth, on man and beast, and on all their labors."
The People Obey the LORD
12 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him. And the people feared the LORD.
13 Then Haggai, the messenger of the LORD, spoke to the people with the LORD's message, "I am with you, declares the LORD."
14 And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people. And they came and worked on the house of the LORD of hosts, their God,
15 on the twenty-fourth day of the month, in the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.
Haggai 2: The Coming Glory of the Temple
1 In the seventh month, on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet,
2 "Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to all the remnant of the people, and say,
3 'Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Is it not as nothing in your eyes?
4 Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares the LORD. Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the LORD. Work, for I am with you, declares the LORD of hosts,
5 according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not.
6 For thus says the LORD of hosts: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land.
7 And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says the LORD of hosts.
8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares the LORD of hosts.
9 The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the LORD of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the LORD of hosts.'"
Blessings for a Defiled People
10 On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet,
11 "Thus says the LORD of hosts: Ask the priests about the law:
12 'If someone carries holy meat in the fold of his garment and touches with his fold bread or stew or wine or oil or any kind of food, does it become holy?'" The priests answered and said, "No."
13 Then Haggai said, "If someone who is unclean by contact with a dead body touches any of these, does it become unclean?" The priests answered and said, "It does become unclean."
14 Then Haggai answered and said, "So is it with this people, and with this nation before me, declares the LORD, and so with every work of their hands. And what they offer there is unclean.
15 Now then, consider from this day onward. Before stone was placed upon stone in the temple of the LORD,
16 how did you fare? When one came to a heap of twenty measures, there were but ten. When one came to the wine vat to draw fifty measures, there were but twenty.
17 I struck you and all the products of your toil with blight and with mildew and with hail, yet you did not turn to me, declares the LORD.
18 Consider from this day onward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month. Since the day that the foundation of the LORD's temple was laid, consider:
19 Is the seed yet in the barn? Indeed, the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have yielded nothing. But from this day on I will bless you."
Zerubbabel Chosen as a Signet
20 The word of the LORD came a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month,
21 "Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I am about to shake the heavens and the earth,
22 and to overthrow the throne of kingdoms. I am about to destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations, and overthrow the chariots and their riders. And the horses and their riders shall go down, every one by the sword of his brother.
23 On that day, declares the LORD of hosts, I will take you, O Zerubbabel my servant, the son of Shealtiel, declares the LORD, and make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you, declares the LORD of hosts."
Things to think about…
1.The date stamp for Haggai's first instruction we know with a reasonable amount of certainty as being 520BC – the second year of Darius. Remember Cyrus the Persian allowed the Jews to come back in 536BC. So for 16 years the temple was still in a ruinous pile. The foundation had been laid and offerings were made, but the temple itself remained in the same state the Babylonians had left it 66 years earlier. The exiles had built their houses with panelled walls but the Lord's house lay in ruins. We as Christians can be like this. Not growing for years because we invest too much energy in building our earthly lives rather than investing in our spiritual lives. As a result we remain in the same spiritual state for years and refuse to increase in our understanding and knowledge of our Saviour. Encourage someone to grow in grace this week.
2.God in His love allows us lean times when our focus is not on Him. Sometimes he does not bless our efforts at work etc. For the ancient Jews their crops were lean – Hag 1:6-11. A far worse judgement occurs when we are handed over and we don't listen to the instruction at all and the Lord hands us over by allowing a hardness of heart. Romans 1 describes what this is like. Fortunately the Jews obeyed God's voice at this time and set about re-building the temple and their spiritual lives, Hag 1:12-15. What are the areas that need some spiritual attention in your life?
3.Look at Hag 2:1-9. Some of the returning exiles were old enough to remember the former temple that Solomon built that was destroyed. These people would have been very old, but they were complaining that this new temple would not have the same glory or status, vs 3. The Lord says this latter house shall be greater and all the treasures of the nations will be brought into it. This second temple that was built never seemed to achieve that purpose – so what is the Lord speaking about? What temple was He referring to? Does it refer to Christ's temple when Jesus said "if you destroy this temple I will re-build it in three days", or does this prophecy refer to another temple? I believe there are parallels to mean both a literal and a spiritual temple in this passage in Haggai.
4.The Lord says that they did not receive the wine, the grain, the olives, the pomegranates or the figs they wanted, Hag 2:19, but He says that is going to change. They will be blessed. He says that He is about to shake the heavens and the earth, Hag 2:21. Look at the context, vs 22. This is a global setting. It echoes of the overthrow of Egypt via God's hand at the Red Sea. God says He will intervene again for Israel in like manner.
CBC's Vision :- To be a growing biblical church community, significantly influencing our city and beyond, through intentional outreach, fulfilling our mission.
Sunday's sermon "The Power of the tongue" came from James 3.
1.What words have defined you in both a positive and negative way as you grew up as a child?
2.James says right through his book that these Christians needed to guard their mouths. He actually says it is impossible to praise God and curse your brother. Salt water and fresh cannot flow from the one spring. Discuss the passage. How does it speak to you?
3.Jay mentioned "the Slippery Slope" on Sunday from Ken Sande's book "The Peacemaker". We tend to be either Peace-Fakers, Peace-Breakers and Peace-Makers. Discuss the 'Slippery Slope". Jay mentioned that Christians tend to fall towards Peace-Faking. Why is this generally the case?
4.What is the remedy to appropriate communication within the church. Discuss Mt 5:21-24 and Mt 18:15, 16.
5.Pray for the church prayer points.
1.Continue to pray for Tad's brother Andrew in hospital. Andrew is very weak, he is remaining at Ipswich hospital for the moment.
2.Our Community events – once a month on a Sunday in place of the Axiom evening service at church. First one at Chapters on the 23rd Feb – around 4:30pm.
3.Please continue to pray CBC's Mallacoota bushfire appeal. More exciting news this Sunday about what the Lord has done with our money thus far. Praise God for "Cowboy" and how we have helped his situation.
4.Christine Denning's mum recovering from a broken femur. Pray as she rehabilitates.
5.Ministry planning and events calendar for this year.
6.Our outreach initiatives as well as the Axiom podcast.
7.Sunday's message on Mal 3 "Money's too tight to mention" - Ps Jay. Axiom:- "Let's talk about the weather"- Jay.
8.Finish "Bean Redeemed" coffee shop and podcast area.
9.Church finances to meet our expenses.
10.Our City and Country – Pray for revival over our city and the leadership of our country.
1.Praise God for the rain (if you are on the east coast of Australia). The huge Gospers Mountain fire in NSW was thought to be unable to be put out. The Lord put out last night with the rain.
2.More visitors on Sunday – pray as they settle into CBC. Please continue to welcome them and get to know them as you can.
3.New Website being finished this week – Praise God for Melody and Suzie making this happen.
4.Recharge and Kids@Church ministries blessed over the weekend – thankyou leaders. New kids and youth in both ministries.
5.CBC's Mallacoota appeal David Jeffrey of Mallacoota, over $2000 has been raised – thankyou CBC.
6.Unity, peace and Christ's love over our church.
1.Hawkins - Hosting, morning tea next Sunday morning.
2.1st Community gathering – At Chapters café Karalee 4:30pm Sun 23rd Feb.
3.Member's meeting – A celebration of God's grace over CBC – Sun 23rd February after morning service. Open invitation – all welcome.
4.Mallacoota Bushfire Appeal. You can donate directly through our "Give" tab on the website http://www.chuwarbaptist.com/give . Label your offering "Bushfire appeal"
5.Kids@Church and Recharge parents.– Leaders for next Sunday Older group Leader:- Rod Rawiru. Lesson :- Journey to Mars 3 Psalm 119:105. Younger Group:-.Leader:- Maddison Willey, Assistant:- Helen Hawkins. Lesson:-Long Necked Giraffe P 20
6.Recharge youth 7pm at Church, Fri 7th Feb for all High Schoolers. Pool party at Bakers – details will be sent to all parents this week. Meet at church 7pm and we will travel together so everyone knows where we are going and where to pick their kids up. Recharge parent on roster for this week: - Angelo
February's catechism question...
Question. 9. Question:- What do we pray for in the second petition?
Answer. "That the gospel may be preached in all of the world, and believed and obeyed by us and all men"
Bible Reference – Matt. 28:19-20; John 17:20-21; Acts 8:12; Acts 28:30-31; 2 Thess. 3:1.
"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known" Jer 33:3