reading Haggai

Background for Reading the Prophecy of Haggai
Taken from “How To Read The Bible Book by Book” by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stewart

  1. Content: Four oracles encouraging God’s people to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.
  2. Prophet: Haggai, a postexilic prophet in Jerusalem and contemporary of Zechariah (see Ezra 5:1; 6:14).
  3. Date of prophetic activity: A four-month period during the second year of the reign of Darius of Persia (520 B.C.)
  4. Emphases: God’s people need to rebuild the temple as the place of God’s presence and of their worship; current hardships stem from failure in this matter; a glorious future awaits the people of God and Zerubbabel (thus David’s kingly line).

Our relationship to God, and our purpose in the world, ought to be our #1 priority as Jesus-followers. We are not called to build a physical temple, but our commitment is to the spiritual temple. This means renewing our own bodies as the temples of God (commitment to character, growth, integrity, holiness) and rebuilding God’s family – the church – as the living temple made up of living stones. This prophecy shows us what happens when we do NOT seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and calls us anew to prioritize building His temple – in us and in the world. To those who make this their #1 priority, this prophecy is a huge encouragement and promise of success and blessing.

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