“Haggai and Zechariah were called to bring the people back to proper worship of the Lord. The first priority was to get the temple rebuilt, but the people did not share this priority. So Haggai pointed out that some difficulties the Judeans faced in meeting their basic needs were due to their neglect of the Lord and His house. The solution was to collect the necessary materials and start the work, and that is exactly what the people did. Under the leadership of Zerubbabel their governor and Joshua the high priest, “they began work on the house of Yahweh of Hosts, their God. As Haggai dealt with the coming material blessings on Judah, he looked ahead to a time when the Lord would “fill this house with glory.” At that time the “glory of this house” would be “greater than the first.” This prophecy points to the coming of the Messiah, whose presence in the temple would represent the glory of the presence of the Lord. An important lesson from Haggai is that the Lord should always take first priority in life. We cannot expect that He will hear our prayers and bless us if we do not make obedience to Him of first importance. Also, there is continuity in the way the Lord works with His people throughout history. We can be confident of His abiding presence because He has always been present with His people. He has not forgotten His promise: “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Another principle from Haggai is that we can know that history is working toward the goal of the messianic kingdom. Christians await the second coming of Christ to usher in that kingdom, guaranteed to them by the promise of the Lord Himself.” (HCSB)

In regards to 1:1-15, “To acknowledge the Lord as God has implications for ordinary decisions of life. It is to live before One who is all-knowing, all-powerful, and who has an agenda. He has a plan that impinges on the details of our life. The people who had returned from Babylon through God’s grace and leadership soon tried to put Him at the edge of their awareness. They had their own agenda, building comfortable homes for themselves while God’s house lay in ruins. It was because the people had neglected their responsibilities, including the rebuilding of the Lord’s house, that their efforts to prosper came to nothing. His message was a precursor to Jesus’ teaching, “with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” One cannot open the hand to receive while clutching what he already has. Through Haggai’s preaching, the people were moved to respond to the Lord’s command to build His house for His glory.” Today, we have a tendency to fall into the trap of the “it’s all about me” philosophy. When we only live to serve ourselves, we soon begin to wonder what the point of living is. It is only when we realize that we were created to be servants of God to attend to the needs of others that we truly live our lives the way we are supposed to.

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