The Prophecy of Haggai        

A Bible Study  


The Call to Build 11-15
I will Shake the Nations
I will Fill this House with Glory
Easily Defiled, But Now I will Bless You   210-19
The Lord's Signet Ring 220-23

Introduction       [Contents]

Haggai prophesied 4 times during a 4 month period in 520 BC.
Nearly 20 years earlier Babylon had been defeated by Darius the Mede (Cyrus).
      Belshazzar had given a feast and had insulted God - always dangerous.
      In just a few hours Babylon was defeated and he was dead.
      Darius had then allowed the Jews to return.
In 538 BC Joshua and Zerubbabel led 50,000 Jews to start rebuilding Temple.
      The history of these years is given in Ezra 1-6.
      It took 2 years to lay the foundations.
      They became discouraged by local (mostly Samaritan) opposition.
16 years later, at God's appointed time, Haggai reveals God's word to them.

1.  The Call to Build   11-15       [Contents]

In the 2nd year of Darius ... Darius the Great, king of Persia (not Darius the Mede)
The word of the Lord came to Haggai. This is the most vital statement.
It was not the vague imagining of a man, but the God revealing his heart.
This is what the Lord Almighty says ...    x3 in this chapter.
What did God want his people to know?
      That the heart of God was so different to the heart of men.
            Men said, The time has not yet come for the Lord's house to be built.
                  They thought it was too difficult, too controversial, too ...
            It was also the 66th year / 70.  See Jeremiah's prophecy. Jer 2511,12
            God said, Give careful (honest) thought to your ways.
                  Examine your motives, your goals. Who takes priority, you, or God?
                  You live in panelled houses, but my house remains a ruin.
                  Consider - why are you never satisfied? And harvest less than expected?
                  What you brought home, I blew away.  Yes, it was God who did this!
                  It gave him no pleasure but they needed to hear his warning.
                  He simply asks them "Why?"  Why was all this happening to them.
                  He wanted them to know he cared, he wanted to arrest their attention.
                  Go ... and bring down timber and build the house.
Zerubbabel, Joshua and the people obeyed the Lord's word. 112
      They feared the Lord and they worshipped the Lord in earnest (NLB).
The Lord stirred up their spirit.
      24 days after the word was first given, they started work.

Does this word challenge our priorities?
Are we experts in devising good excuses?

Note that trials are not always a sign of God's displeasure.  See testing of Job.
God does not wish to convict everyone of this sin, and bring condemnation to all.

2.  I will Shake all Nations ...      I will Fill this House with Glory   21-9       [Contents]

7 weeks after the first prophecy, the word of the Lord comes to Haggai again.

Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory?  23
Does the glory of this new house seem so much less than the first Temple?
Upon what does man base 'glory'?
      The size was less.
      There was very little gold, silver or bronze.
            c.f. 1 Ch 2214 David provided 3,400 tons of gold! (£210 billion in March 2024)
      In UK we care far more about the architecture of St Paul's cathedral
            than for the spiritual truth that should be proclaimed there.
      Even the disciples wondered at the stones of Herod's Temple extension.
            Jesus had much to teach them of its unexpected future.
                  It would all be gone within a generation.  Lu 215,6, 7-36
             And how God values the actions of men and women.  Lu 211-4  Math 267-13

Be strong .. and work for I am with you, declares the Lord Almighty.  24
      With regard to salvation, we must both repent and believe.  Act 238 812 1631
      We must also work out our own salvation with fear and trembling.  Phil 212
      God does not expect us to do nothing for the Kingdom.
            Personal holy living + earnest evangelism.
            This is especially true when the going is tough and opposition seems strong.
      After many years of Babylonian slavery, the destruction of the Temple,
            and the local opposition; it seemed that God was miles away. He wasn't.
            He promised his presence and a successful conclusion to their efforts.

This is what I covenanted with you ...  25
      God reminds them of his covenants.
      With Abraham.  Gen 122,3 177   A great nation, land and a Messiah to bless all.
      With David.  2 Sam 7  Lu 132,33   An everlasting kingdom.
             One with righteousness, justice and truth.
      Revealed to Jeremiah. Jer 3131-40   Forgiveness, a new heart that knows God.
      God always has the faithfulness and power to fulfill his word.
            He has never broken any of these covenants.
            They needed reminding of this - And so do we!

My Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.
      Let us learn not fear those who can only hurt the body. God keeps our souls.
      Jesus gave this instruction before sending out the 12.  Math 1028

I will shake all nations.
      Human empires think they are so strong they can ignore God. They can't.
      The Sovereign Lord is King of kings, whether men acknowledge it or not.
            Blasphemous EU declares “Many nations: One voice” under Babel picture.
                  Such God-defiant arrogance has not gone unnoticed.
             Nebuchadnezzar thought his empire was indestructible.  Dan 2 c.f. 3
                  His amazing kingdom would last just 66 years.
             See  Heb 1226,27  Rev 1617-19  Ps 3310,11  Ps 2   World leaders beware.
      It is God who 'appoints' and it is God who 'dis-appoints' rulers and nations!
            Even some of the prophets were surprised by God's choice.  Hab 15,6

The desired of all nations will come.
      Many have longed for the Messiah, the Saviour. He came 2000 years ago.
      And he will come again. Then he will establish his Kingdom - for ever.
            Dan 244  Gal 38  Rev 2220  Is 601

I will fill this house with glory.
The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house.
      The Son of God himself would come and declare the day of salvation.
      He would be born a man and walk on those very stones they were laying.

However the 'glory' is not so much the building, but the presence of God.
            Exd 4034,35  1 Sam 421  Is 405  Ezek 9-11
      In the days of his coming the Temple would be misused.  Jn 216-22
            And a generation later it would be destroyed.
      Jesus spoke of another 'Temple' that he would raise again in three days!
The Lord will return in power and great glory at a time when all reject God.
      The eagerly awaiting elect will delight to worship and honour him.

In this place I will grant peace.
      Not the absence of war, but eternal peace with God, reconciled with him,
            the forgiveness of sin, new birth and a new nature.
      In this very place the Son of God would be crucified to enable this peace.
      But this true peace was rejected by many and it remained hidden.  Lu 1942
      Even the ongoing battle between flesh and spirit will end in victory.
            Only in that day will there be real, total peace.

All this was revealed to Haggai.
God has and will fulfill what he revealed.

3.  Easily Defiled, But Now I will Bless You   210-19       [Contents]

Two months later:
The Lord asks them to consider how easily they are defiled.
      How much easier it is to sin than it is to be righteous.  Ro 715-25
      A man's reputation founded on years, may be destroyed in a minute.
Compromise with God always leads to disaster.
'I struck all the work of your hands with blight, mildew and hail,
      yet you did not turn to me,' declares the Lord. 217
Yes, it was the Lord who did this - with one purpose in mind.
      Despair would make them see the error of their ways and seek the Lord.
Israel in the days of Amos failed to heed God's correction - and paid.  Amos 46-13
But in 520 BC Jerusalem the people did turn to the Lord.
      Prompted by the prophecy of Haggai
            and encouraged by the leadership of Joshua and Zerubbabel,
            they restarted the building of the Temple; and they did so with earnest.

So exactly 3 months into the rebuilding, God gives them this assurance:
      From this day on I will bless you. And he did.
It took only 4 years for the Temple to be completed in 516 BC,
            exactly 70 years after its destruction in 586.  Jer 2511,12
      And no doubt the harvests were good.
      God was delighted. He much prefers to bless than to keep chastening Israel.

The Temple is always an expression of what he planned to do to save man.
Also, the day will surely come when God will establish his kingdom.
      A kingdom like there has never been on earth - righteous, just and true.
            Is 22-5  321-8, 14-20  335,6, 17-24  351-10

In 520 BC Jerusalem repented and obeyed God's word.
When will UK heed God's word?
It is righteousness that exalts a nation. Prov 1434
Our reckless pursuit of happiness without God will surely end in tears.
      So will our being in the evil, globalist and anti-Semitic European Union.
God will never bless popular defiant wickedness.
      What will it take to turn England back to the Lord God?

4.  The Lord's Signet Ring   220-23       [Contents]

The last message concerns both the future and the present.
I will shake the heavens and the earth.
I will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms ...  221,22
    also Ps 2 Jer 3135
One day he will shake not only the rulers, but the heavens.  Heb 1225-27
      (See 2nd message that God gave Haggai.)

Also the bloodline of kings of Judah is cursed; broken after Zedekiah.
God had declared to Jehoiachin,
      “Even if you were a signet ring on my right had, I would still pull you off ...
      None of your offspring will prosper, none will sit on the throne of David.  Jer 2224, 30
Shealtiel was the son of Neri (Lu 327), only 'considered' to be son of Jehoiachin.
      Math 112 (Note the break - after the exile to Babylon ...)
Jesus could never have been part of a cursed bloodline.

The Lord's signet ring of kingship was passed to a new line - to Shealtiel.
      'I will make you my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,...
      and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,'
      declares the Lord Almighty.

Thus the Lord declares here that he will establish a new order.
One day soon Jerusalem's king would come, seated on a donkey's colt!  Jn 1215
      He came, but they did not recognise him. Jn 110
      They didn't see that he came to seek and to save.  Lu 1910  Ezek 3411-16

    He came to be that justice-required sacrifice.  Heb 1010-14
            They were blind to their need for forgiveness and a new heart.
And one day he will come again, and all men will see him.
      But again, only a few will rejoice; for he will come as Judge!  Dan 722,26 Rev 1911
Only then will he set up a new kingdom, an eternal kingdom.
      Holy and righteous, with justice and truth.

This is what they were preparing for in Jerusalem.
      Zerubbabel, you were not just putting a few stones together.
      See what you are really building. A visible prophecy that God will fulfill.

In the midst all the troubles of this world, let us open our eyes.
      See what God declares. Know it is the truth.
      It will surely come to pass. O Lord, come quickly. Amen!

See Genealogy of Jesus in notes on Luke 323b-38