Haggai 1:1-15 NIV
A Call to Build the House of the Lord
1In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jozadak,a the high priest:
2This is what the Lord Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house.’ ”
3Then the Word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: 4“Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”
5Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”
7This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build My House, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the Lord.9“You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of My House, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house. 10Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. 11I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil and everything else the ground produces, on people and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.”
12Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the Voice of the Lord their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared the Lord.
13Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave this message of the Lord to the people: “I am with you,” declares the Lord. 14So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the House of the Lord Almighty, their God, 15on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month.
The Promised Glory of the New House
In the second year of King Darius,
When and Who?
In the sixth month - Called Elul by the Hebrews. It was the sixth month of the ecclesiastical year, and the last of the civil year, and corresponding to a part of our September.
Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel - Who was son of Jeconiah, king of Judah, and of the family of David, and exercised the post of a governor among the people, but not over them, for both he and they were under the Persian government; but they were permitted to have Zerubbabel for their own governor, and Joshua for their high priest; and these regulated all matters relative to their peculiar political and ecclesiastical government. But it appears from Ezra, Ezra 5:3, that Tatnai, the governor on this side the river, had them under his cognizance. None of their own governors was absolute. The Persians permitted them to live under their own laws and civil regulations; but they always considered them as a colony, over which they had a continual superintendence.
Joshua the son of Josedech - And son of Seraiah, who was high priest in the time of Zedekiah, and was carried into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar, 1 Chronicles 6:15. But Seraiah was slain at Riblah, by order of Nebuchadnezzar, 2 Kings 25:18-21.
1:1-11 Observe the sin of the Jews, after their return from captivity in Babylon. They did not say that they would not build a temple, but “Not Yet.” Thus men do not say they will never repent and reform, and be religious, but, Not Yet. They neglected the building of God's House, that they might have more time and money for worldly affairs. Many good works have been planned, but not done, because men supposed the proper time was not come yet.
Thus believers let slip opportunities of usefulness, and sinners delay the concerns of their souls, until it’s too late. If we labor only for the food that perishes, as the Jews here, we are in danger of losing our labor; but we are sure it shall not be in vain in the Lord, if we labor for the food which lasts to eternal life. If we would have the comfort and continuance of temporal enjoyments, we must have God as our Friend. See also Luke 12:33. We should not seek our own things more than the things of Christ.
How many of us who plead that they cannot afford to give to pious or charitable designs, often lavish ten times as much in needless expenses on their houses and themselves! But those are who are full of care to adorn and enrich their own houses, while God's Temple in their hearts lies waste. Whatever God will take pleasure in when done, we ought to take pleasure in doing. Let those who have put off their return to God, return with all their heart, while there is time.
1:12-15 The people returned to God in the way of duty. In attending to God's ministers, we must have respect to Him who sent them. The Word of the Lord has success, when by His Grace He stirs up our spirits to comply with it. It is in the day of Divine Power we are made willing. When God has work to be done, He will either find or make men fit to do it.
Those who have lost time, need to redeem time (It’s me, Lord Jesus); and the longer we have loitered in folly, the more haste we should make. God met them in a way of mercy. Those who work for Him, have Him with them; and if He is for us, who can be against us?
This should stir us up to be even more diligent than ever!