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The Call to Renew Construction

INTRODUCTION: Because of opposition from the surrounding nations, Israel quit their work on the rebuilding of the temple (Ezra 4:24). This continued for about 15 years until the second year of the reign of Darius. “Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied unto the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, even unto them” (Ezra 5:1). These two prophets prompted the Israelites into resuming their building of the temple. The book of Haggai shows us that, though we may get sidetracked from our God-given purpose, with true repentance and full effort, we can get back on track.

  1. THE DELAY OF THE PEOPLE (Haggai 1:1-2)
    1. The Responsibility of Leadership (Haggai 1:1)
      1. The time of the message
        1. Second year of Darius the king
        2. First day of the sixth month
      2. The voice of the prophet Haggai; Note: The words were only delivered by Haggai; they were the words of the LORD. This is again emphasized by the phrase, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts (Haggai 1:2; see also Haggai 1:3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 13).
      3. The message of the prophet (1 Peter 5:3 ensamples to the flock)
        1. To Zerubbabel the governor political ruler
        2. To Joshua the high priest spiritual leader
    2. The Excuse of the People (Haggai 1:2)
      1. The cause of their delay (Ezra 4:4-5, 24)
        1. The people of the land weakened the hands of the people (Ezra 4:4).
        2. The people of the land hired counsellors to frustrate the purpose of the people of God (Ezra 4:5).
        3. The people of God ceased from building (Ezra 4:24).
      2. The reasons for further delay (see Proverbs 26:12-16)
        1. Not convenient The time is not come. (Acts 24:25)
        2. No priority the time for the LORDS house (Matthew 6:33); we will seldom accomplish that which is not a priority. Gods work should always be a priority (Ephesians 5:16-17).
    1. In the Priorities of the People (Haggai 1:3-4)
      1. The interest of the Lord in this matter (Haggai 1:3)
      2. The interest of the people in their own houses (Haggai 1:4)
        1. They thought it time to build their own houses (contrast Proverbs 24:27).
        2. Their cieled houses refer to houses with ceilings, that is, finished houses.
      3. The disinterest of the people in the house of the Lord (Haggai 1:4)
        1. They thought it not time to build Gods house.
        2. The house of the Lord lay waste (Lamentations 4:1); the pressing needs of their daily lives caused them to ignore the work God had called them to complete.
    2. In the Desires of the People (Haggai 1:5-6)
      1. The call for evaluation (Haggai 1:5)
        1. The time association of the evaluation Now therefore
          1. Now at this point
          2. Therefore because of your actions
        2. The One calling for evaluation thus saith the LORD of hosts
        3. The message of evaluation Consider your ways (Deuteronomy 8:5; Psalm 50:22; Isaiah 1:3-4; Ezekiel 18:14).
      2. The need for evaluation (Haggai 1:6)
        1. Their efforts
          1. For food
            1. They have sown much.
            2. They eat.
            3. They drink.
          2. For clothing They clothe themselves.
          3. For wages They earn wages.
        2. Their conditions
          1. They are in want (see Micah 6:14-15; Proverbs 23:4-5).
            1. Of food and drink
              1. They sow, but bring in little.
              2. They eat, but have not enough.
              3. They drink, but are not filled with drink.
            2. Of warmth They clothe, but there is none warm.
            3. Of wealth They earn wages, but put them into a bag with holes.
          2. They are confused.
            1. They looked for much.
            2. It came to little.
  3. THE DEMAND OF THE LORD (Haggai 1:7-11)
    1. For the Building of Gods House (Haggai 1:7-8)
      1. The word to be heeded (Haggai 1:7; Philippians 4:9)
      2. The work to be done (Haggai 1:8; Ecclesiastes 9:10)
        1. Go to the mountain
        2. Bring wood
        3. Build the house
      3. The rewards to be received (Haggai 1:8; Colossians 3:23-24)
        1. The pleasure of the Lord (Colossians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 4:1; Revelation 4:11)
        2. The glory of the Lord
    2. For the Glory Due His Name (Haggai 1:9-11); God will receive His glory one way or the other.
      1. By bringing much too little (Haggai 1:9; contrast Zechariah 4:10)
        1. God did blow upon it.
        2. Because His house was left waste
      2. By holding back dew and fruit (Haggai 1:10)
      3. By calling forth a drought (Haggai 1:11; Psalm 105:16)
  4. THE DECISION OF THE PEOPLE (Haggai 1:12-15)
    1. To Obey the Voice of the Lord (Haggai 1:12)
      1. In following (2 Thessalonians 3:7-9) the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God.
      2. In fearing (Proverbs 1:7) the people did fear before the LORD.
    2. To Complete the House of the Lord (Haggai 1:13-15)
      1. Encouraged by the presence of the Lord (Haggai 1:13) I am with you.
      2. Motivated by the LORD (Haggai 1:14-15)
        1. They were stirred up (Haggai 1:14; 2 Timothy 1:6).
          1. The spirit of Zerubbabel
          2. The spirit of Joshua
          3. The spirit of the remnant of the people (Ezra 1:5)
        2. They did work in the house of the Lord (Haggai 1:14; Ezra 5:2).
        3. It was the 24th day of the sixth month, in the second year of Darius (Haggai 1:15).

CONCLUSION: Sometimes, when we have ceased to do the work God has called us to do, we need to be stirred up to repentance and renewed effort. We need to pray, “O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years” (Habakkuk 3:2).