520 BC

Haggai was one of those who returned from captivity of Babylon in the first year of the reign of King Cyrus. He was sent by the Lord to exhort Zerubbabel (grandson of King Jehoiachin) the prince of Judah, and Jesus the high priest, to the building of the temple which they had begun, but left off again through the opposition of the Samaritans. In consequence of this exhortation they proceed in the building and finish the temple. And the prophet was commissioned by the Lord to assure them that the second temple should be more glorious than the former, because the Messiah would honour it with his presence.

1. The building of the Temple. Four times Haggai comes to the people with the message from God. Life is hard with food and clothing in short supply and prices soaring. Why? Because the people had their priorities wrong. Every man is wrapped up in his own selfish concerns. God is neglected. Solmon’s fabulous temple had been demolished seventy years before. Few of those now rebuilding would have seen it - but all had heard about it. And the glory had lost nothing in the telling. The new temple seems feeble in comparison. But let the builders take heart. The present building is just a foretaste of the splendour and glory of the era of peace and prosperity to which all the prophets were looking forward. Haggai 1:1-15 & 2:1-9.
2. Work on the temple has been resumed, but this in itself will not make the workmen right with God. It is rottenness, not soundness that is contagious. Their previous neglect of God brought all kinds of unpleasant consequences. But from the day they begin to put first things first God will bless every aspect of life. Zerubbabel stands in the line from David to Christ thus the promises made in the latter verses of Haggai’s book. Haggai 2:10-23.