Haggai 1 (NKJV):
1 In the second year of King Darius (mighty, ruler), in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying, 2 “Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, saying: ‘This people says, “The time has not come, the time that the LORD’s house should be built (the people of God do not truly believe the time is NOW for true revival, for the will of God to be done on earth as it is in heaven).”’” 3 Then (again) the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, saying, 4 “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?” (Do you really believe it’s the time to edify yourself or the religious structures of man, while ignoring the spiritual shambles of God’s temple (His people))? 5 Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: “Consider your ways! (Look at the fruit of your foolishness and selfishness):
6 “You have sown much, and bring in little;
You eat, but do not have enough;
You drink, but you are not filled with drink;
You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm;
And he who earns wages,
Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.” (Despite their religious labor, God’s people are spiritually barely scraping by).
7 Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Consider your ways! (Look at the fruit of your ways – your ignorant, foolish and selfish ways). 8 Go up to the mountains (spiritual realm/in the spirit/in Christ) and bring wood (spiritual building materials – Truth, revelation knowledge, wisdom, power…) and build the temple that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,” says the LORD. (Repent and begin doing your part to bring restoration and correction to the body of Christ. Only connection with and submission to Christ, the head, will produce fruit, pleasing and bringing glory to the Father). 9 “You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. (Though God’s people expected to possess lasting fruit, God Himself prevented them). Why?” says the LORD of hosts. “Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house (we have been occupied with our own affairs, particularly our own church/denomination/view, or our own salvation and sanctification, while the body of Christ at large, God’s temple, is in ruins). 10 Therefore the heavens above you withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit. 11 For I called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine and the oil, on whatever the ground brings forth, on men and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.” (God Himself causes total spiritual barrenness among His people, despite their labor and expectation, because they have neglected the state of God’s temple in order to care for that which directly concerns themselves).
12 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people (the “elect” discussed in the New Testament), obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him; and the people feared the presence of the LORD. (They heeded God’s word as given through Haggai, and reverenced/desired God’s presence). 13 Then (after their repentance – change of mind) Haggai, the LORD’s messenger, spoke the LORD’s message to the people, saying, “I am with you, says the LORD.” (God reminds them He is for them, not against them, like Romans 8:31). 14 So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest and the spirit of all the remnant of the people (God Himself stirred their spirits); and they came and worked on the house of the LORD of hosts, their God, (they did as God said, going to the “mountains,” getting “wood,” and beginning to work on His house, not just theirs) 15 on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month, in the second year of King Darius.”
-I believe this chapter contains a call God has given to all with ears to hear, summarized as “go, bring, build” (verse 8).
-This passage (and others similar to it) reminds me of Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:33: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. If we will be more concerned for the kingdom of God (build His house/temple) than we are our own “house” (that which interests us, religious/spiritual or otherwise), He will add all we need. Otherwise, we may labor but will never experience abundance or rest.
I’ll probably look at the actual rebuilding of the temple, discussed in Haggai 2 and Ezra, next time, so come back! God bless you.