Author - BRAINS


T R E A S U R E... S E E K E R S ... I N ... T H E ... O L D ... T E S T A M E N T - HAGGAI

'Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path......Where your treasure is

there is your heart also'




Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi are the last three books of the Old Testament, and the last three books of the Minor Prophets.

They were the only three books of the Prophets written after the return of the Jews to Jerusalem from 70 years in exile.

The Jews were a defeated nation, only permitted to return by a foreign power, and subject to their ruling.

The Jews returned in stages after the decree by Cyrus the Persian permitting them to return in 538 BC. Approximately 50,000 returned initially. The book of Ezra tells the story of the return from exile, and lists the people who returned by family!

Ezra 1:1 In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfil the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah, the LORD moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and to put it in writing: (2) "This is what Cyrus king of Persia says: " 'The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth and he has appointed me to build a temple for him at Jerusalem in Judah.(3) Anyone of his people among you—may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah and build the temple of the LORD, the God of Israel, the God who is in Jerusalem. (4) And the people of any place where survivors may now be living are to provide him with silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with freewill offerings for the temple of God in Jerusalem.'

" (5) Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and Levites—everyone whose heart God had moved—prepared to go up and build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem. (6) All their neighbours assisted them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock, and with valuable gifts, in addition to all the freewill offerings. (7) Moreover, King Cyrus brought out the articles belonging to the temple of the LORD, which Nebuchadnezzar had carried away from Jerusalem and had placed in the temple of his god. (8) Cyrus king of Persia had them brought by Mithredath the treasurer, who counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah.

Although the Jewish people increased in number, they were never able to regain political independence, and remained subject to Gentile rulers.


The book of Haggai contains four messages, which were all written between August and December in 520 BC, nearly 20 years after the return from exile.

Haggai worked with Zechariah, prophesying for two months before him, and for a further two months afterwards.

His name means “my feast”.


Part 1: First message: The Call to rebuild the Temple (1:1-11)

Part 2: The Response of Zerabbabel and the People (1:12-15)

Part 3: Second message: The Temple to be filled with glory (2:1-9)

Part 4: Third message: A Defiled people purified and blessed (2:10-19)

Part 5: Fourth message: The promise to Zerubbabel (2:20-23)

His sole purpose was to encourage the people to rebuild the Temple.

When the Jewish people had returned from exile they had initially started rebuilding the Temple with enthusiasm.

Unfortunately, distracted and disheartened by persecution from the Samaritans and other enemies, and their own sinful desires, they started to concentrate on building their own homes instead.

Times were difficult – there was no prosperity anywhere – poor trade, poor crops and poor weather. God was not blessing the people because they refused to turn away from their sin.

Haggai’s first message:

(1:3) Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: (4) "Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your panelled houses, while this house remains a ruin?" (5) Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. (6) You have planted much, but have 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."

(7) This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. (8) Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honoured," 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 his own house.

(10) Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. (11) I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the oil and whatever the ground produces, on men and cattle, and on the labour of your hands."

Initially spurred on by this, the people recommence building, only to once again lose impetuous. The religious elders regarded the new foundations with despair, declaring them not to be as good as the original.

Haggai gives words of encouragement from God, telling them to picture the Temple as it could be if they would make it a priority.

Haggai’s final message is for the leaders – the priests and King Zurabbabel. The priests are urged to keep a holy life. Sin in their lives is contaminating the Temple and Haggai encourages them to clean up their act!

For Zurabbabel there is a blessing, and the promise of special status.

(2:20) The word of the LORD came to Haggai a second time on the twenty-fourth day of the month: (21) "Tell Zerubbabel governor of Judah that I will shake the heavens and the earth. (22) I will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms. I will overthrow chariots and their drivers; horses and their riders will fall, each by the sword of his brother. (23) " 'On that day,' declares the LORD Almighty, 'I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,' declares the LORD, 'and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,' declares the LORD Almighty."

Years before, God had told Zerubabbel’s grandfather, Johoiahim, that he was like a signet ring which had been pulled from the Lord’s finger and discarded. Now God was restoring the blessing to his grandson.

I see in Haggai a parallel to our Christian walk. We start off all enthusiastically, and put everything we have into our walk with Jesus. But then “real life” starts to intrude again. Unsaved friends or relatives don’t understand, and can even mock us. Other Christians look at our foundations and tut, saying they are not deep enough, or not as good as another Christians.

All it takes is one distraction, and we take our eyes off what we are trying to build, and our lives slip back into disrepair. Our foundations are not as strong as they should be, and they start to crumble.

How often do we allow others to put us off something we started so enthusiastically? I urge you to heed the writer to the Hebrews who says:

(12:1) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.

Don’t let your life become plagued by drought and lack of blessing. Keep on keeping on! Keep building on those foundations you laid so earnestly back at the beginning of your walk, and send down roots that will sustain you through the dark periods. Make a decision to walk in the blessing and anointing – and stick to it!!

Fix your eyes on God – build your house on Him, and everything else will fall into place.