January 14, 2018
What are You Attending to? (The Book of Haggai)

What are You Attending to? (Haggai Chap 1)
• The book of Haggai was written in what we call the postexilic era.
o There had been a small and slow trickle of people coming back into the land of Israel.
• By the time the events of this book take place the Jews had been back for about 16 years.
o Initially they had started a restoration program. But soon faced Samarian opposition.
o The Jews had grown weary and apathetic, frustrated by the delays and opposition
Verse 2 The Lord is quoting what the people have been saying, or the excuse they have been using.
• They were not attending to the task of rebuilding the Temple and they justified that with this expression.
Verse 3 This is the first oracle or word from the Lord. (the book has four oracles)
• The Lord starts by describing the situation they were living in.
Verse 4 He says you guys are living in nice houses, but the Lord’s house, the Temple, lies in ruins.
o The reference to paneled houses refers to nice houses.
• And by implication, we can probably assume that if they weren’t working on the Temple, they were probably not giving to the work of the Temple either.
• Three levels of irony here.
Verse 6 Things weren’t going the way they expected, but the Lord was working against them.
Verse 7 The Lord again challenges them to give careful thought to their ways.
Verse 8 He starts by giving them very specific instructions on how to begin rebuilding the Temple.
• The Lord wants to take pleasure in and be honored by the Temple itself.
• In our day we also need to take care of our bodies, since His Spirit now dwells in us.
Verse 9 Even what they did bring home. The Lord blew away.
• They thought it was just the way life is, but it was the Lord.
Verse 10 The economic hardship they have been suffering is all the Lord.
Verse 12 The leaders and all the people heed he word of the Lord and obey.
• The lessons of the exile were not completely lost.
• It also says they feared the Lord. The word fear could also be reverence.
o But the word “face” is also in there.
 Youngs Literal Translation “and the people are afraid of the face of Jehovah.”
Verse 13 The Lord comes to the people to encourage them. I am with you
Verse 14 Then the Lord stirs them up. The word means to rouse or to stir one up as from sleep.
• Do you see the beautiful partnership between God and the people?
Conclusion: What does this mean for us today?
First, I think we need to heed the same statement the Lord was giving the people.
o “Give careful thought to your ways.
Second, What, is the business of the Lord we are to be attending to?