Do you feel that your life has wandered off the path God set for you? Do you need to reset, renew and rebuild your priorities? Then this study in the book of Haggai is for you. Over the next 16 weeks we will look at God’s dealing with the Israelites when they faced this problem. Ask God to help you apply this to your own life as you join us to RESET- RENEW –REBUILD
Preview – Setting the stage
Moses had led the Israelites out of the slavery in Egypt. When Moses died Joshua took over and led them to conquer the land God promised them. After Israel settled in the land, they began to compromise their faith and the life they were supposed to live. Eventually God used the Babylonian Empire (Nebuchadnezzar) to discipline them. Jerusalem was ransacked, their temple destroyed, and the people were taken captive back to Babylon (587 BC).
The events surrounding the book of Haggai take place almost 70 years later (520 BC). The Babylonian Empire has collapsed. The Medo-Persian Empire allowed the exiled Israelites to return to Jerusalem. Under the leadership of Joshua the high priest (a religious leader) and Zerubbabel the governor (a political leader) they begin the enormous task of rebuilding the city, the temple, and their lives.
Due to discouragement, distraction and disobedience the temple project has stopped and instead they are spending their time, energy and resources building their own fancy houses while the temple of God was still in ruins. As a result, God sends the prophet Haggai to confront the people about their misplaced priorities and He challenges them to make the rebuilding of the temple the preeminent priority of their lives.
4“Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins?
5This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Look at what’s happening to you! 6You have planted much but harvest little. You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty. You put on clothes but cannot keep warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes!
10It’s because of you that the heavens withhold the dew and the earth produces no crops. 11I have called for a drought on your fields and hills—a drought to wither the grain and grapes and olive trees and all your other crops, a drought to starve you and your livestock and to ruin everything you have worked so hard to get.”
Does this sound like your life?
In the next post we will dig into God’s instructions for us to RESET, REBUILD and RENEW.