Haggai - 4 Timely Messages

Bible Book: Haggai  1 : 2-7, 2:9
Subject: Back Slidding; Return to God; Revival, Need of

The world is changing so rapidly you have trouble keeping up with who are the allies and who are the enemies. Immorality has run rampant and people have basically neglected the church. Inflation is out of hand and money just doesn’t go as far anymore. Does this sound like a page right out of our newspaper? Actually, I just described for you the conditions during the writing of Haggai! Surprised? Maybe we need to look at what Haggai had to say to a world that appears to be so similar to ours!

Background - Haggai’s favorite word was, “Consider!” It means to “refocus, place your attention on, intently observe.” Haggai wanted the exiled Jews to look steadfastly at their Conduct, their Conversations, and the Consequences. It was no surprise that they had hit bottom. They were in need of revival and Haggai was appealing to their conscience to stop their busyness and look at where they were headed. Sounds like a plan for today!

Haggai comes on the scene as an older prophet (he remembered the former Temple), but he is not a long-winded preacher. He gives us the second shortest book in the Old Testament but packs quite a punch in his few words. He speaks of neglect at the church, inflation economically, discouragement spiritually, and personal irresponsibility with the use of pointed questions and analogies. As you look at our current events, the four messages of this old prophet are more than ripe for today. We need to hear all four badly!

I. A Harsh Message (Chapter 1)

The initial oracle Haggai delivered was the most harsh and difficult one to receive. He started simply by asking the question, “Is it time for you yourselves to

dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?” (1:4) He then relates the current negative news of inflation and a depressed economy (1:6-8) to the fact that they have placed God and His house on the back burner of their lives. Haggai then reveals that the bad events of the day are directed from the Lord because of their disobedience. This was all God’s doings! Wow, what a revelation for today! Look at our current economic woes and think of how this message is more as timely as a “Twitter” on your smart phone. Interestingly, the people listened to Haggai, obeyed and feared the Lord (1:12), and completed the temple construction in a record 23 days (1:14-15). They heard their Haggai. Will we hear ours?

Emphasis of this Message - Time to Build!

II. A Healing Message (2:1-9)

The second message is an encouraging sermon sent to heal the broken hearts of those that remembered the Temple’s former glory. It’s hard for us to imagine the incredible beauty of the original Temple of Solomon. Haggai’s message was sent to reassure them that God was still going to “shake heaven and earth,” (2:6) and that the “latter glory of the temple would be greater than the former,” a message that the older Jews would have a hard time believing with their own eyes. The most profound part of this second message is the phrase, “Desire of All Nations,” a reference to the Messiah that would come to be the Savior of the world. Here in is our Hope! That Messiah is still the Desire of All Nations! He is the ONLY way, the ONLY truth, and the ONLY life.

Today we have a world that sees no future, comparing yesteryear with today and seeing nothing to get excited about. The “Desire of All Nations” stands ready to transform, redeem, and set free any and all who will come to Him. How appropriate that the nations of the world are becoming blurred throughout the civilized world and our country in particular. We have a multicultural audience that hungers, craves, and are drawn to the Desire of ALL Nations!

Emphasis of this Message - Time to Behold!

III. A Holy Message (2:10-19)

The third message from Haggai uses an analogy about “holy meat” and how its holiness cannot be transferred to other foods (2:12-14). The imagery is powerful and reminds us that our past “holy” activities are no “pass” for unholy behaviors in the future. Preaching about holiness has never been popular, but the more lifestyles seem to blur between the people of God and the unbelieving world the more necessary such sermons must be commonplace from our pulpits. God’s message from Haggai reminded the people how God had to use bad circumstances to awaken them out of their unholy lives (2:15-19). What’s happening today? Political unrest, inflation of goods and services, corruption in high places both politically and spiritually, and a cultural shift away from the Judeo-Christian ethics that once permeated every facet of our society. We need to return to a life of holiness and no longer rest on our laurels of past spiritual successes.

Emphasis of this Message - Time to Behave!

IV. A Hopeful Message (2:20-23)

The last message from Haggai tells Judah that in the end God will conquer their enemies, they will be victorious, and He will make them a prized possession because He has chosen them (2:21-23). It reminds me of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians that proclaims all that we have in Christ- how He chose us before the foundations of the world, adopted us into the beloved, and has redeemed, forgiven, and glorified us through Christ. We are living in a most depressed and

negative era. News is rarely encouraging and tends to emotionally handicap

even the most upbeat people. Discouragement is at an all time high even in the church. The need today is for messages of victory, promise, and genuine hope to a people that have all but lost their hope.

Emphasis of this Message - Time to Believe!


Today we need a harsh message to wake us up, a healing message to give comfort, a holy message to remind us to examine our motives and lifestyles, and a hopeful message to get us through this most extremely depressing era. Never forget that what is most needed is rarely popular. The body of Christ is hungry for direction and convictions that will prepare them for whatever comes down the track, even though they may not like how that looks. Leadership is the key. We have a solid message to proclaim and we need the boldness of Haggai to spell it out clearly. Haggai’s four messages are for us!