Two little chapters, almost unknown, but thought to have come back from Babylon with Zerubbabel. His ministry was to call together the people to finish the temple. God uses unlikely individuals to perform the most unlikely jobs. We can testify to the manner in which our own lives have been challenged of the Lord and used in unexpected and unplanned ways.
Haggai was undoubtedly a very straight forward guy who said what had to be said. He obviously turned a few heads when he addressed people. Look at the 4th verse of chapter one – “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate?” Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways!”
The walls had been constructed but an attitude of heart was now apparent. Obviously they felt that it was time to hang up their tools and enjoy the luxuries that were their privilege. No matter how much they had, it was not enough and satisfaction eluded their thinking.
Haggai “beats his drum” of concern when he rebukes them with the words: “he who earns wages to put into a purse with holes. You can’t even drink enough to get drunk, or put on clothing to keep you warm.” Then in bombastic fashion he says: “Consider your ways”, for the second time.
With holding little or nothing he says: “Go up to the mountains, bring wood and rebuild the temple that I may be pleased with it and be glorified.” Says the Lord, “You look for much, but behold, it comes to little; when you bring it home, I blow it away. Why” declares the Lord of hosts, “Because of My house which lies desolate, while each of you runs to his own house. “Therefore, because of you the sky has withheld its dew and the earth has withheld its produce. “I called for a drought on the land, on the mountains, on the grain, on the new wine, on the oil, on what the ground produces, on men, on cattle, and on all the labor of your hands.”
The preaching may have been hard but it accomplished what God desired. When Zerubbabel, the of son Shealtiel, and Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, 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 showed reverence for the Lord.
“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 and they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts their God.”
Haggai, boldly outspoken, was whom God used to stir up the people and they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God. (1:14)