1 ¶ In the second year of Darius the king, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the LORD came by the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying,
2 “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘This people says, “The time has not come, even the time for the house of the LORD to be rebuilt.”‘”
3 Then the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, saying,
4 “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate?”
5 Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, “Consider your ways!
6 “You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes.”
7 Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Consider your ways!
8 “Go up to the mountains, bring wood and rebuild the temple, that I may be pleased with it and be glorified,” says the LORD.
9 “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.
10 “Therefore, because of you the sky has withheld its dew and the earth has withheld its produce.
11 “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.”
12 ¶ Then Zerubbabel the son of 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.
13 Then Haggai, the messenger of the LORD, spoke by the commission of the LORD to the people saying, “‘I am with you,’ declares the LORD.”
14 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,
15 on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in the second year of Darius the king.
Judah had been taken captive into Babylon because of its disobedience to the Lord. But God had spoken that after 70 years had passed He would bring the tribe of Judah out of captivity and re-establish them. Initially, work began on rebuilding the temple, but interference from those who did not want to see the Jews succeed brought the work to a halt. The work lay dormant for 16 years.
2 “Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘This people says, “The time has not come, even the time for the house of the LORD to be rebuilt.”
The people had resigned themselves to the resistance of the temple being rebuilt. The full story of the resistance and battles they faced in rebuilding the temple is found in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. The temple, which was central to Judah’s relationship to the Lord, was being neglected. It’s so easy to think we have a word from God to accomplish something, but when resistance and battle come, we back off, saying, “It’s not the time.” Continue reading