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May 19 - A Call to Spiritual Renewal (Haggai)

Prepare for Sunday morning worship by using the guide below.

Adult Education

This Sunday Miguel Echevarria will continue teaching a Reading the Gospels class. It will focus on interpreting the writings of the four evangelists in the context of the canon. Attention will be given to the nature of the Gospels, the message of each Gospel, and how this corpus teaches us to read the Scriptures. The class will be held at 10:00 in the Youth Room.

Worship Songs

Come Praise and Glorify
Look And See
O Great God
God With Us
I Will Glory In My Redeemer

Unreached People Group

In our Sunday gathering this week, we will be praying for the Lezgin of Turkmenistan

Haggai 1:1-15

In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest: “Thus says the Lord of hosts: These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord.”Then the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.

“Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the Lord. You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house. 10 Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce. 11 And I have called for a drought on the land and the hills, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the ground brings forth, on man and beast, and on all their labors.”

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 feared the Lord.13 Then Haggai, the messenger of the Lord, spoke to the people with the Lord's message, “I am with you, declares the Lord.” 14 And 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 month, in the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.

Summary  

Exiled Jews returned to Jerusalem with great excitement, ready to rebuild the temple and to worship God and walk in obedience. But discouragement and opposition set in and they left behind their good intentions (this story is told in Ezra 1-6). So Haggai begins preaching to the people, bringing words of challenge and encouragement from the Lord. He says, “Consider your ways! … You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house” (1:9) Under the good leadership of the governor Zerubbabel and the priest Joshua, the people obey the Lord and fear him. They renew their efforts to rebuild the temple. And as they begin to rebuild, Haggai gives several messages of encouragement from the Lord to the people: “Be strong…work for I am with you…My Spirit remains in your midst…From this day on I will bless you… I will take you and make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you, declares the Lord of hosts” (2:4, 5, 19 23). So the preaching of Haggai is a call to spiritual renewal and recommitment, along with encouragement and promises from God for those who walk in faith and obedience.

Review and Apply

Haggai preaches four messages to the people (1:1-15; 2:1-9; 2:10-19; 2:20-23). How would you summarize each of these messages?

Why do you think the people had so much but were left so unfulfilled (1:9-10)? 

How do you compare to Israel as the Lord describes them in 1:1-11? How would you describe your present spiritual condition? What is status of your efforts toward wholehearted obedience to God? Are there particular areas in which you may have started strong, but have since grown weary or inactive?

How does the promise of God’s presence bring encouragement to the people of God (2:4-9)?

What is the principle of Haggai’s instruction 2:11-14?
According to 2:18-19, why does God promise to bless the people? How does this encourage you to pursue obedience to the Lord?

How is God’s sovereign reign over all things an encouragement to his people to faithfully seek him (2:20-23)?