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. 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.” 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 1:12-14
– Prioritize the building up of the church.
– In doing so, we:
– continue the work begun by Jesus and his apostles.
– can be confident in God’s presence with us.
Questions to Answer
(1) What is the church? Why is it so important?
(2) How can we prioritize the building of the church?
(3) What will be the result of prioritizing the church?
(4) Why is this message important for today?
– How did Zerubbabel and Joshua prioritize the building of the church?
– Obeyed the voice of the Lord (vs. 12)
– Stopped focusing on building their own houses, focused on the house of the Lord (vs. 14)
– Ezra-Nehemiah; physical construction
– Add new stones to the church.
– Ezra-Nehemiah – accounts of the physical rebuilding of the temple and Jerusalem
– How do we add new stones to the church?
– Evangelism! Matthew 28:18-20 and similar to evangelism: raising up our children in the fear of the Lord
– Romans 12 – ourselves as living sacrifices
– many stones in one building, many parts of one body
– offer ourselves up to one another
– don’t think too highly of ourselves
– use our different gifts for each other
– Jesus Himself as fulfillment of Haggai 1:12-14
– Jesus as King
– Zerubbabel as governor never took the throne the way the Israelites may have expected
– Jesus is perfect powerful King, enthroned at the right hand of the Father, perfectly leading and ruling His people
– Jesus as Priest
– Joshua as high priest still needed to offer sacrifice for His own sin; year after year
– Per Hebrews – Jesus offered Himself one time as a perfect sacrifice, never repeated, sufficient
– Jesus as Temple
– Through on-and-off construction, the temple was eventually completed–but was destroyed again ca. 70 AD
– Jesus said, tear down this temple, and I will raise it in three days–eternal resurrection
– Jesus as Israel
– Israel turned from God over and over–Judges, Kings, etc.-even post-exile period shows fickle nature of our heart
– We ourselves find ourselves, as the great hymn says, “prone to wander”
– Jesus went through exile for us: separation from God on the cross
– Jesus suffered discipline from God for us (per 2 Samuel 7, also Jeremiah)
– Why is this encouragement for us?
– What if we realize we easily could have served the church more?
– What if we recognize how often we feel to work to add new stones to the temple? (through evangelism)
– What if we realize that we misused our gifts?
– served the church as much as He could: He died for it!
– is the one who adds any and every new stone added to the temple!
– used His gifts perfectly to do His father’s will!
– And… we are united to Him in faith!