Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Haggai -- introduction

Haggai writes following the end of the Babylonian exile around 520 BC. The exiles returned to Jerusalem under Zerubbabel in 538 BC. The rebuilding of the temple began immediately but was halted due to opposition and other hardships facing those charged with rebuilding Jerusalem. The temple restoration work lay idle until Haggai and Zechariah began prophesying. Haggai’s first oracle was delivered in 520 BC, and the temple was completed in 516 BC. Haggai saw a correlation between prosperity and faithfulness, and saw Judah’s difficult conditions as a result of a lack of priorities and predicted favorable circumstances with the completion of the temple. Haggai is relevant to modern readers because it is not just concerned with the rebuilding of the temple but with the priorities by which we live.

Haggai can be outlined as follows:

·         Haggai 1:1-15             The first oracle
·         Haggai 2:1-9               The second oracle
·         Haggai 2:10-19           The third oracle
·         Haggai 2:20-23           The fourth oracle

Key learning: Place God first in life and life’s other priorities will become properly aligned.

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