In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying,
2 Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the Lord's house should be built.
3 Then came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet, saying,
4 Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste?
5 Now therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.
6 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.
7 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways.
8 Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord.
9 Ye looked for much, and, lo it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the Lord of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.
10 Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit.
11 And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands.
12 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, 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 did fear before the Lord.
13 Then spake Haggai the Lord's messenger in the Lord's message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith 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 Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the Lord of hosts, their God,
15 In the four and twentieth day of the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.
This message of Haggai, the servant of the most High God, and one of the Minor Prophets of the Old Testament, came during the second year of the reign of Darius the Great when the people had returned to Judah from exile in Babylon. He gave the message to Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah (the political leader), Joshua the High Priest (the spiritual leader), and the remnant of Judah, who apparently were concerned about their personal needs rather than the rebuilding the Temple of the Lord.
This was the time when the people could have given many reasons to justify their personal projects. Today, we emphasize that the family is our first responsibility and rightly so but Haggai encourages us to make interest in the business of God be at the forefront of family interests. If church and family leaders will fear God and love Him and allow His Spirit to lead, church members will certainly respond positively to spiritual calls. We can achieve what we plan for when we set our priorities right.
Let us be like Zerubbabel and Joshua to pay attention to this message and bring happiness to the Lord.
Emmanuel S. D. Manu
Treasurer, West-Central Africa Division