Here’s the outline I put together for my college ABF lesson on Haggai. Mainly, I’m doing this so I can throw out the piece of paper with the outline on it that’s cluttering my desk.
The kingdom of Israel reached its height during the reign of Solomon, who built the first temple. The temple was very beautiful and ornate, and it was to represent the presence of God among the people. But due to Israel’s rebellion against the Lord, Jerusalem and the temple were burnt down by the Babylonians. Seventy years later, the Persians conquered the Babylonians and allowed the Israelites to return to Jerusalem. The temple was not immediately rebuilt because of opposition from nearby nations and lack of effort on the part of the remnant that had returned from exile.
The Book of Haggai (520 B.C.)
August 29 – “Build the house” – 1:1-11
- The problem: The people were neglecting God’s house while focusing on their own houses.
- God’s response: get to work!
- “Am I living to please myself — to make my life easy and comfortable — or am I living to please and glorify God?”
- “What do I need to sacrifice in order to obey and to serve God?”
September 21 – “I am with you” – 1:12-15
- The people respond by obeying God. (For once.)
- God encourages the people.
- “When I respond to God’s commandment with obedience, God is on my side!”
- “The Holy Spirit is at work in my heart to accomplish God’s work” (Philippians 2:13).
October 17 – “Be strong” – 2:1-9
- The problem: the people were discouraged because the temple paled in comparison to Solomon’s temple.
- God’s response:
- You’re right! It is inadequate.
- Be strong and work: “I should act even when my actions seem inadequate because God is with me.”
- Do not fear: “I should trust God to protect me and accept me on the basis of Christ’s work.”
- The silver is mine and the gold is mine: “It’s up to God to bring in the glory. He’s the one who will cause me to succeed.”
- “I won’t stop serving God and obeying God just because I’m not very good at it.”
December 18 – “I will bless you” – 2:10-19
- The problem: the people’s sinful hearts made their sacrifices unacceptable.
- God’s response: grace and blessing (through Jesus Christ!).
- “Good works will never make me righteous. Rather, my wicked heart would make everything I do sinful…were it not for Jesus Christ!”
- “God will bless me when I turn from sin and trust Him instead” (Psalm 51:16-17).
December 18 – “I have chosen you” – 2:20-23
- The Lord promises to give authority to Zerubabbel — figuratively, Jesus Christ (Matthew 1:13).
- God chose Jesus Christ, His Son, establishing His authority and supremacy (Hebrews 1:1-4).
- We also are chosen and blessed in Christ (Ephesians 1:3-4).