Haggai 1:1-15

Haggai 1:1–15 (NIV)

A Call to Build the House of the Lord

1 In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua  son of Jozadak,  the high priest:

2 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house.’ ”

3 Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”

5 Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6 You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”

7 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the Lord. 9 “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house. 10 Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. 11 I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil and everything else the ground produces, on people and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.”

12 Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared the Lord.

13 Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave this message of the Lord to the people: “I am with you,” declares the Lord. 14 So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the Lord Almighty, their God, 15 on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month.

Listening guide

Listening guide

Giving: the gardener and the nobleman

Which of these challenges to giving do you most often face?

  • I give unwillingly or even begrudgingly.

  • I give selfishly, almost manipulating. I give in order to get.

  • I gave scarcely, focusing on my lack of resources instead of how much I have.

  • Others?

The Bible describes the generous giver

  • cheerful 2 Corinthians 9:7

  • Honest, unmanipulative Matthew 6:3 “When you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.”

  • Generous 1 Timothy 6:18 “Command … to be generous”

Scarcity often comes from the wrong priority.   

The challenge of giving: rocks in the container  

Verse 13 “I am with you.” 

Generous living begins with God first giving. 

Can you give to God first?  

Generous living begins with God first giving. 

Discussion questions

  1. Introduction: What do you think are some of the biggest obstacles that hinder or prevent people from using their resources well? Both internal and external forces should be considered.  

  2. Read Haggai 1:1-11. What is the situation the Israelites are going through?  

  3. In Haggai 1:2, we hear that the people decided not to build the Lord’s house. What reasons do you think might have led the people to not build the Lord’s house?  

  4. Around the world, thousands of Christians gather without a church building. Is this passage suggesting that it is wrong if we decide not to build or have a church building?  

  5. According to Haggai 1:5-6 what should have alerted the Israelites to the fact that they had a problem? 

  6. Are you seeing signs that we have a stewardship problem? What signs are you seeing?  

  7. In Haggai 2:1-9, what does God promise the Israelites to spur them on in stewardship?  

  8. It is easy to think of “stewardship” as being a discussion about money. Consider the following quote: “Stewardship isn't a subcategory of the Christian life. Stewardship is the Christian life. After all, what is stewardship except that God has entrusted to us life, time, talents, money, possessions, family, and his grace? In each case, he evaluates how we regard what he has entrusted to us—and what we do with it.” (Randy Alcon in Money, Possessions, and Eternity, p. 140)