spiritual apathy. (1-3a)
consider your ways. (3b-11)
obedience, reverence and divine enablement. (12-15)
The Jews have returned to Jerusalem after 70 years of exile in Babylon. 16 years after their return, they have yet to complete God’s Temple. God speaks through Haggai to confront them about their misplaced priorities and idleness.
1. Read verses 1-6. What do you think God is implying by His statement in verse 2? The name “Lord of hosts” (also translated “of armies” or “almighty”) is used 14 times in Haggai. What point do you think Haggai is making using this name? What accusation does Haggai make in verse 4? According to verse 6, what is happening to the Jews as they neglect building the Temple? How would you summarize the priorities of the Jews in your own word?
2. Read verses 7-11. What does the “Lord of hosts” exhort the Jews to do in verses 7-8? According to verses 9-11, why are things going poorly for these Jews who have finally returned to their homeland after 70 years in exile?
3. Read verses 12-15. How did the people respond to Haggai’s accusation and exhortation? Why did they respond this way (see vv. 12 and 14)?
4. So what. What were the priorities of the Jews in Haggai, and what were the results of these misplaced priorities? How can you, like the Jews, get your priorities out of order? Be specific. What is the result in your life when your priorities are misplaced? As you “consider your ways”, do you believe your priorities are currently in the right order? How so? How can you grow in keeping your priorities in the right place?