God’s challenge to the returned exiles in Haggai is full of grace and mercy. God longs that their gaze be redirected to him, that they learn to fear him and serve him, and his promise is that he will be with them and bless them in the labour of their hands. Here we find Haggai’s relevance to our own lives most clearly spelled out - God longs that we would be brought to faithfulness through fear of his name, and delivered from fear by a view of his faithfulness.
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1In 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, 2Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD's house should be built. 3Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying, 4Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? 5Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. 6Ye 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. 7Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. 8Go 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. 9Ye 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. 10Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit. 11And 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. 12Then 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. 13Then spake Haggai the LORD's messenger in the LORD's message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the LORD. 14And 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, 15In the four and twentieth day of the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king. 2:1 In the seventh month, in the one and twentieth day of the month, came the word of the LORD by the prophet Haggai, saying, 2Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and to the residue of the people, saying, 3Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? 4Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts: 5According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not. 6For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; 7And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts. 8The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts. 9The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts. (KJV)