In the summer 2020 message series “For the Love,” the Clear Creek Community Church Teaching Team will examine one of the least known sections of the Bible, the books known as the Minor Prophets, to better understand the great love of God and our faithful response to that love. Join with us in reading each book along the way! Each Sunday afternoon we will post an introductory video by The Bible Project and a 5-day reading plan with reflection questions to prepare you to hear the following Sunday’s message.
DAY 1—Read Haggai 1:1-11
Haggai preached his message to God’s people during the same period as Zechariah. Which leaders does he address by name? What is he calling for the people to do? What have they been prioritizing instead (v. 4)?
Haggai’s language in this passage mirrors the covenant curses described by Moses in the Law. Read Deuteronomy 28:15-24. What difficulty was Haggai’s audience enduring, and how does this mirror the curses predicted in Deuteronomy? In what way was their failure to rebuild the temple equivalent to failure to keep their covenant with the Lord?
APPLY—In what ways do we tend to prioritize our own cares and concerns over the priorities of the kingdom? Read Matthew 6:25-33. What would need to change if you began to seek his kingdom first, walking by faith rather than fear?
DAY 2—Read Haggai 1:12-15
In yesterday’s reading, Haggai preached a strong word of rebuke and correction. How do his listeners respond? How do both their attitudes and behaviors change? How do you typically respond to spiritual correction?
While enduring famine, the people may have believed that God was against them. Without a temple, they may have believed that God was absent from them. But God responds to them with another message through the prophet: I am with you. How would this assurance have comforted and encouraged Haggai’s listeners? Read Matthew 1:23 and 28:20b. How does Jesus’ identity as Immanuel comfort and encourage you?
APPLY—In the Old Testament, the temple was the place where sacrifices were made for God’s pleasure and where his presence was most clearly seen (2 Chronicles 5:1-14). How have you, like the people of Judah, failed to seek his presence and his pleasure? How do you need to respond today with repentance and belief?
DAY 3—Read Haggai 2:1-9
In verse 3, Haggai anticipates the people’s disappointment with the temple’s construction. As we see when the foundation was laid in Ezra 3:12-13, those who were old enough to remember Solomon’s temple can clearly see that this building will never compare with its splendor. What three commands does God give to them in response to their disappointment (v. 4-5)?
Verse 9 is a key verse for the book of Haggai. How do you think the people would have understood this promise? Read Luke 2:21-33. How was the glory and peace of God manifested at the temple in this passage—in a way that Haggai’s listeners would never have expected?
APPLY—At the temple, the Lord’s glory was evident to all because his presence was there. Read John 2:18-22. In what way is Jesus the true and better temple? Why does it matter to us that Jesus is now the place where God’s presence is most clearly found—where, the Lord declares, in this place I will give peace?
DAY 4—Read Haggai 2:10-19
How much time has passed since Haggai’s last prophecy (2:1)? Since his first prophecy (1:1)? What group is the intended audience of this oracle?
Haggai asks the priests about the laws regarding ritual cleanliness, especially the ease by which uncleanness can spread (Numbers 19:11,22). Have the nation’s offerings so far been holy or unclean? What have been the results of their lack of holiness (2:16-17)?
APPLY—The people of Jerusalem are stuck in an unclean state. Because there is no one among them who is clean, the priests, their sacrifices, and the temple construction itself are contaminated. However, the Lord responds to the start of the temple construction with a clear message: from this day on, I will bless you (v. 19). They still haven’t managed to cleanse themselves through good works, but their repentance is evident in both their hearts and actions. God’s response to this is mercy: a blessing that they don’t deserve. How have you experienced the mercy of God? How can it transform our lives when we see his blessings as a gift we don’t deserve, rather than something our behavior has earned?
DAY 5—Read Haggai 2:20-23
How much time has passed since Haggai’s last prophecy? Who is he addressing this time? What does Haggai prophesy about the surrounding nations?
What metaphor does the Lord use to describe Zerubbabel’s future state? Zerubbabel was not only the governor of Judea appointed by the Persian emperor—he was also the heir to David’s throne, grandson of Jeconiah who was carried away to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. Read Jeremiah 22:24-30. In what way is Haggai’s prophecy a reversal of Jeremiah’s proclamation?
APPLY—Although he was revered as a noble leader of his people, Zerubbabel never sat on David’s throne or saw Judea free from foreign rule. Read Matthew 1:12-16. How did Zerubbabel’s faith lead to David’s heir finally being enthroned? Have you ever experienced a delayed arrival of a promised blessing? What are you still waiting for right now? How can it make a difference when we wait in faith for God to move rather than demanding his immediate action?