Haggai 1:2
that this is what the LORD of Hosts says: "These people say, 'The time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the LORD.'"
ProcrastinationS.D. Hillman Haggai 1:2
Duty RevealedHomilistHaggai 1:1-2
Duty RevealedD. Thomas Haggai 1:1, 2

This people say, The time is not come, the time that the Lord's house should be built. There are several ways of accounting for the delay which occurred in the work of re-erecting the temple in Jerusalem.

1. In part it arose from the returned exiles being preoccupied in seeking to secure to themselves material prosperity.

2. Then they were daunted by the opposition they had to encounter as they engaged in this work. The powerful neighbouring tribes, being alike antagonistic to the restoration of Jerusalem as the centre of the pure and unadulterated worship of God, combined to place obstacles in the way of the repairers of the breaches.

3. Further, they had grown somewhat accustomed to being without the structure. Comparatively few of them had seen "the first house."

4. It is to be feared also that they had lost, through the changes they had experienced, that strong sense of the need of the Divine abiding presence in their midst. Influenced by such considerations as these, and forgetful that "good is best when soonest wrought," they kept postponing carrying out the great undertaking to which they had pledged themselves, and excused themselves by saying, "The time is not come," etc. (ver. 2). This habit of delay is far too general, and is not limited to any age or race. It prevails widely today as in all past times; and in no respect more so than in matters affecting man's relation to God. Time was when man was wholly devoted to his Maker's praise. God formed him in his own image, holy, spotless, pure; but he mournfully fell. He who had been the temple of God became a moral waste. "Ichabod" became inscribed upon the once consecrated spiritual man.. Every power of the soul became corrupt, every propensity became drawn to that which is evil. "The gold became dim, and the most fine gold changed." And the voice of God calls us to the glorious work of rebuilding tills temple. He has presented to us, in the perfect life of his own Son, the pattern after which we should seek to raise in ourselves the superstructure of a holy life, and offers us his gracious aid so that we may build into our character the noble materials of truth and virtue, wisdom and love. And it is just at this point that the temptation to delay meets men.

1. They are not insensible to the claims of God, nor are they altogether indifferent about attending to these, but they say, "The time is not come," etc. (ver. 3).

2. They are immersed in other matters at present:

(1) the cares of the world;

(2) the pursuit of riches;

(3) the pleasures of life, absorb them; they are preoccupied just now; they say, "The time is not come" (ver. 3).

3. They reason that there is the whole future yet before them, and that ample opportunity will be given them in due course. So they go on robbing themselves of "aspirations high and deathless hopes sublime."

"Procrastination is the thief of time;
Year after year it steals, till all are fled,
And to the mercies of a moment leaves
The vast concerns of an eternal scene." S.D.H.

And the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel.
It is not right to restrict the influence of the Spirit to one thing only, as some do, who imagine that the Israelites were confirmed in their good resolution, as they say, having before spontaneously obeyed the Word of God. These separate, without reason, what ought to be read in the prophet as connected together. For God roused the spirit of Zerubbabel and of the whole people; and hence it was that they received the message of the prophet and were attentive to his words. Foolishly, then, do they imagine that the Israelites were led by their own free will to obey the Word of God, and then that some aid of the Holy Spirit followed, to make them firmly persevere in their course. But the prophet declared, in the first place, that his message was respectfully received by the ]people; and now he explains how it was, even because God had touched the hearts of the whole people. We ought to notice the expression, when it is said that the spirit of Zerubbabel and of all the people was stirred up. For much sloth, we Know, prevailed, especially among the multitude. But as to Zerubbabel and Joshua, they were already willing, but delayed until the coldness under which they laboured was reproved. But the prophet here simply means that they became thus obedient through the hidden impulse of God, and also that they were made firm in their purpose. God does not form new souls in us, when He draws us to His service, but changes what is wrong in us; for we should never be attentive to His Word, if He did not open our ears; and there would be no inclination to obey, were He not to turn our hearts; in a word, both will and effort would immediately fail in us, were He not to add His gift of perseverance.

( John Calvin.)

However vast may be the indifference to the cause of Christ, and, therein, to the well-being of the human race, it is a source of encouragement to feel that there is not only pervading our land "a holy seed, which is the substance" of the Church, from whence its fruit-bearing branches spring; but that the number is increasing — slowly, perhaps, but certainly — of those who, professing to believe the Gospel, feel the obligation of applying its truths and its responsibilities to the guidance of their conscience, and the regulation of their practice.

1. Consider the necessity of enlarged means of grace for our countrymen. This necessity arises from the incalculable increase of our population. Of these people, the immense majority are congregated in masses in the metropolis, and in the trading and manufacturing districts. But what are the moral circumstances under which they have arisen, and are hourly arising? Is it with an expansion of the national Church, commensurate with the wants of the nation? Unhappily not. Where then is the basis on which social duty is to stand? How can we indulge such wild fanaticism as to expect the fruits of honesty, sobriety, and affection, respect for property or office, authority, regard to decorum, peace, and virtue, among multitudes who are growing up utterly unacquainted with the only tie by which moral obligation binds the conscience; ignorant of the only fountain from whence relative and social affection flow, and unhabituated to that softening influence which familiarity with the means of grace, and the kind sympathy of pastoral intercourse engender and maintain? Moreover, every agency of mischief is set on foot to corrupt men more and more, to enlist their innate passions, and to array their imagined happiness and interest in opposition to all that is holy, venerable, and good. Few of us, perhaps, are acquainted with the extent of that agency of Satan — an evil press — working amongst us. The necessity being admitted, upon whom does the duty of meeting it devolve? Upon all, upon every one, according to the ability which God has given.

1. The voice of heaven appeals to the civil ruler. On him devolves the obligation of providing for the moral well-being of those who are entrusted to his charge, since by this alone can the ends of government, peace, order, and security be attained.

2. The obligation especially devolves upon the ministers of religion. The Church of Christ is to be a witness for God, bearing testimony to man of the things of eternity; to be a light of truth, dispersing the dark and troubled desolation of falsehood, superstition, and impiety.

3. The duty devolves upon "all the remnant of the people," the whole community of professing Christians. He who speaks of the "Church" as embracing the clergy alone, and not the "whole congregation of faithful men," speaks unscripturally, untruly, and unwisely. If there is any class of persons upon whom this duty devolves with more responsibility than others, it is upon the land-owners, merchants, and manufacturers, who derive their wealth and their enjoyment by congregating multitudes to dwell upon their lands, or to labour for them.

(John Garbett, M. A.)

Darius, Haggai, Jehozadak, Josedech, Joshua, Shealtiel, Zerubbabel
Armies, Building, Built, Hasn't, Hosts, Lord's, Rebuild, Rebuilt, Saying, Says, Spake, Speaketh, Thus, Yet
1. The time when Haggai prophesied.
2. He reproves the people for neglecting the building of the house.
7. He incites them to the building.
12. He promises them, being forward, God's assistance.

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Haggai 1:2

     5810   complacency

Haggai 1:1-15

     5508   ruins

Haggai 1:2-3

     5340   house

Haggai 1:2-4

     5811   compromise
     8438   giving, of time

Haggai 1:2-11

     5923   public opinion

Vain Toil
'Ye 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.'--HAGGAI i. 6 A large emigration had taken place from the land of captivity to Jerusalem. The great purpose which the returning exiles had in view was the rebuilding of the Temple, as the centre-point of the restored nation. With true heroism, and much noble and unselfish
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Lost Earnings
He that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.' (Haggai i. 6.) In our Holiness Meetings we often speak of Full Salvation as a blessing to be obtained, and also a blessing to be retained; but I want now to turn the truth the other way round, and speak about 'losing the blessing'. These words of Haggai about the man who lost his earnings through a faulty bag will serve me as a text, and are very significant. As a figure of speech, the words are well understood. From the boy
T. H. Howard—Standards of Life and Service

The Abiding of the Spirit the Glory of the Church
By the mouth of His servant Haggai stern rebukes were uttered, and the whole people were aroused. We read in verse twelve of the first chapter, "Then 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." All hands were put to the work; course after course of stone began to rise; and
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 32: 1886

The Last Days of the Old Eastern World
The Median wars--The last native dynasties of Egypt--The Eastern world on the eve of the Macedonian conquest. [Drawn by Boudier, from one of the sarcophagi of Sidon, now in the Museum of St. Irene. The vignette, which is by Faucher-Gudin, represents the sitting cyno-cephalus of Nectanebo I., now in the Egyptian Museum at the Vatican.] Darius appears to have formed this project of conquest immediately after his first victories, when his initial attempts to institute satrapies had taught him not
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 9

How those are to be Admonished who Desire not the Things of Others, but Keep their Own; and those who Give of their Own, yet Seize
(Admonition 22.) Differently to be admonished are those who neither desire what belongs to others nor bestow what is their own, and those who give of what they have, and yet desist not from seizing on what belongs to others. Those who neither desire what belongs to others nor bestow what is their own are to be admonished to consider carefully that the earth out of which they are taken is common to all men, and therefore brings forth nourishment for all in common. Vainly, then, do those suppose
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

Appendix ii. Philo of Alexandria and Rabbinic Theology.
(Ad. vol. i. p. 42, note 4.) In comparing the allegorical Canons of Philo with those of Jewish traditionalism, we think first of all of the seven exegetical canons which are ascribed to Hillel. These bear chiefly the character of logical deductions, and as such were largely applied in the Halakhah. These seven canons were next expanded by R. Ishmael (in the first century) into thirteen, by the analysis of one of them (the 5th) into six, and the addition of this sound exegetical rule, that where two
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

The post-exilic age sharply distinguished itself from the pre-exilic (Zech. i. 4), and nowhere is the difference more obvious than in prophecy. Post-exilic prophecy has little of the literary or moral power of earlier prophecy, but it would be very easy to do less than justice to Haggai. His prophecy is very short; into two chapters is condensed a summary, probably not even in his own words, of no less than four addresses. Meagre as they may seem to us, they produced a great effect on those who heard
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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