Haggai is a book in the Old Testament of the Bible which is very essential to us today. Even though it records messages from the Lord Almighty which were given through the prophet, Haggai, in the year 520 BC, the principles related in these messages are still very relevant to us today.
So, get some colored pencils or pens (blue, purple, red, orange, etc.) and let's study this awesome book of Haggai. Let's find out what God, the Lord Almighty, said to His people, the Jewish exiles, who had recently returned to their homeland after their 70 year exile in Babylon. And, as we examine what God said to them through the prophet, Haggai, we will see what God is saying to us today.
Sound exciting? Want to study this wonderful Old Testament Book of Haggai? Well, then, let's get started.
And, as we begin, let's have a word of prayer together. So, pray with me:
"Father, as I turn now to look at this book of Haggai, I pray
will show me what you want me to know. Help me to
understand not only
what you were saying to your people, who had recently returned from
their exile in
Babylon, but help me to also understand the principles that you
to them. Help me to take these principles and apply them to my own
so that I will do what you desire and live in a way
that will bring
glory and honor to you.
For all of the assignments in all of the lessons that we will be doing in this course, you may use either your own Bible or you can print out the Scriptures from Bible Gateway in the version of your choice (KJV, NIV, NAS, Spanish, etc.).
OK, let's begin.
Your first assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to Read the book of Haggai and as you read, mark each occurrence of the phrase "Lord Almighty"as well as each occurrence of the word "God" and all words and / or pronouns such as I, my, mine, etc. which are used in place of that word or phrase by putting a BLUE circle around the word or words.
Also mark each occurrence of the word, "Haggai" (or words referring to him such as "I," "me," "my." etc). by putting an ORANGE (or color of your choice) "H" on the word.
OK, That is your assignment.You may begin.When you have finished, return here for your NEXT assignment.
Great! I see that you have finished your assignment. Wasn't that an interesting and exciting book! Yes! And it is filled with powerful messages and insights and applications for you and me today. As you can now confirm, having read it for yourself, there are some principles that certainly can and do apply not only to the people of 520 BC but also to us today.
But, before we get into a more in-depth study of these principles, let's review what we have already discovered from this first reading of Haggai. So, based on what you just read, answer the following questions:
1. Who 'spoke' the words of the Lord? (Who was the prophet?) (1:1)
2. To whom did Haggai, the prophet, speak? (1:1 and 2:2)
3. Who was Zeruabbel and what did he do? (1:1)
4. Who was Joshua and what did he do? (1:1)
Oh, by the way, here is an interesting side note. Joshua is a variant of the word Jeshua. Jeshua, of course, is a form of the name 'Jesus.' Just thought you'd want to know, if you didn't already.
5. When was the first message given? (year / day / month). (1:1)
6. Were there any other messages?..........Circle the correct answer:....(yes......or ........no )
Well, obviously, you know from your first reading of the book of Haggai that there seemed to have been several messages, though you probably were not counting them at the time. But, you did notice that there were several, didn't you?
So, now we want to look at the different messages and find out how many there were and when they were given.
Your next assignment will be to once again read this short book of Haggai, and, this time, as you read, every time you see a specific date giving a NEW message, circle that date in RED. Then, in the margin, make a note (in red) of the message number.
As an example of how to do this, in 1:1 you would circle the phrase, "In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month" and then in the margin to the left of that verse, you would write "MESSSAGE # 1"
O.K. That is your assignment. You may begin. Return here when you are through.
Great! Now that you have completed your assignment, you will be able to answer the following questions:
1. How many messages with a specific date and time were recorded in this book as having been given by God and reported through Haggai?
(circle the correct answer).....1........ 2........3........4
2. When were these messages given and what were the verses of each message.(fill in the chart below with your answers:) I will do the first one for you as an example.
........1..........................2nd year of Darius /1st
Correct, there were four specifically dated messages. And you probably noticed that there were often several messages or statements or words from the Lord Almighty within each of these four messages. However, technically, only four messages were given.
You will notice that there has been room left on the chart for you to add the dates of these messages as they pertain to our Calendar. If you would like to insert these dates, they are:
Message 1........... August 29, 520 BC
Message 2...........October 17, 520 BC
Message 3.......December 18, 520 BC
Message 4........December 18, 520 BC
Now, let's continue answering some questions based upon our reading of Haggai.
3. Over what period of time (how many months) were these four messages given?
4. Were these messages all given within the same year ?
5. In general, what were these messages concerning? In other words, what did the people need to do that they had not yet done after their return from their 70 year exile in Babylon?
Here is some historical information which may aid you in better understanding your answer to the the previous question and in understanding the reason for this book of Haggai: