While it’s wonderful to re-read popular books in scripture, I’ve been on a quest to read things I haven’t before. The summer of 2021, I read the book of Habbakuk and this fall I tackled the book of Haggai. The fact that both books began with “H” was mere coincidence.
Perhaps you’re like me and aren’t as familiar with Haggai. Here’s a quick synopsis and context:
This short Old Testament book—only two chapters for a total of 38 verses!—is a reminder of who God is and how we should live as His followers. While we don’t know much about Haggai as an author, we do know he was a prophet who spoke the Word of the Lord. His message to the people of his day and time was simple: Focus on what matters most—the Lord.
After David was appointed king, God promised that another king would come through David’s line who would sit on the throne forever. While God remained faithful to His people, the people, unfortunately, did not remain faithful to Him and were sent into captivity. Despite all of this turmoil, God made another promise: a remnant would return, and the coming of the Messiah would still happen.
Lessons from Haggai
The book of Haggai picks up at the end of that long exile and captivity—and Haggai becomes the chosen prophet who would return to this remnant. He sees how the people have chosen to live: misplaced priorities, excess “stuff,” and sin—lots of sin. Put simply, the people had no interest in the Lord. But Haggai knows of a better life—one that keeps God as the central focus to every aspect. With this in mind, Haggai calls the people to rebuild the temple and fix their minds on Him. He tells them to “consider your ways,” and listen to the Lord. When the people believe it wasn’t time to rebuild the temple, Haggai encourages them to trust and obey.
Fast-forward to the end of the second chapter, and the people finally listen to Haggai’s request. They lay the foundation of the temple and have returned to what God had called them to do. No longer do they turn their backs to Him, but rather walk forward in obedience.
My favorite verses in the book of Haggai are 2:15-19. God (via Haggai) encourages the people to remember what He has done for them and rejoice. They learned to rely on His promises and trust that He was working, even when they might not see it visibly in front of them. Faith was imperative and His blessings were on their way. These verses should serve as a beautiful reminder to us to do just the same—remember and rejoice!
Verse 19 ends with a powerful promise: just as the people of Haggai’s time were waiting for things to grow beneath the soil, God was working behind the scenes to bring the greatest blessing of all—His beloved Son.
This is how our Lord works—in the waiting. We may not see the harvest yet, but we trust in the Master who is never idle, always growing things deep below the ground, desiring to keep us close to Him.
As His children, we are always waiting for something. What are you waiting for right now—and how does Haggai encourage you that God is already working?
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.