The 70 years of captivity to Babylon had come to an end. As a result of a decree by Cyrus the Persian, Israel was allowed to return to her homeland. Only a fraction of the Jews returned, as the majority was assimilated into the Babylonian culture. Those returning to Jerusalem began building the Temple, but due to opposition from without and apathy within, the work was abandoned. Sixteen years later God commissioned Haggai and Zechariah to stir up the people to consider their priorities and continue the work.
After a disaster, or when a difficult situation comes to an end, we are often unable to return to the comfort or the routine of an established norm. The days ahead may be daunting as we look back at our journey. In a very brief time, and with very few words, this prophet lays out a pathway through the paralyzing apathy and forward through present purpose and hope for the future.
- Your foundation must be the Word of God (1:1,12,13; 2:1,10,20)
- Give careful thought to how the times have prodded you to adjust your priorities (1:5,7;2:15,18)
- Know that the presence of God through His Spirit will sustain and protect you (1:13,25)
- Avoid comparison of how it was and how it is now (2:3,9)
- Maintain personal integrity and purity (2:10-14)
- You will be stronger the next time the world wobbles (2:6,7,21)