I will be spending the next four weeks doing a series on the prophet Haggai. I would like to take the opportunity to share some of that studying the insights with you through this blog as I teach the study back here in Arizona. All too often what are referred to as “the minor prophets” are treated as truly minor. However, since they are part of the great sacred story and teach vital truth it behooves us to hear their voice.
This first blog will introduce the series. There are at least three vital questions that must be asked whenever Scriptures interpreted, who (who is the writer and who is the audience), when (when is this happening, what is the situation), what (what does God want to say into this particular situation, and what does God want to say in view of the sacred story and the situations application to us).
By way of context
the who of the author: “Then the prophet Haggai and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophets, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them. So Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of Jozadak rose up and began to build the house of God which is in Jerusalem; and the prophets of God were with them, helping them.” (Ezra 5:1–2, NKJV)
Samuel J. Schultz and Gary V. Smith, Exploring the Old Testament (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2001), 201.
The who of the audience
1. Jews who have returned from the exile in Babylon
2. Zerubbabel the governor of the returned exiles (as a particular part of the audience especially addressed by God
3. Joshua the high priest (as a particular part of the audience especially addressed by God
The When of the Situation:
About sixteen years later (520 b.c.), in the second year of the reign of Persia’s King Darius, God raised up Haggai and Zechariah to challenge the people to start work on the temple again
opposition and frustration by local and Persian authorities interfered with the temple and discourage the people on top of this a famine occurred which limited the funds of the people to rebuild the Temple, instead of spending those funds on rebuilding the temple anyway the people spends the funds on improving their own house and living better.
It is into this situation of frustration, procrastination, and indifference that God is going to speak through the prophet Haggai to the people of Jerusalem in a series of four messages. Since this is an introductory blog we will not deal with great details at this point. But rather end this blog with the simple take home truth.
Take home Truth: we need to be prepared to listen to God’s message to us in times of frustration and not allow frustration, procrastination, and indifference to make us deaf to the message he has for us
 Samuel J. Schultz and Gary V. Smith, Exploring the Old Testament (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2001), 201.