In our last visit we saw in Ezra 5 the impact two prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, had on the people. They provided a spark needed to reignite vision, passion and obedience. These “prophets of God were with them, helping them.” Let’s look at the two books written by these prophets to better understand how they helped the people.
The building of the temple was stopped and the people began focusing on getting their own homes built and decorated. They forgot why they returned to Jerusalem. They started working the ground, planting crops and focusing on making their own lives more prosperous and comfortable.
Progress, however, was hard to come by. They worked harder and got less and less in return. This wore them out, and thinking about rebuilding the temple faded from their minds.
Haggai began proclaiming his message: The first thing is to do first things first! Then he amplified it.
1. When secondary things take first place our efforts will be counter-productive.
2. When first things are done first, God’s plan will be accomplished.
3. When we begin doing first things first God starts blessing the effort even before it’s completed. God blessed Haggai’s message and the people returned to rebuilding the temple. This began a turnaround that resulted in the project being completed and worship reinstated. Though this temple was not as spectacular as Solomon’s temple, God was honored in and through it.