Return to Careful Thinking

November 6, 2022

These notes are from Pastor’s Steve’s study notes in preparation for the sermon.



  • 586 Nebuchadnezzar came to Jerusalem for a third and final time, destroying the city of Jerusalem and its temple before leading the people back to Babylon in captivity.
  • They remain in captivity for nearly 50 years
  • Cyrus, King of Persia defeated Babylon and issued a decree in 536 that allowed exiled nations return their homelands.
  • Roughly 43,000 were returning home.
  • By the 2nd year the people laid the foundation of the temple.
    • They were met with resistance as neighbors complained (Samaritans)
    • And zoning permits were difficult to navigate
    • This led to discouragement and apathy
    • The Temple wasn’t rebuilt (worship), the city walls were unfinished (security), there was famine (physical)
    • So the people just focused on their comfort – building themselves a nice home



Haggai 1:1 August 29, 520 BC

Haggai 1:15 September 21, 520 BC

Haggai 2:1 October 17, 520 BC

Haggai 2:10 December 18, 520 BC



  1. APATHY (Hag. 1:1-15)
  2. DISCOURAGEMENT (Hag. 2:1-9)
  3. HOLINESS (Hag. 2:10-19)
  4. SIGNIFICANCE (Hag. 2:20-23)



  • Used 14 times in these 38 verses
  • Divine Warrior
  • All -Powerful & Sovereign – Directing Heaven’s Strength
  • Times were tough, opposition toward doing the right thing was an uphill battle. People were discouraged and lazy



  • The people have grown apathetic [1:1-4]
    • Seeking comfort in their own homes [1:4] – this was the upper class, covering the uneven stone walls with wood paneling
  • Think carefully… you’ve struggled… why? [1:5-11] (ESV, Consider your ways)
  • For our good [1:10] God wants to move us toward a life-giving relationship with himself, resulting in:
    • Fruitfulness of Labor
    • Satisfaction of Longings
  • The people roused from their spiritual slumber and began work on the temple 23 days later.



  • Seems like nothing by comparison
    • The danger of losing perspective when we take our eyes off God and begin comparing our situation to something else (another time, group, situation, etc)
  • Be Strong! For I am with you.
    • Be Strong
    • The goal is God’s presence, not a beautiful building.



  • You can’t build something for God with dirty hands.
    • ‘Working’ for God does not permit you to live contrary to his teachings.
      • Your cleanliness cannot make something else clean [2:12]
      • Your uncleanliness does make something else unclean [2:13
  • Think Carefully… from this day on…
    • You can’t change the past but consider how you live tomorrow.
  • “I will bless you…”
    • For 16 years the people lived in apathetic rebellion to God – not active, just indifference
    • They are now trying to do the right thing for 3 months and God says, “But from this day on I will bless you.” [2:19]
    • Think of God’s generosity. They don’t have to work off their nearly 2 decades of disobedience.



  • “I will take you and make you my signet ring, for I have chosen you.” [2:23]
  • Zerubbabel was in the line of King David (Haggai 1:1)
  • my servant. A title given to individuals selected to accomplish God’s appointed task. It is particularly associated with David himself or an ideal Davidic king (2 Sam. 3:18; Ps. 89:3; Isa. 49:5–6; Ezek. 34:23–24). signet ring. A ring that provided evidence of royal authority and ownership. Like a king sealing legal documents with his ring, the Lord will set his authentic impression upon the world through his royal representative.
  • Zerubbabel is in the genealogy of Jesus in Matthew 1:12-13 and Luke 3:27.