Further Study: First Things First!
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“But even this dark hour was not without hope for those whose trust was in God. The prophets Haggai and Zechariah were raised up to meet the crisis. In stirring testimonies these appointed messengers revealed to the people the cause of their troubles. The lack of temporal prosperity was the result of a neglect to put God’s interests first, the prophets declared. Had the Israelites honored God, had they shown Him due respect and courtesy, by making the building of [...]

Thursday: The Lord’s Signet Ring
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Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

“‘“On that day,” declares the Lord Almighty,

Image © Jeff Preston from GoodSalt.com

“I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,” declares the Lord, “and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,” declares the Lord Almighty.’” (Hag. 2:23, NIV).

The final message from the Lord to Haggai was given on the same day as the previous one in order to complement it (see Hag. 2:22-23). The Lord warned of a coming destruction of kingdoms and [...]

10: First Things First – Teaching Plan
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gless10

Key Thought : Haggai’s message was simple and logical. What are our priorities, and why is it important to get them right.

[Teaching plan for First Things First June 3, 2013]

1. Have a volunteer read Haggai 1:3-7.

A. Ask class members to share a short thought on what the main idea of this text is.
B. What reason did Haggai tell Israel that their labor and efforts weren’t being prosperous?
C. Personal Application: What priority does offerings to keep the local church [...]

Tuesday: Do Not Fear!
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Together

Haggai 2:1-5 presents an interesting development in the great revival taking place among God’s people.

Image © Janet Hyun from GoodSalt.com

About a month after the temple work began, God sent an encouraging word through Haggai to the remnant who had determined, without adequate resources, to rebuild God’s house as directed by the prophets. Haggai asked the elders how the temple’s current state compared to its appearance before the exile. Clearly, the present appearance did not match the former glory. People may [...]

First Things First! (Haggai)
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Ruins

“Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” Haggai 1:4, NIV

Very old ruins have held a romantic fascination for me. When I walk beside the ruined walls, I wonder what stories could they tell of lives lived long ago. What hopes and dreams did the people who built them have? What tragedies might they have witnessed? Were the lives of those ancient folk mundane with routine and boredom? [...]

Monday: God’s Greatest Promise
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Read Haggai 1:12-14.

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Notice the sense of unity of purpose here. Why was that so important in order for them to do that which they were called to do?

This time the message instantly is obeyed by the leaders and the remnant people. They make preparations, gather materials, and resume work on the temple three weeks later. Within another week they erect an altar and restore the sacrificial worship (Ezra 3:1-6). In less than five years the [...]

Sunday: Planting Much, Harvesting Little
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Read Haggai 1:1-11.

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What was happening here and, more important, why was this happening? Even more important, how might this same principle be happening to us today? How might we be guilty of doing the same thing?

“For over a year the temple was neglected and well-nigh forsaken. The people dwelt in their homes and strove to attain temporal prosperity, but their situation was deplorable. Work as they might they did not prosper. The very elements of [...]

Sabbath: First Things First!
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Read for This Week’s Study: Haggai 1, John 2:19, Ezra 3:1-6, Matt. 1:23, 12:6, Haggai 2, Luke 24:13-27.

Memory Text: “‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine, declares the Lord Almighty’” (Haggai 2:8, NIV).

Key Thought: Haggai’s message is simple: What are our priorities, and why is it so important to get them right?

Haggai’s book, one of the shortest in the Bible, was written at a critical time in the life of Judah. The exiles had returned from their captivity in Babylon almost 20 years before; yet, they seemed to [...]