2004-07-16 - The Rebuke
Haggai, Part 7
Haggai 2:4-11: And what he says falls in verses 4-11. Feinberg breaks the remarks down into four sections:
The Rebuke, verse 4; The Calamity, verses 5 & 6; The Charge, 7 & 8; God's Visitations, Verses 9-11. So, let's use his approach to break down this section.
Verse 4-The Rebuke: Keep in mind, God is speaking to His people here. He isn't generally concerned with rebuking those who are in rebellion against Him and who have no concern for His views. Rather, the rebuke relates to the absence of any work on the Temple. The people were living in luxury homes, pretty interesting for returning exiles, while God's house lay in ruins. In 1 Kings 6:4, the Temple was described as being paneled. "It was paneled with cedar, with gold inlay to relieve the wooden monotony and to add grandeur."
So the people had made sure their homes were comfortable. Is this wrong? No! The problem was God's house, the center of worship, was still a mess, but the people's homes were luxurious. God did not allow them to return to Judea and Jerusalem, just so they could relax in their model homes and watch football games. He sent his people back to restore the Temple. Of course there is a general principle, just like people would never have children if they waited until they could afford it ...
"The time was rarely just right to build the house of God - i.e., to do God's work. We can never expect the cooperation of the enemy in a truly spiritual task."
To be continued.