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God is calling; do we hear Him?

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Haggai 2

I.                   HOOK: Introduction

A.     Attention Getter

1.       Explain my time in Iraq

2.       Show some photos of Ur and Babylon

B.     Surface a need

1.       Ask a question about vacation.

a.       Have each person explain their idea of a vacation.  What is your idea of a vacation?[1]

b.      Summarize that we usually like to ‘get away from it all’.

2.       Define the problem in relation to God’s Word.

a.       What usually seems to happen to your Spiritual Life during vacation? ß What can be a big temptation to us during this time ‘away from it all’?

b.      ‘Getting away from it all’ many times means we also get away from our relationship with God. Do we sometimes try to take a ‘vacation’ from God without a vacation?

3.       Define what needs to take place to replace our earthly tendencies. 

a.       God’s Word needs to be heard and understood.

b.      There needs to be a realization of the truth in God’s Words.

c.       Action should be taken on God’s Word.

C.     Lesson Aim

BIG IDEA: We need to stay faithful to God’s call wherever we may find ourselves in this life.

D.    Transition to BOOK

We’re going to look at the ‘freed’ national of Israel that may have gotten too use to a time ‘away from it all’.

                Open to the Book of Haggai.

II.               BOOK: Bible Study

A.     Be Strong (Haggai 2:1-5)

1.      Historical Background- Babylonian Exile (Ezr. 5&6, Hag. 1)

586 BC – Judah conquered and Jews let to exile in Babylon

539 BC – Cyrus of Persia conquers Babylon

538 BC – Release from exile decreed by Cyrus the Great

537 BC – Return of 50,000 with Sheshbazzar

535 BC – Temple construction started, the altar and foundation were built

530 BC – Temple construction halted

521 BC – Darius I becomes king of Persia

520 BC – Haggai & Zechariah begin prophetic ministries

515 BC – Temple completed

Haggai’s ministry[2]

August 29, 520 b.c. 1:1–15
October 17, 520 b.c. 2:1–9
December 18, 520 b.c. 2:10–19
December 18, 520 b.c. 2:20–23

Lecture on Historical background

Show a historical time line

Stress the amount of time since the temple had been started to the time of the first proclamation (14 years) and make note of the immediate return to work when pushed by Haggai.


Isn’t that strange how they started without question?

Provoke thinking with this question: But why does God have to follow up with encouragement in chapter 2?

Split the class up into groups of two. Have them look in their Bibles and find a valid reason for the temple’s incomplete work.[3]

If necessary point them to:

·         ‘the other reference of Haggai ‘

·         Ezra chapters 5 and 6.

2.      The Call to Courage in the Lord

Courage (Haggai 2:1-9)

October 17, 520 BC

1)     The building

a)      Those who are saddened

Hag. 2:3 à Ezr. 3:12

b)      The future temple

Hag. 2:7-9 à Ezr. 6:8



2)     The builder

God is the builder, Hag. 2:6-9

Have two individuals read (call / respond)

·         vs. 3 and Ezr. 3:12

·         vs. 7-9 and Ezr. 6:8

Vs. 7-9 have a double meaning:

1)The adornment of the future temple will be provided by the nations’ wealth. The desired of all nations should probably be understood as a collective noun (”desirable things“ ie- treasures)

will come, suggesting that surrounding nations will gladly give up their treasures to adorn the temple in Jerusalem)[4]

As supported in Ezr. 6:8

2)The second is a prophesied future temple. This is debated as to which one it’s referring to.

a)      The bodily temple for us today

b)      The millennial temple


“The desire of all nations” is a well know quote to be “the coming of the Messiah”

However more recent scholars are moving toward a meaning of the millennial kingdom.

Could be easily either one or even both.

Eph. 2:14


3.      The Call to Cleanness of Life

Cleanness (Haggai 2:10-19)

December 18, 520 BC

 Holiness / Defilement (vs. 10-14)

a)      The Holy Question (vs. 1) The Holiness from the meat cannot be transferred to anything else.

b)      The Defiled Question (vs. 13)The Defilement (uncleanliness) of the dead body can be transferred to objects it touches.

c)       This is compared with Israel (vs. 14)

Have two individuals read

·         vs. 12

·         vs. 14

Pose the question as to why the students think these two questions were asked. What is the meaning of them?

vs .14 explains that disobedience causes not only their work to be unclean but their sacrifices.

4.      The Call to Confidence in the Future

Confidence (Haggai 2:20-23)

December 18, 520 BC (continued)

      Messianic prophecy concerning Zerubbabel

a)      After the Great Tribulation (2:20–22)

b)      During the glorious Millennium (2:23)[5]

The signet ring mentioned here was uncovered in 1865 by the Warren & Wilson team who were excavating part of the temple wall. (“Haggai, the son of Shebaniah”)[6]

III.            LOOK: General Application

A.     Lead the class in discovering general principles

So now we’ve looked at the three messages delivered by Haggai in chapter 2.

What were they again?

How do you think this applies for us as Christians today?

        (Write these in a column on the board)[7]

B.     Emphasize the most important principles(s).

Be looking for the call to and in the Christian life, such as service within your local church or full time ministry.

        (Erase others that do not fall in this category)

IV.             TOOK: Individual Application

A.     Help students apply the passage individually and specifically

So this means we should what?

        (Write this on the board in the next column for each of the suggest Applications)

B.     Guide students to fulfill that application in the near future.

Hearing God’s call not only means understanding but doing it since there’s a call to action.

How long will the Lord tarry?

        No one knows so we should be ready and following God’s call.


Richards, L., & Richards, L. O. (1987). The Teacher's Commentary. Wheaton, Ill: Victor Books.

Ryrie, C. (1994). The Ryrie Study Bible, Expanded Edition. Chicago, Ill: Moody Press.

Unger, M. F. (2005). The New Unger's Bible Handbook. Rev. and updated ed. . Chicago, Ill: Moody Publishers.

Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Seminary, D. T. (1983-c1985). The Bible Knowledge Commentary : An Exposition of the Scriptures. Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

Willmington, H. (1999). The Outline Bible. Wheaton, Ill: Tyndale House Publishers.


[1] Teaching Method #1 ~ Question/Answer and Discussion

[2] (Richards & Richards, 1987)

[3] Teaching Method #2 ~ Inductive Study

[4] (Walvoord, Zuck, & Seminary, 1983-c1985)

[5] (Willmington, 1999)

[6] (Unger, 2005)

[7] Teaching Method #3 ~ Class participation

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