The book of the prophet Haggai is far more literal/propositional in nature than the other prophets, so I will probably discuss it along with the historical books. It covers the word revealed by God to the prophet Haggai during a 3-4 month span of time that fits within the chronology of Ezra. I won’t take the time to flesh it out today, but I think Haggai has important contributions to a couple of themes I want to explore at Stewardship.com. Those two topics are:
- Does God bless us materially when we obey him? This is a complex topic that seems to offer two different answers depending on which scriptures are used as evidence. Haggai contributes to the position that yes, God does tend to bless his people for obedience. God said he would materially blessed the remnant in Judah if they would finish rebuilding the temple.
- Why is the Temple (and before that, the Tabernacle) so important? Well, they were the places where ritual cleanliness from sin was achieved, and thus they mediated between God’s holiness and sinful people…that is the most important purpose…but I believe there are other purposes that are relevant to our topic of stewardship.
Think of the enormous resources (both time and money) invested in the Temple and its furnishings. Why was that important to God? I think only by understanding the why can we begin to apply the Old Testament writings on the Tabernacle and Temple to our modern church buildings. For example, are church buildings still important to God today? Are they worth the expense of building and upkeep? Why or why not?