I. The Excuse for Delay (1:2). We find excuses for not doing Godís will.
A. Met with gigantic obstacles which required arduous effort and hardship. Intense opposition from the Samaritans (Ezra 4:1-6, 11-12, 21-24).
1. Became discouraged by the work and adversity.
2. Rationalized it must not be the time to build. "It is so difficult, evidently, God isnít in this project."
3. They decided to maintain the status quo.
B. They are covering their disobedience with the pious-sounding excuse, "It is just not the right time to build the Lordís house."
II. The Extravagant Disregard (1:3-4).
A. Conflict of interest. Putting self interests ahead of Godís interests.
B. No time for Godís house, but plenty of time for their own houses. They drag their feet to the house of God, but RUN to their own houses (v. 9b).
III. The Exhortation to Deliberate (1:5, 7). "CONSIDER YOUR WAYS!" There
are many exhortations to "consideration" in the Scriptures (Ps. 8:3-4;
Heb. 10:24; 12:3; Mt. 6:28; Luke 12:24).
A. "Let a man examine himself" (1 Cor. 11:28). Jeremiah lamented, "Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD" (Lam. 3:40).
B. Consider: "How much are you spending on yourself, versus how much are you doing for God?"
1. "Consider your ways" ó Which way? If you continue on the way you are going, where will it lead? (The way of drugs? Ösex? Ölying and deceit? Örebellion?)
2. Broken homes, broken hearts, broken lives donít just happen. They break by going the wrong direction and failure to "consider your ways."
3. "Consider your ways" ó Look at what is happening to youÖ
a. Whatís happening to your marriage?
b. Whatís happening to your children?
c. Whatís happening to your walk with the Lord?
IV. The Experience of Drought (1:6, 9-11).
A. The harder they worked for themselves, the less they brought in.
B. Failure to recognize the drought was Godís doing (v. 9).
C. Are you experiencing a spiritual drought in your life? Did it ever occur to you that God may be behind the things happening in your life trying to get you to turn to Him?
V. Godís Expression of Delight (1:8). Simple obedience delights God.
Notice Haggaiís three-fold appeal:
A. The CENSURE of the HEART (v. 4).
B. The CHALLENGE to the MIND (v. 5).
C. The COMMAND to the WILL (v. 8).
VI. The Energized Dedication (1:12, 14).
VII. The Encouraging Declaration (1:13). "I am with youÖ" When you know God is with you, that should encourage you to do whatever He asks