Page 8 - April 2024 - Truth & Tidings
P. 8

Background (Two Prophets              is the second year of Darius (520 B.C.).
        United)                               Two references to the Gentile king remind
                                              us that though in the land, Jerusalem is
          The introductory article outlined the   under the dominance of Gentile politics
        conditions in Jerusalem when Haggai   – “the times of the Gentiles” (Hag 1:1;
        commences. In 536 B.C., temple construc-  2:10; Luk 21:24). This is the same condi-
        tion ceased after the people laid the temple   tion as today and will not end until Israel
        foundation. Ezra 5:1-2 states that Haggai   recognizes its Messiah and the Lord fights
        and his younger contemporary prophet,   against Gentile opponents at His return
        Zechariah, were used by God to cause the   (Zec 13:8-14:3).
        people to start building. Zechariah’s main   Observe the word of the people say-
        contributions can be read in Zechariah 1, 4   ing, “The time has not come” to build the
        and 8, encouraging the people to finish the   house. Yet, as we learn in verses 3-11, they
        work.  Haggai is used to restart the proj-  were not in the mind and will of God. The
             1
        ect, while Zechariah may have been more   people undoubtedly had excuses legiti-
        instrumental in facilitating its completion.   mate to them. The most obvious was the
        These two workers remind us of two fu-  edict recorded in Ezra 4 from Artaxerxes
        ture men building God’s house in Corinth:   to stop the temple construction after a
        “I have planted, Apollos watered; but   political appeal by opponents of God’s
        God gave the increase” (1Co 3:6).  They   people. As the people of God, we know we
                                     2
        could work together and be of one mind   must obey authorities, yet Scripture here
        to help the people of God build His house   illustrates that governmental regulations
        because their direction came from God’s   that oppose the Word of God and His com-
        Word alone. According to Ezra 5:2, they   mandments we must respectfully not obey
        not only brought the message from God   (Rom 13:1-5). The apostles and Peter said,
        but obeyed it themselves to help with the   “We ought to obey God rather than men”
        building project, as true leaders must do.
                                              (Act 5:29). Peter knows we can suffer for
        The Word of the People (vv1-          obeying God and says in his first epistle,
        2)                                    “If, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye
                                              take it patiently, this is acceptable with
          When Haggai utters these prophecies, it  God,” and, “if ye suffer for righteousness’
                                              sake, happy are ye” (2:20; 3:14).
          See Daniel Rudge’s articles in Truth and Tidings
         1
        (Aug, Oct-Dec 2021, Feb-Apr 2022) for more on   The Word of the Lord (vv3-11)
        the night visions of Zechariah.
        2  Bible quotations in this article are from the KJV   The remnant is rebuked (vv3-4) for fin-
        unless otherwise noted.               ishing their own houses while God’s house

        104 TRUTH kTidings   April  2024
   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13