Times were tough for the first recipients of the prophecies of Haggai and Zechariah. They needed to be encouraged to resume the work of reconstructing the temple—to awake from their lethargy and to be enthusiastic for a life lived in obedience to God.
The people were still very materialistic in their outlook. Their zeal was for ritual rather than reliance on the Lord. Their concern was for respectability in religious observance rather than an acknowledgement of their sin and a desire to please God in all their thoughts and actions.
Michael Bentley has written a worthy addition to the Welwyn Commentaries in giving a straightforward explanation of these two prophecies and applying their message practically to the needs of the church today.
“No mention is made of Haggai’s parents or any of his ancestors. He came on to the scene without any prior announcement, gave his brief messages from God and then, less than four months later, disappeared from off the pages of history as suddenly as he came.” (Page 13)
“Because they were concerned about rebuilding the temple and restoring the worship of God’s house, they are often called by a name which is currently in vogue, ‘the Restorationists’.” (Pages 14–15)
“This golden lampstand therefore represents God’s people, individually and collectively, in the act of bearing witness to the gospel of salvation.” (Page 133)
“They were given between the end of August and the end of December in the year 520 B.C. (i.e. the second year of King Darius of Babylon).” (Page 22)
An excellent, simple, forthright exposition which gets to the heart of the message and effectively and consistently applies it to the modern reader.
—Eryl Davies, Principal, Evangelical Theological College of Wales