S.S.S. Study Kings and Prophets
Family School at Faith Baptist Church
The final messages through the prophets
Haggai and Zechariah, and Malachi
Haggai lived and prophesied during the time of the remnants returning and his prophesies were mainly focused correcting the people and motivating them to finish the work they had started, this prophet was a straight forward corrector, he was not ashamed of the messages God gave him, and he delivered Gods messages faithfully.
Haggai 1:4-5 "Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? 5 Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways."
Haggai points out to the people that they are living in finished houses while Gods house remains a "work in progress" they have become lazy in the work, remember the only reason the first and second remnants were allowed to return was to rebuild Gods house.
In our modern selfish way of thinking we say that there is no sin in putting a roof over your head while working on Gods house, and while that may be true, the attitude of rejoicing in the work that the people showed in Ezra 3:10 when the foundations were laid is far absent now.
Consider this: In Matthew 6:25-32 we are assured by God that we will have two things, food, and clothing. He tells us not to consume our time with providing for ourselves but to let God provide our NEEDS, 1st Timothy 6:6-8 If we become content with less money, less luxury, less entertainment, less wants, we will have more time and money for the work of God. Those living at Jerusalem had put Gods work on the back burner.
Haggai 1:6-13 God tells His people that it is because they have forsaken His work that they are in want and never satisfied, and that He has sent a drought for them, always remember that you will never be content, you will never have "enough" if you are sacrificing your service to God in order to get more of what He says you do not need. 1st Timothy 6:9-11.
Haggai 1:14 "And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God,"
Zechariah lived and prophesied at the same time as Haggai, his message though was less corrective and more inspirational and motivational, this difference in messages and styles by two men of God at the same time shows us that God does not have one set method for every task, some preach loud, some quiet, some hand out tracts, some witness on the job, God wants His message out and there many ways to get it to the world, (note: the message is never corrupted, the man of God is never corrupted or condoning, and the method NEVER goes against Gods law, ex: "Getting drunk to witness to drunks" is absolutely wrong!).
See also what the apostle Paul said in Philippians 1:15-18.
Zechariah's message can be summed up by Zechariah 1:3 "Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts." Praise God that no matter how far we stray, He is always willing to restore the relationship, Romans 8:38-39, Romans 5:8, 1st John 1:9.
Malachi would be the last prophet before John the Baptist shows up in the New Testament 430 years later, he prophesied during the time of the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem and was one who's main purpose was dealing with the sins of the people.
Malachi consists mainly of God telling His people all that they have done against Him, notice also the amount of times we see these two phrases "but ye say" two times, "yet ye say" five times, seven times in this tiny book of the bible, also we find Gods people not believing that they are guilty of what God has charged them with. Sins such as (but not limited to) not honoring God, giving inadequate sacrifices, robbing God of tithes and offerings, and wearying God.
How do we make God weary? Malachi 2:17 "Ye have wearied the LORD with your words. Yet ye say, Wherein have we wearied him? When ye say, Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?"
See also: Proverbs 17:15 "He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD."
One of the worst things that the people of Israel had begun to do is claim that God delights in evildoers and that He does not judge! Oh how we have gone down this same path in America!
Malachi also prophesies of John the Baptist and of Christ, even of the second coming! There is son much information for such a vast stretch of time contained here in just a four chapter book!
Some key verses in Malachi:
Malachi 2:2 If ye will not hear, and if ye will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, saith the LORD of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because ye do not lay it to heart.
Malachi 2:7 For the priest's lips should keep knowledge, and they should seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the LORD of hosts.
Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
Malachi 3:8 Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.
Malachi 3:12 And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.
Malachi 4:1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.
Homework: Match an applicable New Testament verse to each of the listed "key verses" from this lesson.
Memory Verse: Zechariah 1:3 "Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts."