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Mike Dente - Haggai (Week 10)
Mike Dente - Haggai (Week 10)
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Lyrics

Haggai Song by Mike Dente

It’s cold and I’m overwhelmed
On top of this hill I can only see
A sea of faces and souls
A sea of faces and souls

«Come you are weak and heavy laden
Ask and I will tell you what you need to know
Come to the Desire of all the nations
And I will give you peace for what you need to know»

Lord there are too many people
I’ve no money, I’m ill equipped
How can I scratch the surface
How can I scratch the surface

«How do you see it now… Is it not as nothing?
I am with you…I am with you now
All the gold is mine, I’ll shake the heaven’s and earth
I am with you… I I will tell you what you need to know»

«Be strong and build»
«Be strong and build» You are so good
«Be strong and build» Better than I ever knew
«Be strong and build» I will trust in you
«Be strong and build» I will trust in you
«Be strong and build»

The artist: Mike Dente

Babylon had come and destroyed Israel, just like God said they would. Israel had been deported and had lived in Babylon for 70 years, just like God said would happen. Now, Israel had been given permission to return and rebuild the land under the authority of a pagan king, just like God promised.

Babylon had come and destroyed Israel, just like God said they would. Israel had been deported and had lived in Babylon for 70 years, just like God said would happen. Now, Israel had been given permission to return and rebuild the land under the authority of a pagan king, just like God promised. They were told to go and rebuild the city as well as the temple. They started the temple, built its altar and laid the foundation–but then the work stalled. For 15 years the work on the temple was left undone while the inhabitants of Jerusalem went on with their normal lives. God sends Haggai to confront the people and see the building of the temple through to completion.

Haggai begins with their excuses. Some were saying that it just wasn’t time to build the temple (1), but Haggai criticizes them for feeling like it was time to build luxurious houses (2) for themselves instead. The real reason the temple laid in ruins was that everyone was too busy building their own lives. They had been seeking to prosper, but Haggai points out they had been unsuccessful. God had hindered their material gain in every way to get their attention (3). Life was more than food and the body was more than clothing, and unless they put God at the center of their lives and the top of their priorities, they would still be unsatisfied, even if they had everything. Haggai called them (like Jesus calls us) to seek first God’s kingdom and he would take care of their needs (4).

There is a pattern in the minor prophets that is very frustrating. The prophet speaks, the people do not listen, and the forewarned consequences come to pass. This is what lead Israel into captivity. Here however, the pattern is broken. God raises up Zerubbabel (5), a descendant of King David (6), to lead the work, the people listen to Haggai and the work on the temple resumes. (7)

A month later, as the temple starts to take shape, some of the oldest of Israel who saw the last temple prior to its destruction complain that this temple is nothing in comparison (8). The people are discouraged and the work once again wavers. Haggai comes with another message from the Lord. Keep working because God is with you (9) and whether you can see it now or not, God’s plan for this temple is greater than anything in the past (10). God’s not just trying to get a temple built, the temple is only part of the plan and God has a glorious future in mind.

A few more months pass but once again discouragement comes: now the people are building the temple but life is still hard, where are the blessing that God has promised? Haggai reminds Israel that holy work doesn’t make people holy. In fact, unholy people make the work unclean (11). Obedience is not merely a single act, but a pattern of behavior: a lifestyle. Haggai explains that God is right now in the process of setting everything right, and blessings will come from this day forward (12).

Haggai has one more promise to make. As the temple is coming to completion, God reveals what is next. God plans to turn everything on its head–the kingdoms of the world shall be overthrown and the promises to Israel will be fulfilled (13), and it is all bound up in Zerubbabel (14). The climax of God’s plan is about to unfold: one of Zerubbabel’s descendants (15) will restore glory to the temple and change the world.