Daily Word

Be strong and build | Haggai 1:1-5 (ESV)

1 In the seventh month, on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet: 2 “Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to all the remnant of the people, and say, 3 ‘Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Is it not as nothing in your eyes?

4 Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares the Lord. Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the Lord. Work, for I am with you, declares the Lord of hosts, 5 according to the covenant that I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not.

Haggai 1:1-5 (ESV)

Now what?

The Jews see the monumental task before them and assess the opposition to the rebuilding. Though they are weak and lack strength, they desire to obey. They need a healthy dose of encouragement.


Who has seen the former temple? All knew of it’s splendor and glory. As they compared the foundation of the new temple, being much smaller, some wept (Ezra 3:12). God’s point is not to show the comparison of the first temple to the one they are building, for that would discourage them. Per  Clarke commentary, it’s as if God said, “‘Do not let this discourage you. The chief glory of the temple is not its splendid building, but my presence; and as I covenanted to be with you when ye came out of Egypt, so I will fulfil my covenant; for my Spirit remaineth among you, fear not’.”

Be Strong

One way God encourages is by commanding: “Be strong!” See Deuteronomy 31:6, 7, 23; Joshua 1:6, 7, 9, 18, 25; Zechariah 8:9; Ephesians 6:10; 2 Timothy 2:1 for a quick dose. From where do we get this strength? From Him – by abiding in Him and trusting Him, by delighting in Him and His Word.

God encourages us directly, as here, but He also does it through us. “But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called “Today,” so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews 3:13 We encourage one another.

I am with you

Then God reminds them again, as He did yesterday, that He has made a covenant to be with them.

Be strong

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