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The Prophet Encouraged His People by Urging Them to Think Long Term

The Prophet Haggai, a Visionary and Leader

The Prophet Haggai

He was the tenth of the minor prophets of the Old Testament. He prophecised in the latter half of the sixth century BC, soon after the return of the Jews from captivity in Babylon. They returned to the ruins of their main place of worship, the Jerusalem Temple. They began to rebuild it, but the shortage of people and skills, and opposition from the local people drenched their enthusiasm.

Haggai authored the book of Haggai, one of the shortest in the Old Testament. It raises the themes of God's will, obedience and disobedience. He teaches us that when we live by the will of God, we can count on his assistance and encouragement. He also shows us the importance of thinking long-term, beyond immediate survival and well-being. "You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat but never have enough. Give careful thought to your ways," teaches the Lord through the Prophet Haggai, urging the people to rebuild the temple in His glory.

His narrative is interactive, dialectical and distinguished by effective use of rhetoric. Thus, he resorts to repetition to highlight the main messages and their relevance for the present day. "Give careful thought of your ways," he admonishes his readers. He also urges all us to be strong in following the will of God.

December 29, 2023
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