Monday, June 16, 2014

On 6-22-14, Haggai 2:20-23 or Haggai 2:23, Zechariah 4:1-3, 6-14 will be our Adult Sunday School/Uniform Series/International Sunday School Lesson herein is my commentary. This lesson is known by some as Hope for a New Day

Hope for a New Day
 Haggai 2:20-23 or Haggai 2:23, Zechariah 4:1-3, 6-14
International Sunday School Lesson
June 22, 2014

Jed Greenough

Each week I try to include the two most commonly followed scriptures but this week they are vastly different.  Some of you are only studying Haggai 2:20-23 while others are skipping verses 20-22 in the aforementioned case but adding those from Zechariah.  Of course my suggestion is that you read both!

Haggai and Zechariah were both "operating" at the same time which is not surprising given the importance of what is happening in history with the Jewish people and their temple.  Because of their falling away from God the glorious temple built by King Solomon was destroyed and the Jewish people were swept away into exile.

Of course God knew what might be going through the peoples’ minds as they built something that some of them could compare from memory (Haggai 2:3).  That temple was indeed glorious in its awesome beauty and people didn't have to have seen it to remember that.  But God said, “The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house”Haggai 2:9 

Likewise the two prophets both mention in today’s scripture the thoughts that must have been going on in Zerubbabel’s and perhaps Joshua’s mind as well (our two olive branches as I understand them). 
The task before these two was formidable and Zerubbabel ,the descendant in David’s line like Solomon, didn't wield the power that Solomon had when that first temple was built.  So I look at today’s scripture in part as being a series of encouragements to those involved.

Zerubbable needed to know that God was in control.  Zerubbabel needed to hear that royal thrones, kingdoms and armies were God’s to control and He said He would when He said would overturn and shatter them, not just once but twice in the short book of Haggai’s chapter 2.

Zerubbabel had to wonder how much power he really had so God gave him those encouragements about the secular matters but he would also receive assurances about the temple.

God said it would be accomplished not by might or power but by God’s Spirit (Zechariah 4:6).  But God didn't quit the buildup going on to say that a mighty mountain would be nothing before Zerubbabel, his hand laid the foundation and his hands would complete it.

Joshua and Zerubbabel, the two anointed ones, Priest and ruler; I agree with others who state that this combination points to our Priestly King in Jesus.  Have a great lesson!

For Discussion:

1.      Discuss the significance of being chosen as Joshua and Zerubbabel were.
2.      Discuss the stress or doubts that might create.
3.      Discuss the roles of Haggai and Zechariah.
4.      Discuss God’s authority and use of rulers and nations, prophets and priests.
5.      Discuss the imagery in today’s Zechariah.
6.      Discuss the difference between the roles as seen when the temple was built by Solomon and this one.

Upcoming Lessons

June 29    A Call to Unity or Pursue Unity in Christ, 1 Corinthians 1:10-17 or 1 Corinthians 1:10-17; 3:4-9
July 6     Glorify God with Your Body, 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
July 13    Love Builds Up or Exercise Freedom with Caution, 1 Corinthians 8

July 20    Overcoming Temptation, 1Corinthians 10:12-22 or 1 Corinthians 10:6-22

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved

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