Haggai represents the beginning of what I believe is a change of speech/message towards the people of God who have now arrived at their final destination. We can begin to read Haggai in a new light, Gods calling on Haggai is to encourage the people to live obediently and begin rebuilding the temple, this in a sense is a message to “ignite the fire” of the leaders and the people of the remnant, a great reminder of who brought them home.
Placing myself into the situation of the people finally returning to Jerusalem I may have felt a sense of relieve as I settled into a “new life”, living without having to constantly be looking over my shoulder and waiting for the next round of destruction and devastation. I like the people then would have began the process of building my own home, working towards providing for the needs of myself and my family, after all I deserved it. I think this happens all the time, we become comfortable and self-sufficient forgetting to look to God for all our needs. Haggai reminds the people tells the people to “give careful thought to your ways” The blessing of coming home came because they were faithful in putting God first during their time of wandering, Haggai reminds them that God blesses them when they put Him first. The reconstruction of the temple and their commitment to obedience is what God wanted, “”Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so I may take pleasure in it and be honored.”
God was working in the lives of the people, He was with them and worked in them stirring up their spirit so that they would begin the work of rebuilding His house. Today through the work of the Holy Spirit we can experience the same stirring, when we come before the Lord and ask Him to do a work within us or through us He according to His will accomplish great things. The words and teaching of Haggai are a great encouragement and reminder that when we put God first He will supply our every need.