I love how often archeological discoveries absolutely verify biblical accounts. Haggai is a great example of this: He so precisely dates his prophecies, which are then corroborated by extra-biblical records from the Medes and Persians.
- 538 BC—Cyrus issues a decree allowing the Jews to return to Israel (Isaiah 45:1-3)
- 537 BC—exiles return and in 536 BC they lay the foundation of the temple (Ezra 3:8)
- 536 BC—opposition arises and the work stops (Ezra 4:1-6)
- 520 BC—Haggai and Zechariah arrive and begin ministering (Ezra 5:1-2; Haggai 1:1-15)
- 520 BC—opposition arises again and Haggai speaks a word of encouragement (Ezra 5:3-5; Haggai 2:1-9)
- 516 BC—after receiving a favorable reply from King Darius, the temple is completed (Ezra 6:13-15)
The reason these dates are so important is that they precisely align with the prophecy spoken by Jeremiah BEFORE the Israelites were even taken into exile. God said that they would return to worship in Jerusalem 70 years after their exile (Jeremiah 29:10-14; Daniel 9:1-2). Which is exactly what happened: They were taken into captivity in 586 BC, and the temple was completed in 516 BC!
Haggai’s final prophecy (Haggai 2:20-23) has an unusual ending. It’s unusual in that it doesn’t sound like “The End” that usually ends a book of the Bible. That is precisely because it’s not the end.
God tells Zerubbabel that he is God’s “signet ring,” a mark of God’s supreme authority. Zerubbabel was not the signet ring, but he was a forerunner—a type—of Jesus.
So when we trace the genealogies of Jesus in the New Testament, we see that Zerubbabel appears in the family line of both Joseph and Mary—both the family line from Abraham who received God’s covenant, and the family line of Adam who heard God promise that a human offspring would crush satan’s head.
These genealogies are as precise and exacting as the dates for the return of the exiles. God does everything exactly according to plan. He speaks His promises to us, and we can stand on those promises. Jesus is THE Signet Ring that stamps His “Amen” to every promise of God on which we stand.
God is not vague; He is precise. He has a plan for all of history—which is His story—and He has a precise plan for your life too!
So in building on our list from last week, let’s add one more item:
- Hear the Word of God
- Consider the Word of God
- Obey the Word of God
- Stand assured, encouraged, and unmovable on the Word of God.
What God says He will do, He will do!
If you’ve missed any of the messages in our series looking at the major lessons from the minor prophets, you can access the full list by clicking here.