02 (February 2015)

Wholeheartedness (Haggai)

Geoff Cox Geoff is a retired evangelist and an associate of the Open-Air Mission.
01 February, 2015 1 min read

Wholeheartedness: a message from Haggai for today
Jonathan Griffiths
Day One Publications, 96 pages, £6.00, ISBN: 978-1-84625-434-5
Star Rating: 4

Don’t let the brevity of this commentary deceive you. It’s a good, brief journey through Haggai, which, I have to say, is one of my favourite Old Testament books.

There is a brief historical introduction, which sets the scene for the book. Throughout, the author keeps technical information to a minimum and spends most of his time analysing the problems of Haggai’s day and then applying them to our present situation. The result is a challenging book.

People of Haggai’s day had started off enthusiastically at the task of rebuilding the temple. However, work ground to a halt as they lost their motivation, preferring to build their own houses and lives, at the expense of the Lord’s work; all the time using ‘spiritual’ excuses for their lack of zeal.

Haggai is sent by the Lord to challenge and encourage them to get back on track. Griffiths helpfully relates the timing of the various prophecies to the situation Haggai faced.

In his attempt to bring the message up-to-date, Griffiths goes a little far in introducing a character whom he calls ‘Jerry the Jerusalemite’, along with his wife ‘Becky’. Some unfortunate anachronisms creep in here, which distract from the valid points he is trying to make.

There are two useful appendices, the first dealing with how the Old Testament curses and blessings are to be understood today, the second addressing what some see as a problem of the blessing in chapter 2, verse 19. It was a wise decision to put these at the end of the commentary. A bibliography would have been a useful addition to this book.

I recommend this to anyone who is interested in the message of Haggai for today.

Geoff Cox
Birmingham

Geoff is a retired evangelist and an associate of the Open-Air Mission.
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