Now when the prophets, Haggai the prophet and Zechariah, the son (grandson) of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, whose Spirit was over them – Ezra 5:1
The building of the temple was stopped about fifteen years. Then they had two good ministers, who urged them to go on with the work. It is a sign that God has mercy in store for a people, when he raises up prophets to be helpers in the way and work of God, as guides, overseers, and rulers. In Haggai, we see what great things God does by his word, which he magnifies above all his name, and by his Spirit working with it. – Matthew Henry
Derek Kidner writes, “Like every spiritual advance, from Abraham’s to the missionary expansion in Acts, this venture began with a word from the Lord. And in common with the rest, it was quickly tested and threatened” (Ezra & Nehemiah, Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries [IVP], p. 53). The Old Testament prophets did not so much expound on God’s already-written word; rather, they received new revelation directly from God for His people. When these prophets spoke, the Jewish people realized that God was speaking through them.
What the people needed, God provided. Zerubbabel and Jeshua needed support and strength. They got it from the prophets whom God raised up to help them. Haggai and Zechariah prophesied in the name of the God of Israel with His power on their lips, a power that brought the others back to work. For us, that power is in the prayers of others. We have the Holy Spirit and God’s Word to strengthen and sustain us. But, we also need prayer intercessors in those times when we feel weak and worn out, especially when the adversary seems to be coming after us.
When we recognize our sin and our need for God’s grace, we are on the first steps to spiritual awakening. – Jim Erwin
Out of this despondency they were roused by two prophets, whose presence among them must have convinced them that the Spirit of the Lord was once more with them.
Ezra found the spiritual strength he needed through prayer and fasting. He was willing to sacrifice his own needs—and encourage others to do the same—to extol and honour God.
The temple was the last thing to be destroyed when the nation fell into captivity. It was the last holdout, if we may put it that way, of the Spirit of God. It is the last place (the temple representing the spirit) to be destroyed in an individual’s failure to relate to their God. The temple is also the first place where God begins to set about the work of restoration.
It is each individual minister’s job to build God’s temple properly. We must recognize that we can only build properly through the law—God’s spiritual law. We cannot build through our own human reasonings. We must construct God’s way. We must learn how to let God’s Spirit guide us! Learning to be led by God’s Holy Spirit does need time, effort and patience. God will guide us, but we must not become overconfident that God is guiding all of our thoughts and actions. God is never delinquent in His want to guide us—BUT WE CAN FAIL TO FOLLOW GOD’S LEAD!