Come On God, I’m Exhausted!


Message Title: Come On God, I’m Exhausted!
Theme: Strength Through Trials
Season: Ordinary time
Main Text: Haggai 1:15b-2:9
Scripture Reading: Psalm 98
RCL Scripture: Haggai 1:15b-2:9; Psalm 145:1-5, 17-21; Psalm 98; Job 19:23-27a; Psalm 17:1-9; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17; Luke 20:27-38
Focus: Haggai shares God’s words of perspective with Israel.
To grow the habit of turning to God first when we are empty.
Other Notes:
Veterans’ Day & Communion


A psalm.

98 Sing to the Lord a new song
    because he has done wonderful things!
His own strong hand and his own holy arm
    have won the victory!
The Lord has made his salvation widely known;
    he has revealed his righteousness
    in the eyes of all the nations.
God has remembered his loyal love
    and faithfulness to the house of Israel;
    every corner of the earth has seen our God’s salvation.

Shout triumphantly to the Lord, all the earth!
    Be happy!
    Rejoice out loud!
    Sing your praises!
Sing your praises to the Lord with the lyre—
    with the lyre and the sound of music.
With trumpets and a horn blast,
    shout triumphantly before the Lord, the king!
Let the sea and everything in it roar;
    the world and all its inhabitants too.
Let all the rivers clap their hands;
    let the mountains rejoice out loud altogether before the Lord
    because he is coming to establish justice on the earth!
He will establish justice in the world rightly;
    he will establish justice among all people fairly.

SERIES INTRODUCTION: Each year November begins with All Saint’s Day. This month of gratitude starts out by pointing back to those who helped shape our faith. During these last few weeks before Advent starts, we will look at three passages from the prophets. We will listen to their wisdom and hope this wisdom gives us strength to endure life’s trials.

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, ‘I will try again tomorrow.’” – Mary Anne Radmacher


  1. AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT: How do you recharge your proverbial batteries? What do you do when your strength is depleted?
    1. Have you ever come back from a vacation and NOT felt rested?
    1. OR Took too long of a nap and now you feel groggy?

TRANSITION: As we examine this text, we’ll consider exhaustion and turning to God for our source of rest.

MAIN TEXT: Haggai 1:15b-2:9 1:15bon the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month// in the second year of Darius the king. 2:1 On the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the Lord’s word came through Haggai the prophetSay to Judah’s governor Zerubbabel, Shealtiel’s son, and to the chief priest Joshua, Jehozadak’s son, and to the rest of the people: Who among you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Doesn’t it appear as nothing to you? So now, be strong, Zerubbabel, says the Lord. Be strong, High Priest Joshua, Jehozadak’s son, and be strong, all you people of the land, says the Lord. Work, for I am with you, says the Lord of heavenly forces. As with our agreement when you came out of Egypt, my spirit stands in your midst. Don’t fear. This is what the Lord of heavenly forces says: In just a little while, I will make the heavens, the earth, the sea, and the dry land quake. I will make all the nations quake. The wealth of all the nations will come. I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of heavenly forces. The silver and the gold belong to me, says the Lord of heavenly forces. This house will be more glorious than its predecessor, says the Lord of heavenly forces. I will provide prosperity in this place, says the Lord of heavenly forces.


  1. Historical & Biblical Context of Haggai
    1. People:
      1. Darius I – Darius the Great- King of Persia (more about him later)
      1. Haggai- Prophet
      1. Joshua – High Priest, Jehozedek’s son (not the same Joshua as the Battle of Jericho)
      1. Zerubbabel – Governor of Judah, from David & Solomon’s family tree but not considered king.
    1. Dates:
      1. In 587 BC, Judah was conquered by Babylon (3 sieges) and sent into exile. Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, ordered the looting and destruction of the Temple.
        1. We know because of the book of Daniel that the wealthy, skilled, or knowledgeable were also taken to serve in the king’s court while some of the poor laborers were left to tend the land on behalf of the king.
      1. In 539 BC, Babylon was conquered by Persia – Cyrus the Great- became emperor.
        1. 538 BC Jews were able to return to Israel as Persian subjects.
        1. Ezra 6:3-5 says Cyrus released an edict that the Jews should be given funds to rebuild their infrastructure, including the Temple, out of the royal treasury. 
        1. In 530 BC, Cyrus dies & his son Cambyses II rules (530-522)
      1. In 522, Darius overthrows the natural succession and claims the Persian throne. (Haggai 1)
        1. Around 520 BC, the Jews start rebuilding the Temple.
  2. Historical Math:
    1. When the Jews finally get back to Judah, 70 years had passed since the first siege on Jerusalem.
    1. Now, they’ve been home 18 years… and they haven’t rebuilt the Temple yet.
      1. When the Temple is finally finished it’s been 70 years since Solomon’s Temple had been destroyed.


  1. A prophet’s message: Haggai was sent to tell them to stop being self-absorbed and build God’s home too!
  2. Self-Centered: The Jews finally get back to their home town and rebuild their lives. But survival is on their mind, not gratitude. (Honestly, I don’t blame them.)
    1. When they’re finally called out to step up and build a house of worship, they’re disappointed.
    1. It would be easy to say “what a bunch of whiners.” But I can understand where they’re coming from: Things have been HARD and many who returned to Judah were born in exile. They’re FINALLY back. Can’t the just rest a little?
      1. When they finally get back to work, they don’t put their full effort in and are disappointed with the results. They whine about how things USED to be.
  3. God’s promise: God responds with compassion: you may be disappointed by the state of the Temple now BUT there is a time coming when the Temple will be fancier than you’ve ever seen before. (Ezekiel’s perfect Temple PHOTO)
    1. When Israel turns to God for their rest, hope, and plans, they find God’s intentions are even greater than they could imagine.

APPLICATION: To grow the habit of turning to God first when we are empty.

  1. Israel was sent in to Exile as a consequence for not living into God’s Word and not doing sabbath for themselves and the land. They were selfish, greedy, and exploited every resource available. You would think that being kicked out of their home for 70 years would teach them some humility.
    1. You know the phrase “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” It seems like it should be “absence makes you lose perspective.”
    1. Israel needed to recenter their heart on God. – worship, prayer, studying the Word reminds us of God’s love.
  2. CALHOUN — Sabbath – rest centered on God.
    1. Sabbath is God’s gift of repetitive and regular rest. It is given for our delight and communion with God. Time for being in the midst of a life of doing particularly characterizes the sabbath.
      1. Calhoun, Adele Ahlberg. Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us (Transforming Resources) (p. 40). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.
    1. Practice includes:
      1. setting aside time for intimacy with God and others you love resting in God one day per week practicing restful activities: walks, picnics, a Sunday afternoon nap, a phone visit with someone you love, tea or coffee with a friend, family time, games with your kids, love-making letting go of things that stress you out for twenty-four hours letting the difficult conversations happen another day not developing a to-do list for Sunday refraining from competition that moves you into a bad place
        1. Calhoun, Adele Ahlberg. Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices That Transform Us (Transforming Resources) (p. 40). InterVarsity Press. Kindle Edition.
  3. Taking time to rest IN God gives us the grounding and energy needed to carry on every other day of the week.

CONCLUSION: God’s design for our lives is flourishing. God designed work and rest balanced in one good life. When we are empty, we turn to God for rest.

COMMUNION: Lean into God for fruitfulness and rest. The solution isn’t to try harder.

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