Haggai 1:12-15 The LORD Stirs Up Everyone To Build His House.
The idea of the remnant is a motif that runs throughout the scriptures, but it, like a number of ideas related to salvation history, gets more frequent and clearer as that history progresses. Here, near the close of the old covenant era, the remnant motif is very prominent, and it helps explain what happened in the context of the covenant, in particular the blessings and cursings, and how it is that the covenantal relationship continued throughout the generations. Here the prophet Haggai calls those who survived the captivity of Judah as the “remnant of the people,” whom he addresses, along with the political and religious leaders-Zerubbabel and Joshua (v. 12a Cf. Ezra 5:2). We read that these all “obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him; and the people feared the presence of the LORD” (v. 12b).
These words are both the LORD’s and Haggai’s, because God was present in and through him as the one he sent from His Glory-Presence, and the people had a healthy fear or awe of the LORD. Haggai’s words were the LORD’s words, and He addressed them as the covenant LORD saying, “I am with you” (v. 13 Cf. Mt. 28:20; Rom. 8:31). It also was not about them all moving and working on their own, but it actually was the LORD Himself stirring up their spirits so that, “they came and worked on the house of the LORD of hosts, their God” (v. 14). The LORD also stirred up Cyrus king of Persia, whose proclamation gave them a green light for the work (Cf. II Chron. 36:22-23; Ezra 1:1; 5:1ff.; Neh. 4:6). Furthermore, this work was firmly fixed as a specific time in history (v. 15). The LORD is the Lord of history, working all things according to the counsel of His own will.