The Bible is very clear in telling us, how God spoke to the fathers by the Prophets. Hebrews 1:1-2a. Because we are living in a greater age and mode of revelation, there is a temptation to forget and neglect what God has spoken in the past. We should treasure all of Gods words and what He has said.
Prophecy in the O.T. was a definite act of God, where He chose specific individuals to speak through. Prophecy was no random thing. There were specific points in time when God chose to speak, and He did, which is why we often have dates tied to the time of the prophecy. Peter describes Gods motioning of the Prophets in this way.
2 Pet 1:20-21 ESV
Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation, 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.
The Prophets were under Gods authority and were commanded to speak what God had given them. Though they weren’t allowed to add to or take away from the message, they weren’t robots in the operation, but God used their faculties, their minds, words, emotions. Their styles differed somewhat, though it was the same God speaking through them.
The Prophets were always sent to go speak to a specific people. Sometimes individuals, but also to whole nations. Sometimes they were sent to leaders who were enemies of Gods people and those who didn’t even know God, such as the Pharoah’s.
Prophecy is more than just predicting the future. Though that was a part of what they did. They also spoke directly to their times, and situations involving the people. Forthtelling= the things currently on Gods heart for His people. And also addressing their current spiritual state.
The hearts of the people are laid bare and opened before them, as God was showing them He knew what was on their hearts. Hebrews 4:12-13. The people often don’t see things as they really are. In the case of Haggai they were being overly negative. They didn’t see the great things God was planning for them. They were comparing their present with the past glory days, and missing the present.
We are mistaken, if we think the Prophet’s messages were only doom and gloom. Their was also much comfort offered to the people of God, and strong encouragement to do the Lords work, with the promise of Gods presence with them.
The covenant God had made with Israel was a promise of His presence that would not be rescinded. To trust in Gods faithfulness is sure ground. When God says, I am the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, this is a covenant name. and a pledge to be the God that was promised, a sure connection with their past.
The kingdoms of this world are all temporary they are simply the scaffold for the everlasting kingdom. Everything is going to be shaken to such a degree, that only the things which cannot be shaken shall remain. Heb 12:26-27.
The Bible is clear, that God will set up His kingdom in Jerusalem and rule and reign on the earth. All nations will flow to Jerusalem to offer tribute and worship to the one seated on the throne. The glory will be restored permanently and will no longer be taken away. The future glory will be greater than the glories of the past.