Day 1--Read: Haggai 2:10
10 On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet,
Reflect: What is the setting of this section of prophecy? Who is in charge?
Consider: DARIUS-- Also known as Darius Hystaspes and Darius the Great, Darius I seized the throne of the Persian empire after the death of Cambyses II. Although he was an Achaemenid, he was from a different branch of the royal family than Cyrus and Cambyses, and his authority was not accepted in all the provinces. After Darius quelled several revolts, however, his power was firmly established, and he turned his attention to expanding the empire. His military campaigns extended Persian borders to the Danube River in the west and to the Indus River in the east, making him ruler of the largest empire the world had known.1
Respond: We know from Daniel 6 that Darius was not always sympathetic towards God’s people. What encouragement can you gain from that fact in light of the fact that God spoke to Haggai during his reign? How can you encourage other believers with this knowledge?
1 Walter A. Elwell and Barry J. Beitzel, “Darius,” Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1988), 578.