Now we are twenty years down the road. The foundation of the temple with nothing but a few beginnings of walls has been sitting on the temple mount for two decades. There are young people in Jerusalem who have never seen it look any other way. There are older people who witnessed the laying of the foundation and its celebration, who have long since gone to be with the Lord. What is needed to begin the "new" work again? The Word of the Lord. Zerubbabel and Jeshua, "began to rebuild the house of God ... and the prophets of God were with them, supporting them." (v. 2)
Haggai and Zechariah come on the scene and remind the people of the promises that God had made to them and told them to start living as if they believed them. Look at the courage that gave them. When the government inspectors show up to ask them what is going on and "who they are", they don't identify themselves individually. They identify themselves in relation to their mission. "We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the house." (v. 11) What we do for God will always follow understanding who we are in God. Our activity always follows our identity. The returned exiles had forgotten whose they were and it hindered them in following God. What we do for Jesus will always flow from knowing who we are in Jesus.