Book Review: Haggai, A Time to Build

Haggai: A Time to Build

George Hutcheson

Scottish Heritage, 2021 (ISBN: 9781912042203, 67pp, £5.70)

In 1654, Scotland was under occupation by the forces of General Monck, the acknowledged king was in exile, and political and religious tensions ran high. In this environment, George Hutcheson proclaimed the message of Haggai afresh to his flock, exhorting all of them, whatever the future would hold, ‘to be employed in God’s work’, as ‘the meanest endeavour of the meanest person will be marked and taken notice of by God’. 

Hutcheson’s ‘observations’ upon his text are pithy and faithful. The chief want in the book is a consideration of what the ‘work of God’ is in the church age. We have no physical temple to build as the people of Israel did, as our temple is fixed in the heavens. Building the house of God today is to work on the souls of men, building them like living stones into the new temple, whose glory ‘shall be greater than the former’ (Haggai 2:9). Though Hutcheson does expound upon the glory of the church in commenting on this particular verse, he does not explicitly extend the logic to the nature of the church’s labour.

This issue aside, the short book is a handy aide to the preacher or Bible reader considering Haggai, shedding light from old times. A brief introductory gloss from Matthew Vogan assists in giving some context.  

Edward Keene, Little Shelford