A: 7:1-3 – Men from Bethel inquire of God at Jerusalem through priests and prophets
B: 7:4-7 – Former attitudes about fasting were wrong because attitudes about all of life were wrong (their question is answered with two more questions)
C: 7:8-10 – A call to a life of righteousness
D: 7:11-14 – The refusal of forefathers to listen, resulting in destruction
E: 8:1-8 – Restoration of Jerusalem from God’s perspective: begins with "jealousy and wrath," ends with with "faithfulness and righteousness."
E’: 8:9-13 – Restoration of Jerusalem from human perspective:
begins and ends with “let your hands be strong.”
D’: 8:14-15 – Unlike their forefathers, God will bring good to this people
C’: 8:16-17 – A call to a life of righteousness
B’: 8:18-19 – Fasts will one day be turned to feasts, so the real task is to love truth and peace (the men from Bethel had been asking the wrong question)
A’: 8:20-23 – Men from all nations will one day inquire of God at Jerusalem through average citizens (a kingdom of priests)
Overall message: God is doing a work that is much greater than simply rebuilding the physical temple, so His people should set their hope and faith toward the future rather than mourning the tragedies of the past.
I'm posting this for two reasons. First, I really benefited spiritually from studying this portion of Scripture and hope that others will also benefit. Second, I am hoping that people who are more knowledgeable than I am about these kinds of things might accidentally read this and offer their thoughts.