Around 600 years before Jesus, the kingdom of Judah was taken into exile to Babylon. The city of Jerusalem was ransacked and laid waste. Seventy years later, the Jews were allowed to come back and rebuild their lives. The Lord told them to rebuild the temple, but when they got back, other things took priority. God sent Haggai to the Jews with a timely sermon. REBUILD THE TEMPLE! Haggai’s sermon, from thousands of years ago, is still applicable to God’s people today.
Take a moment and read Haggai 1. It is only fifteen verses and will only take a few minutes… I’ll wait right here for you while you read and then point out a few things to note.
Did you notice?
Verse 1: Haggai preaches to Zerubbabel, the governor and to Joshua, the high priest.
Verse 2: The people thought that the time was not right for them to rebuild the Lord’s house
Verses 3-4: The people got too busy rebuilding their own houses and not the house of the Lord.
Verse 5: The Lord challenges them, “Consider your ways!”
Verse 6: Their lives have not been going well at all. They plant their gardens in abundance, but they hardly harvest anything at all. They eat their meals but they are not really full. They drink, but they are still thirsty. They put on their clothes and bundle up, but they are still cold. Those that are working and earning a paycheck are putting it into an account that is losing money.
Verse 7: The Lord challenges them further, “Consider your ways!”
Verse 8: The Lord tells them to get busy on what is most important, the temple!
Verse 9: When they work on their own houses, the Lord causes counter-productivity all because what was most important was being neglected.
Verse 10-11: The Lord caused a drought because of this misappropriation of funds and priorities.
Verse 12: The message from Haggai made an impact, and Zerubbabel and Joshua and all the people obeyed and showed reverence to the Lord.
Verse 13: The Lord declares through Haggai that He is with the people, now.
Verses 14-15: The people put their repentance in action and begin rebuilding the temple showing they had their priorities in the right order.
Does this apply to us? Sure it does!
In our current situation, we are not even meeting in a building for worship, but instead, secluded to our homes. But we still need to hear, “Consider your ways”. While we don’t have a physical temple to rebuild, nor even a physical church building that is laying in waste, we are guilty of letting other material things that don’t matter take precedence over spiritual matters.
Are we guilty of saying, “The time has not come…” to focus on the spiritual?
Are we guilty of saying, “We will serve the Lord later?”
“When I finish my own work, then I can serve.”
“When I get done with school, then I can focus more on the Lord.”
“When I get my kids raised, then we will be able to work harder.”
“When I pay off my car, or house, or credit cards, then I will give to the Lord at least ten percent.”
“When I get all my other responsibilities handled, then I’ll have the time to devote.”
Are things not going the way they should or how you hoped? Consider your ways!
Is there a drought in the land? Consider your ways!
If we put the Lord first, He will provide all of what we need.
Matthew 6:33 –“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
I love you,