“Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes. “Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the Lord. You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house. Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce. And I have called for a drought on the land and the hills, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the ground brings forth, on man and beast, and on all their labors.” (Haggai 1:4-11 ESV)
Haggai writes after much of Judah has returned from exile to a broken down Jerusalem and temple. The people begin to work hard repairing and building their own homes up, perhaps thinking they’ll move on to the temple as soon as their own homes are setup. But their having trouble getting things the way they want them. Their crops aren’t yielding what they hope or expect. Everything seems to cost more than it should and they just don’t seem to be able to get ahead.
The Lord, thigh Haggai, explains that it is because their priorities are backwards. God’s house must come first. Kingdom work must come first. The reason their pockets seem to have holes in them is because God is holding back the crops and causing the disparity between work and yield.
We don’t have a temple in Jerusalem to rebuild today. But we do have a temple to build. The temple today is built of living stones. It is made of people, and the work of building it is the call of every citizen of the Kingdom of God, I.e. every Christian. Jesus instructs us, “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness and all these other things (daily needs) will be given as well.” We must get our priorities in order and trust the Lord for His provision.
How has God gifted you to engage in the building of God’s house?
Pray through the Lord’s prayer with this in mind.
McCheyne’s reading plan: 2 Ch 13, Re 3, Hag 1, Ps 119:97-120