Haggai was the prophet who challenged God’s people to get involved in a rebuilding process. They had been saying, “The time has not come ... for the house of the Lord to be built,” but he contradicted them with this question: “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” Then he said, “Give careful thought to your ways” (Hag. 1:4-5 NIV). Ezra 1:5 records that the people came out of captivity with good intentions to rebuild the temple. But when persistent opposition arose (Eze. 4), interest in building their own houses replaced their interest in building God’s house.
Is Haggai speaking to us today? Have we become more concerned for our own things than for our Lord’s? Don’t we believe that He’ll repay our efforts to build up His house? Or has the enemy’s opposition convinced us to concentrate on a better job, bigger house, newer car, more money in the bank, and more education before serving the Lord by building up His house?
Haggai went on to tell them and us that many of our personal problems stem from our lack of concern for building His house. He said the more we seek to get ahead, the more behind we get! “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away.” Why? “Because of My house, which remains in ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house” (1:9).
Does Haggai’s rebuking prophecy reach our hearts? Neglect of God’s house is evidence of our neglect of Him as well. True joy only comes when we recognize our selfish condition and get involved in building up “God’s household, which is the Church of the living God” (1 Tim. 3:15). Only then can we experience the real blessing associated with the rebuilding process.
By Larry Ondrejack
With permission to publish by: Sam Hadley, Grace & Truth, 210 Chestnut St., Danville, IL., USA. Website: www.gtpress.org