That’s what our Sunday school lesson is about tomorrow. Timely? Have you been reading my posts?
As I dug into the first verse I skipped something important.
The Bible says in Haggai 1:2 “Thus speaks the Lord of hosts, saying: ‘This people says, “The time has not come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built.”’”
Except for in my Sunday school literature it’s in a different translation AND I skimmed over the introductory words. Which means I read the following: ‘The time is not come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built.’
I stopped right after that first verse. See. It’s just not time yet. God is trying to tell me that it will happen in His time, and it isn’t time. I continued reading.
Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?” Haggai 1:3-4
Say what?!?! That’s not what I expected to follow verse two. Perhaps I should go back and re-read it.
Verse two, take two included ALL the words. Guess what? God did NOT say it wasn’t time. The people who were suppose to be doing the work said it wasn’t time to do God’s work and instead did their own work. Sigh. That’s not the message I wanted God to give me. Let’s read on. Maybe He’ll settle this for me in the next verses.
Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways! “You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.” Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways! Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,” says the Lord. “You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?” says the Lord of hosts. “Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house. Haggai 1:5-9
This is Old Testament. This has happened and is historical fact.
Why then, could this very passage be absolute truth about my life? I sow, and sow, and sow, and when I go to reap there’s little to nothing there. We eat. We drink. We have clothes. And that bag with holes? Well, I’ve tried everything I can think of to fill those holes. Could it truly be that I’m missing out on blessings because my priorities are yet again out of whack?
I say “yet again” because I actually analyze this every so often. It’s been almost twelve months since I made the last overhaul. I’ve seen little fruit from that change, and some of the changes I made were great.
Is God speaking to me like He was the Jews? I have called you to rebuild My house. Conflict comes and you run home to rebuild your own home instead? You expect blessings despite your disobedience? Get busy and get building so I may take pleasure and be glorified.
What hard words to hear.
Over the summer I had someone counseling me ask me a question that I struggled with greatly.
I really couldn’t answer it.
“Has God called you to do something that you’ve said “No.” to?”
Sometimes I think I’m supposed to do things for God. Big things. But the truth is I’ve failed in so many small things that I don’t believe I’ve got what it takes to do the big things.
He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least in unjust also in much. Luke 16:10
I take that failure and use it to convince myself that the God-sized tasks I dream about are my thoughts and not inspired by God Himself.
I can’t tell God “No.” to a calling if the calling is simply my own desires echoing in the chambers of my heart.
Yeah, I’m not so sure about that either.
God does come back to encourage Jews in Haggai 2.
Be strong, be strong, be strong, and work. I am with you. Fear not. The glory in this place is going to way better than the one before it, and it will be filled with peace. (My paraphrase of Haggai 2:4-5, 9)
This reminds me Psalm 127.
Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain. Psalm 127:1
In Haggai, the Lord was building the house and He was inviting the Jews into the work with Him.
There may have been conflict come their way, but nothing would overcome the will of God. His house would be built. Do the work and don’t be afraid for I am with you. God didn’t beat around the bush. He didn’t drop hints. He didn’t stand in the shadows waiting for His people to get a clue.
Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,” says the Lord. Haggai 2:8
I’m praying for a Haggai message. A clear set of directions to cut through the confusion in my heart. Is it a God-given calling or just another half-baked idea that sounds good to self?
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