Haggai 1 – 2
The book of Haggai records events that took place in 520 B.C. The foundation of the temple had been laid in 536 B.C. (Ezra 3:8-13), but building stopped because of opposition. In Haggai 1:2, we see that people were making excuses, “The time has not yet come for the Lord’s house to be built.” The people themselves were living in fine houses, but just hadn’t gotten around to building God’s temple. Their priorities were wrong.
God pointed out that He had been undermining the people’s prosperity because they hadn’t made God a priority. Haggai 1:6 tells us, “You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”
Once confronted with this, the people obeyed God and began to work on the temple. The word of the Lord came to Haggai again in chapter 2, where God told Haggai in 2:9, “The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house, says the Lord Almighty…”
Interesting. When Solomon’s temple was dedicated, fire fell from heaven to consume the offering, and God’s shekinah glory appeared so the priests couldn’t enter the temple. The ark of the covenant, the representation of God on earth had been there. But in this new temple, there was no ark of the covenant, no urim or thumim, no fire from heaven, no shekinah glory. So how would this new temple have greater glory than Solomon’s magnificent temple, you may ask. Here’s how: Over 500 years later, Jesus taught in this new Temple.
Further, God promised that starting on that very day, God was going to bless them because of putting one stone on another. In Haggai 2:19, we read, “From this day on I will bless you.” Because they were finally putting God first in their lives.
How are things going for you? Does it seem that you’re working harder and harder, but getting farther and farther behind? Does it seem like your wages go into purses with holes in them? Could it be that you have prioritized enjoying the good life for yourself, but haven’t made serving God the priority you should? Only you can answer these questions.
If this is true for you, I challenge you to rededicate your life to serving God wholeheartedly. He will certainly bless your commitment to Him. Maybe even materially. But ultimately, you will gain a far greater reward – eternal life.
I’m reminded of Joshua 24:15, “But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
May we each say that – and live it.