“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 1:9
Does this sound familiar?
I’m spinning my wheels.
I can’t seem to get ahead.
Two steps forward, three steps back.
When Israel faced a similar circumstance, God said there was a reason for the frustration and wasted effort. In fact, He said He was behind it.
Mixed up priorities.
His recommendation: Consider your ways. Look at what’s happening. Take a good, hard look at your life. See the connection?
This message was for a generation who had grown up in Babylon. Just like the generation who came out of Egyptian slavery, God had to patiently instruct them about who He was and what it meant to be one of His people. They needed to learn things like you shall have no other gods before me, and you won’t put your own success or prosperity or comfort ahead of worship.
It’s not that God is like a petulant five-year-old who demands our undivided attention. (Although He would be just in requiring it and receiving it.) The Temple represented His presence. He wanted Israel to have such an intense desire for His presence that Temple building was at the top of their agenda. There was a reason He wanted them to desire His presence.
He wanted to respond to them by filling the place with His glory and His peace.
We are a generation who needs His instruction more than we’d admit. Unlike Israel, we don’t have to resort to a physical building to experience God’s presence. Through the work of Jesus Christ, He lives within us. Now. All the time.
Just like in Haggai’s day, we have trouble mustering that desire for Him. Like Israel, we are easily distracted by the pursuit of success, prosperity, and comfort. So we hinder His plan to fill us with His glory and His peace.
Maybe it’s time we take Haggai’s message to heart. Maybe it’s time to consider our ways. It’s time to consider my own ways.