HAGGAI 1:1-11 – In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest: “Thus says the LORD of hosts: These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the LORD.” Then the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, “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.
THEME OF THE DAY. PROCRASTINATION AND MISPLACED PRIORITIES. We must admit that sometimes reading the Old Testament is “hard sledding.” For instance, we come into the book of Numbers and there is a lot of desert and barrenness. And all of us have experienced the difficulty in the visions and wheels in Ezekiel. It doesn’t get a whole lot easier in the Minor Prophets Yet, the Old Testament is rich and instructional. Don’t abandon it as irrelevant, boring, or too hard to understand. The Spirit of God will bring its truth to bear on our souls if we diligently give our time and effort to study this precious portion of God’s Word. And a couple of those truths are found in today’s scripture taken from the little book Haggai.
The scripture in today’s nugget is riveting. It is also cutting to the souls of sensitive 21st century Christians. There are two things revealed in God’s people that have been experienced and are challenges faced by His people through history. Actually, they are two sins exposed and both extremely dangerous to Christians. Why? The ease of tolerating them. In the opening of the chapter, God speaks to His children through the prophet Haggai and says, “Thus says the LORD of hosts: These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the LORD.” Then the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?” What is the LORD exposing? The sin of procrastination. He is basically saying, “So, you are settled into your own nice lifestyle and housing while My things, particularly, My temple is being neglected.” Please go back and read the full rendition of the LORD’s indictment on His people for procrastinating in doing His work. It is very revealing and will hit home to each of us.
The Lord also exposes the sin of misplaced priorities. Later in the text, He would say, “My house lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house.” We may interpret our LORD’s words like this, “So, you have no time for me and my things? You are so busy with your house that there is no time for mine.” Think on this for a moment. Misplaced priorities in life will only lead to a wasted life and full of regrets. But it need not be. The grace that exposes our sins of procrastination and misplaced priorities is also the grace that will help us overcome them. And that overcoming may start right now, today.
PRAYER: “Father, forgive me when I put off known commands living more me-centered than You-centered.”
QUOTE: “The dangers found in the sins of procrastination and misplaced priorities are the ease in doing them”