Opening Scripture:
Haggai 1:2-6
   “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘This people says, “The time has not come, even the time for the house of the Lord to be rebuilt.”’” Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate?” Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways! You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes.”

Israel had lost its sense of urgency for rebuilding the temple.

Forgetting about their captivity, Israel had become complacent with their newfound freedom and prosperity. The Babylonian captivity had purchased a resurgence in Israel’s pursuit of God. Traditions had been reestablished, and they had recommitted themselves to worship.

It’s interesting how much the church seems to thrive in times of great difficulty; perhaps it’s why God tells us to rejoice in struggle and not to fear difficulty.

We see this same trend in our lives:  tremendous effort and focus on God in the difficult times and a slow fade when the struggle has passed. The pressure eases and without the urgency for the things of God we quickly forget the promise, the commitment and the desires made in the difficult times.

It wasn’t just that they neglected the temple, it was that they had preferred other things.

vs. 3-4   Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate?” Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways!

The Jews were not without resources or time, they were without commitment.

Life creeps in and distractions take away our focus, time becomes short, and we loose sight of the greater purpose.

Haggai wasn’t criticizing nice houses or them improving their lives, he was pointing out that they were doing it to the detriment of the temple. They had preferred their desires to those of God.

vs. 5-6  Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways! You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes.”

They were missing the blessing of God because their desires had become more important than God’s desires.

What happens in your heart will effect every other area of your life.

Matthew 6:33   But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Haggai follows with this:

vs. 7-8   “Consider your ways! Go up to the mountains, bring wood and rebuild the temple, that I may be pleased with it and be glorified,” says the Lord.

The temple was in ruins, but God had already provided for the construction. 

Too often we make life harder that it is. Where God leads, God provides. Often the time and resources needed to fulfill God’s call are already there, we just have to commit to His leading.

Haggai records that the people were moved, changed their ways, and rebuilt the temple.

vs. 12-15  Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the Lord their God had sent him. And the people showed reverence for the Lord. Then Haggai, the messenger of the Lord, spoke by the commission of the Lord to the people saying, “‘I am with you,’ declares the Lord.” So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God, on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in the second year of Darius the king.

It is good to be where God is and to be apart of what He is doing.

Haggai 2:9   ‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ declares the Lord of hosts.”

I believe we are at a time of seeing the latter glory become greater than anything we have ever seen, but it will only come whenwe return the kingdom to its rightful place in our lives. When building the kingdom becomes our ultimate priority, “consider your ways.”

Let us begin to rebuild the kingdom that we might experience His blessing and see His glory.

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