Haggai 1:5-6 “Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Give careful thought to your ways. 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.
“‘You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?’ declares the Lord Almighty. ‘Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house. Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops. I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the oil and whatever the ground produces, on men and cattle, and on the labor of your hands.’” (vs. 9-11)
Because God’s people forsook the task that the Lord gave them we see the consequences. God says: “Give careful thought to your ways.” We see the consequences in Haggai’s days, but what about ours?
Look at the economic downturn in the Western world. Runaway debt that we are drowning in, inflation (hidden tax) that leaves us with little left (wages in a purse with holes in it), and we never seem to get ahead or keep our heads above water. “Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house.”
Because the house of the Lord was being neglected in Haggai’s time we see the result upon nature – no dew or rain for the crops, drought that affects all crops, animals (cows, sheep) and people – their livelihood. What do we have in the West today? Out of control unemployment, government entitlements that will eventually sink the Western countries, and calamities that have come upon us costing billions of dollars.
Haggai gave God’s message to God’s people in his time and I think that is also relevant for us today. “Give careful thought to your ways.” What Haggai was bringing out is that the reason all of these things coming upon the nation of Israel was “because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house.”
So what does this mean today in the 21st century? We come back to 2 Chronicles 7:14 “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Since we are building the temple out of living stones, so that we are each a part of the temple, we need to ask ourselves: Are we ready to be fitted into the temple?
Remember when the Old Testament temple was being built there was no sound of any building tool heard within the building. “In building the temple, only blocks dressed at the quarry were used, and no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool was heard at the temple site while it was being built.” (1 Kings 6:7)
Since we, the church of born again believers, are the living stones are we allowing the dressing (cutting and polishing) to take place? Could this be what Chronicles 7:14 means by humbling ourselves? Are we allowing the Divine tools that the Lord uses to cut us down to size, polish us to get us ready to fit in just like it was with the Old Testament temple? Are we individually moving towards sanctification, working out what the Lord has worked in us? Are we humbling ourselves before Him?
We are told to seek His face, but again what does that mean practically? Could it be what Haggai told the Jewish people 2500 years ago? This is what the Lord Almighty says: “‘Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,’ says the Lord.” (Haggai 1:7-8)
It would seem to me that if I am seeking His face that it means I would be seeking His will, His desire, etc. What is His will? First, His will is to believe in the One that He has sent – the Lord Jesus Christ, and secondly, it means to GO. Where? To go to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the to the ends of the earth. In seeking His face He will show and reveal to us where to go. For me it was to go to the ends of the earth, but for others it might be their neighbors, fellow workers, or students, etc. But, we are each commanded to GO with the good news of His Gospel, teaching the Word of God and making disciples after Him!
If we fulfill our part, the Lord will fulfill His: “I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” May we see this happening in our own lands for His glory and coming Kingdom. May we have Kingdom Thinking!