The Call to Build God's House
“Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple,
that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,” Says the LORD.” – Haggai 2:8
There are many people who start well and spend their energy but they do not finish well and see the true reward of their labor. At some point in the process, the fallen human nature often gets distracted or discouraged or disinterested in the work that their hands set out to do. This is why we all need daily encouragement and strong exhortation from those who are staying close to God and walking in step with Him.
Haggai was a voice of encouragement to give God's people what they needed to hear. He was a man of God called to give the Word of God to the people of God to continue the work of God for the glory of God. These people were held captive by a godless people who took them captive for a period of 70 years. They were a mixture of young and old who were ready to return home and begin a new life. They were eager to see their temple rebuilt and the holy life of their community rekindled.
So they went to work, but after only a couple of years, they got weary and started gravitating toward their own personal agendas and selfish ambitions. Their new liberty and freedom left them with the option of being able to choose how they would spend their time and they chose to invest in their own homes before restoring the house of God. As a result, they grew comfortable in their luxurious paneled houses which they had not been accustomed to while they were living in captivity. They chose their own path...and the work of God ceased.
How tragic it is when the people of God cave in and give in to their own fleshly desires. They were finally free to live however they wanted to live and their sinful nature wound up being stronger than their desire to serve and please God. Instead of being concerned about what would please and glorify God, they chose to focus on their temporal possessions instead of the eternal purpose of God.
So at this time, Haggai comes like an alarm clock to spiritually wake up God's people!
For four months, Haggai caused them to stop and told them to "Consider your ways." He helped them to see that they were no longer being blessed by God. Their wages were being wasted away as if their bags had holes in them. They were sowing in their fields but not bearing any real fruit. They were eating and drinking but they were NOT satisfied.
Why was this happening? Because they had forgotten their greater purpose and their God given identity as the people of God called to build the house of God.
Does this scene not reveal the present condition of our times? There are far too many of God's people who are lazy in the work of God and are even bored with the lives they are living. We must not neglect our personal responsibilities BUT there is still so much that God wants to do in and through our lives and to fulfill a purpose truly worth living for.
Jesus once said to His disciples, “Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, FOR THEY ARE ALREADY RIPE FOR THE HARVEST!” (John 4:35)
We just need to LIFT UP our eyes and SURRENDER our hearts and God will work in and through us! GO OUT...and GATHER in the wood (the lost and weary souls) that are needed to build up the house of God.
- What do you most long to see in your generation? What are you praying for?
- Is your answer related to God's heart and purpose pertaining to His Church?
- Where do you personally spend your best energy and efforts? Is it worth it?
- Are you prioritizing God's work over and above all other things? START TODAY!!