Tuesday after the Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity Sunday
Scripture: Haggai 1:1-15 (NKJV)
1 In the second year of King Darius, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying, 2 “Thus speaks the Lord of hosts, saying: ‘This people says, “The time has not come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built.”‘”
3 Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, 4 “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?” 5 Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways!
6 “You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes.”
7 Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways! 8 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. 9 “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. 10 Therefore the heavens above you withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit. 11 For I called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine and the oil, on whatever the ground brings forth, on men and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.”
12 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 feared the presence of the Lord. 13 Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, spoke the Lord’s message to the people, saying, “I am with you, says the Lord.” 14 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, 15 on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month, in the second year of King Darius.
Today’s reading from Haggai picks up where yesterday’s reading from Ezra left off: “the second year of King Darius.” About a decade and a half had gone by since the rebuilding of the Temple had ceased. There is no record of the people of Israel ever petitioning the king to restart the rebuilding process. Instead, they had become content with life without the Temple. They had their own houses while the Temple lay “in ruins.”
Again, it is God Who takes action by instructing Haggai the prophet to bring His Word to the people. As is always the case, God begins with His Word of Law, “Consider your ways!” Their “ways” were lives of complacency. They thought they really didn’t need God though His desire was for them and their repentance. He wanted to shower His blessings upon them.
So it is with life, today. People pay lip service to God but are far more content with the things of this world. However, seek after those things which “moth and rust cannot destroy,” and in time they do. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Only the Word of God lasts forever. “Moth and rust” cannot destroy the Word for “the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
All our hopes and dreams are bound up in Jesus. That was the message to the people in the day of Haggai the prophet. Their lives were at all times to be focused on the true God Who provided their every need.
We pray: Dear Lord, graft into our hearts the love of Thy Name and keep us in the same. Amen.