Day 255

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Daniel 10:1-12:13, Ezra 4:24-5:1, Haggai 1:1-15

Martha Balkin, Administrative Support
Specifically Haggai 1:2-9

The verses in Haggai deal specifically with the delays occurring during the rebuilding of the temple. When they say that “the time has not yet come for the Lord’s house to be built,” the Lord rebukes the people for their priorities: “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?” (vs. 4)

While it is important to understand the literal story of the temple and the people’s reluctance to put aside their needs and desires to get it built, the English major in me can’t help but read this chapter figuratively as well. How often do we put aside the Lord’s plans and desires for our lives because it’s “inconvenient” to follow His Word? How reluctant are we to sacrifice, to “go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that (He) may take pleasure in it and be honored?” (vs.8)

We put ourselves first time after time, and the results are always the same: we “plant much but harvest little,” we eat and drink but never have enough, we put on clothes but are not warm, and we “earn wages only to put them in a purse with holes in it.” (vs.6)

As long as the Lord’s house “remains a ruin” – neglected and empty — while each of us is “busy with his own house” – going our own way, and storing up our treasures here on earth, we will see our expectations of much turn out to be little or nothing. Only by putting God first and honoring Him will we see the fullness of His glory and grace.

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3 responses »

  1. Thanks, Martha! This makes me consider my “spiritual house” and my “physical house”. I repeatedly concern myself with what is visible to others (my appearance, my possessions, my knowledge, my gifts, being at church, serving, etc) while allowing my spiritual house to fall down around me.
    But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Sam 16:7
    As I strive to keep my physical house in order without thought to my spiritual house, I find absolutely no lasting satisfaction and my efforts exhaust me. God says TWICE in this passage to “give careful thought to your ways”. One warning, I may not hear. Two warnings, I better take heed.
    Father, search me. Bring to my awareness where I have allowed my spiritual house to fall. Where have I used all my resources and energy to build up my appearance at the expense of my heart, Your dwelling place? Help me to build up my spiritual house to find genuine and lasting love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Let this temple be the place where Your glory is pleased to dwell. Amen

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