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.