Haggai 1:1 – In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying,
Haggai 1:2 – Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD’S house should be built.
Haggai 1:3 – Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying,
Haggai 1:4 – Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste?
Haggai 1:5 – Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.
Hello readers, last blog of 2019. I have rarely read Haggai, but was reading it the other day and for this blog I will be talking about when God’s house is left waste. That’s what Judah did… and the key theme from this book is God telling them to consider their ways because they left his house waste, while they got about their lives the temple was left in ruins. This book is also fitting as a conclusion to the year, because in it is reflection and God making a change. From this day forward. But was God’s house left waste in 2019 by you? It is best to read Haggai for yourself because I will basically be referring to the whole book… it is a small book… but with a big message that still rings true today.
God had caused Judah to return to the land after captivity. So they’d busied themselves with life back in the land… yet they’d neglected the temple of God. They got about all aspects of life, but neglected what mattered most. The temple was central to life in Judah, bringing their sacrifices, getting right with God, serving and worshipping God. But they didn’t think it was time to rebuild the temple. As a result everything they did was cursed. Today is a call to get your priorities in life right. You can be busy with work, pleasure, sport, pursuits, ambitions, whatever they may be, and they may not even be wrong… but you’ve neglected what matters most. If you are not saved, you have neglected your very soul… you are in trouble with God, a footstep away from hell. What’s the use of getting rich here, and having a good business, yet dying and going to eternal hell? What’s the use of being rich, yet being full of bitterness, envy, lust, pride and self? Isn’t who you are more important than what you have?
Naturally we often make the order as ourselves first and God after. But Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 – But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. They left God’s house waste. So often we can go on with our lives but the house of God be neglected. Time can go by, and then God’s word comes to us, and we can look back and see year after year of abandonment and neglect of what mattered. And as a result we see waste, cursing, vanity, emptyness and barrenness. If you are saved, you are the house of God, because the house of God is believers, of which the physical temple in Jerusalem was a picture. However, so often we neglect repentance, prayer, turning to God, waiting on God, obeying God, putting God first in our lives. Hebrews 3:6 – But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end. The Bible also says in Hebrews 2:3 … How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation… we have a tendency to neglect and put off what actually matters. Many just neglect salvation full stop, rejecting the free gift of forgiveness and eternal life. They’re happy with themselves, they don’t see a need for God… they’re happy leaving his house waste.
You see, everything else is ultimately vanity. This chapter of Haggai shows that although they built, and sowed, and planted, and did this and did that… it was not blessed. What are all these things without the blessing of God, without being right with God anyway? You can have and do and be everything, but without God it’s empty, meaningless, purposeless. Materials and circumstances of life are temporal and passing, but your soul is eternal. They said the time is not come to build it (the Lord’s house). They knew they should build it… but they were too busy. Some other time. How often we put off into the future what we should do now. The time is not come to obey God, the time is not come to believe, the time is not come… how easily we say the time is not come to the things of God.
… Yet the time is always come when it comes to ourselves right. Look what God said… is it time for you to dwell in your cieled houses? So they’d prepared their own houses, but not the Lord’s house. The temple was waste, but they’d worked pretty darn hard on their own homes. And God did not bless them, and for all their efforts, they were in vain. This isn’t the prosperity gospel, but God had made promises to the children of Israel, his earthly nation (we are a heavenly people), if they obeyed and followed him they were blessed, if not they were cursed (and that’s why they spent so much time in captivity, because they kept forsaking God!). And in the same way, in our lives, if we neglect God, spiritually we will be barren and bankrupt, our lives won’t be fruitful or profitable or relevant. Our efforts, not matter how earnest, no matter how well intentioned, no matter how diligent, no matter how zealous, if we’ve neglected God… it will be all failure.
Look at the land, the rain was withheld, the droughts came, there was famine, they sowed but brought in little, they ate but were not full… the land was unfruitful. It is a lesson to the nation that we live in, there are so many nations that have abandoned God, even if just his principles, and these nations cannot expect to be blessed and protected by and provided for by God. So often we neglect the Lord’s house. We can go day after day, week after week, year after year and not read our Bibles, not obey him, not start actually living the life. They knew intellectually that they should build the house, but they never got to doing it. They procrastinated it, they had more important things to do… and looking back at this year that’s just about done, you can think… wow where did that time go, and another year where I did not remember my Creator in the days of my youth. Time goes so quick. Our lives are a vapor that appears for a time then vanishes away. A work worth doing is building the Lord’s house. It’s getting saved yourself and dedicating your life to God, putting God first, getting in his word, telling others the gospel. Make sure you are right with God, that is what matters, and that will flow into all aspects of your life, both personally and towards others. John 7:38 – He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. Look at how the land suffered and how barren and unfruitful, all because they’d neglected the Lord’s house… where you are at spiritually will affect and flow into every aspect of your life, be it good or bad.
What’s more remarkable is that the people heard what Haggai said, and did something about it! Zerubbabel’s spirit was stirred. Does God’s word stir your spirit? If it doesn’t, it’s a good indicator you are not saved, or at best cold towards God. And God said he was with them. You see, if you ever get a heart to obey God, he will be with you. They didn’t think their work was that great compared to the former house. But God said the glory of the latter house would be greater than the former. What does this teach us? If you obey God it may seem like nothing. But when it’s nothing is when God gets the glory. You may have lived a life of sin, continually fail, be a complete failure in your eyes, but if you give that little to God, God will be able to make it great. God will make your life matter. Here they were wasting time (right?) building the Lord’s house, yet from this flowed blessings and precious promises from God. It may seem stupid, a waste of time, pointless to obey God, to get right with him, but it will pay in the future. Now is the time. They had put it off year after year, but they’d neglected what mattered. And when they started working on it, it didn’t seem nearly as great as the house that was before the Babylonian invasion. You may compare your life to others and it looks pathetic, but just wait on God, remember, it’s all about him anyway… when it’s about you and your glory, you’ve missed the whole point anyway.
So Judah listened to God’s word and got to building the house. Spirits were stirred, hearts were moved, and they mobilized. Oh for people that would hear God’s word and respond to it. Even if it’s from the ground up as this was. You can have nothing and be nothing and just start believing and obeying God. They hadn’t been right with God and it tainted everything they did. Their sin pervaded every aspect of their life, it made the land barren and unfruitful. That’s what your life will be when you put God last on your “to do” list. It seems fitting for the final blog of 2019 that God said… from this day I will bless you. Why not make this a time to build the house of the Lord? Get your priorities right, repent of your sin, turn to Jesus Christ.
Yes they were unclean, unworthy, unsuitable… and so are we. It’s because of God’s grace and love and mercy and longsuffering that any of us get saved and have the ability to obey him and live for Christ. You can make a change today, it doesn’t need to be a new year’s resolution, it can be just like Daniel, determining in your heart not to defile yourself with the king’s meat. This world is going to hell, it hates Jesus Christ… it is full of darkness… and it’s king, though he offer the choicest meat, will only weaken you and cheat you out of God’s best for your life. Judah had been cursed because of their neglecting of what mattered, because of their disobedience, because of their indifference, because of their procrastination. If you consider your ways, as God told them to, you will see a life that is dedicated to self first is ultimately unfulfilling, it is ultimately vanity, it is ultimately waste. Look back at 2019, you may even be pleased with yourself, but truly how undone, worthless and how irrelevant is everything that was for you and your glory.
It is possible to make a change… when God makes a change. Change started with God’s word, and they heard it and did something with it. It didn’t seem like much as they got to work, but God was with them, and he promised it’d be even better. You may see the good that God has wrought in other lives, and think that couldn’t possibly be you. You may see heroes of the faith, that cloud of witnesses spoken of in Hebrews 12:1… and you couldn’t possibly do what they did. But they were humans like you and I, and we can also hear God’s word and obey it, and get to work. It is the Lord’s house that matters. Get your house in order. Your body is likened to a house, but if Christ is not in your house, building it… you’re building in vain. Your life is a body of work which if built to the neglecting of Christ, is a house that won’t stand. Get your life in order starting with God first. If you are saved you are the Lord’s house, you are a habitation of God through his Holy Spirit that dwells in you. Don’t neglect salvation, don’t neglect a life of putting God first, hearing his word and obeying him. God can make a real change in a life that was previously barren, unfruitful, unprofitable, vain and waste. From this day forward. God himself said to Haggai to the people… consider now from this day and upward. It is important to obey God. We don’t have to work for God’s blessing, we are blessed if we believe in him who is blessed forever… the Lord Jesus Christ.
Judah had been wasted by the Babylonians because of their neglect for God. Yet God had brought them back, and they still neglected God. It’s so easy to go back to our old ways. God’s pretty longsuffering huh? Why do we keep going back to the same old sins? It’s because we need God’s grace. God with you. God lets things happen in our lives so we will turn to him, that’s what he said to Judah. God said how the vine, the fig, the olive, the pomegranate had not yet brought forth previously… but now they would, for He said that from this day will I bless you. A life that’s saved isn’t just life, but life more abundantly. It may seem like loss to repent of your sin, to obey God, to get saved, to live as a Christian in this world… but God will bring forth things in your life that will never be there outside of salvation and obedience. God said to Zerubbabel when speaking of a future time when God would shake and overthrow kingdoms that he’d make him as a signet. What is a signet? It is a seal, a bit like a signature today, to give authentication to a document or something. You see, if you believe in God and obey him, your life will be authenticated by God. And your life will be a witness and seal of God’s truth and faithfulness to others. Getting saved is the wisest thing you will ever do, and then following God in faith. At the moment it may not seem like it pays, but in the future it will be shown… just like when Job wished his words were written in a book. He knew he was saying right, but he couldn’t yet prove it, or it be verified, so he wanted it recorded so time would tell. And time has told and will yet tell that it is worth it to put God first.
At the end of the year and God says, consider your ways. God asks you the question of why you’ve been building and doing and living while his house lies waste. While you’ve abandoned, neglected, and refused his word. While you set everything in order without Christ. You count him as nothing as irrelevant, you neglect the only thing that should not be neglected. Was God’s house left to waste? Was your life this year another life minus God. Another year that was barren and fruitless. Sure you spent in on yourself, but it lacked the blessing of God, though he was good to you. How good God had been to them, back in the land after all they’d done! Back in the land sowing and reaping even while the temple laid in ruin. No sacrifices, no worship, no mind to hear of God and obey him and honor him in their lives. It’s so easy to go by with God out of our lives, at the back of our minds… somewhere sorta there, but we’ve got more pressing matters, better things to do, more important things to do. But this land was groaning, because they’d rejected the Creator. Remember thy Creator in thy youth the Bible says. We have a chance to make a change… from this day forward. It’s so good that God gives us a chance to look back, to reflect, to consider, he pleads with you and I today to put him first, to get our house in order this day. Thank you very much for reading my blogs this year, I hope it’s been a blessing to you, it is possible to get right with God, to make a change… God is willing, but are you?
Hi, my name is Joseph Zadow. I am a 30 y/o Bible Blogger. I was new to blogging once! God's word is the best thing that we can be given, and once we have it and know it for ourselves it is both a privilege and responsibility to bring it to others! We are blessed to be a blessing! I am a sinner (for sure!) saved by God's grace through faith in Jesus Christ and I am a Lord Jesus Christ follower. He is faithful even though I rarely am to him. I believe the Bible is the word of God, and stake my life on it. My destination is heaven. As they say, I'm just a passin' through this world... although most of the time it's more like hangin' by a thread in Jericho! I love playing sports - particularly cricket... I currently work on an orchard and a side hobby business of mine is growing vegetables etc - they are good for you! I love writing. Always happy to talk, so feel free to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or comment on my blog, whatever suits. You can read more about me and my blog here - kjvbibletruth.com/about. :)