At last… God speaks
God, jolt out of me any indifference towards You that has crept in and help me to live by Your priorities.
Read Haggai 1:1–15
 In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest:  This is what the LORD Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the LORD’s house.'”  Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai:  “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”  Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways.  You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”  This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways.  Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the LORD.  “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the LORD Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house.  Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth its crops.  I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil and everything else the ground produces, on people and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.”  Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the LORD their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the LORD their God had sent him. And the people feared the LORD.  Then Haggai, the LORD’s messenger, gave this message of the LORD to the people: “I am with you,” declares the LORD.  So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the LORD Almighty, their God,  on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month. In the second year of King Darius, Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat is the message of the prophet?
August 29, 520 BC: the first time the prophetic Word of God was heard by those returning from exile in Babylon to Jerusalem. Haggai, the prophet, speaks to Zerubbabel, grandson of King Jehoiachin, and Joshua, son of Jehozadak. Obviously, everyone needs to get their own house in order if they’ve just moved back home and everything’s in ruins! This is their top priority (2)! But their misplaced energies have proved fruitless. The Hebrew word for “ruin” (4,9) is similar to the word meaning “drought” (11). Haggai’s repeated challenge (5,7) jolts the people awake. These “returners,” led by the governor and high priest, respond promptly, in sharp contrast to how God’s people responded to prophetic admonitions before the exile (see 1 Kings 22:24). These returners are also repentant. Their obedient response earns them the assurance of God’s presence (13). The rebuilding of the Temple has begun.
What are your priorities this week? How high is God’s call to live his way? Do you “hear” God say, “I am with you”?
Lord, I want to pursue building Your kingdom as the first priority of my life.