May 4, 2011

Minor Prophets LXXXIII: The Proper Time Is When God Says It Is

In Haggai 1:2 the people were speaking and in Haggai 1:3-11 God responds.

Verse 2 simply states that the people believed that “the time has not come, even the time for the house of the LORD to be rebuilt." The Lord had something else to say about it though. the Lord sends through Haggai a call to the people to “give careful thought to their ways” because they had “planted much and harvested little”. They “ate but never had enough”, “drank but never had their fill”, “earned wages only to put them in a purse with holes”. God was essentially challenging the people through Haggai about their priorities and asking them a rhetorical question about what appears to be a poverty-stricken existence that they are living in.

The clinching statement in the challenge is verse 4. He asks them if it is time for them to be living in paneled houses, “while this house remains a ruin”. God is referring to the Temple which had not been repaired or rebuilt since coming back to Jerusalem from captivity because people appeared to be focusing on themselves and their destitute condition (spiritual and economic). The irony of the “paneled” statement is that God was saying these people had lavished so much, time, effort and finances to their own homes that they were paneled…like Solomon’s Temple use to be (1 Kings 6:9, 7:3-cedar panels).

Because of these things the Lord states through His prophet that “the sky has withheld its dew and the earth has withheld its produce.” He will call “for a drought on the land, on the mountains, on the grain, on the new wine, on the oil, on what the ground produces, on men, on cattle, and on all the labor of your hands."

We then see a totally unorthodox repsonse from Judah.

It is a response we are not use to seeing from them. They obey. Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD. Wow! Via Haggai the Lord tells His people, “I am with you" . He the proceeds to stir the spirit of Zerubbabel, Joshua and the spirit of all the remnant of the people to work on the house of the Lord.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...