Then the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now, therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways. You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.
“Thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways. Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the LORD. You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the LORD of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house. Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce. And I have called for a drought on the land and the hills, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the ground brings forth, on man and beast, and on all their labors.” (Haggai 1:3-11)
I’ve been chewing on this passage for weeks now—God, through Haggai, speaks the to Israelites, telling them to “consider [their] ways.” Looking at the charges that God levels against them, a pattern emerges.
The people were consistently putting their own needs above their commitment to the Lord. They were building their own houses, but neglecting the Temple. They were taking care of the stuff of life, but not the things of God.
If we had to be honest, how much would this describe us? What do our schedules, our bank accounts, our reading habits, our entertainment say about us?
Speaking only for myself (obviously), the last few months have been a weird whirlwind of craziness. Lots of good work, good opportunities… overall, a very fruitful season. However, I’ve also found that because there’s been an incredible amount of stress, it’s been completely messing with my priorities (to the degree that I feel a lot of the specifics of Haggai’s rebuke hit a little too close to home). And it’s not something that’s acceptable, especially when I see Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:33: “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”
Regardless of the season of life, this is the call. We’re not to spend our time busying ourselves with our own houses at the expense of what God requires of us. We do not seek our own kingdoms, but seek His kingdom first. “All these things”—the stuff of life that you need—”will be added to you.”
Question—what’s this season of your life been like? Who’s kingdom, who’s house, would you say you’re busying yourself with?