Yesterday we started to look at an incident round about 538 -506 BC. Today let us conclude by looking at three more indicators to encourage the best is yet to come.
First, let me ask you what is your ultimate goal in life? (1:5-7 & 2:5-16)
You see it is quite possible to be materially wealthy but spiritually bankrupt. There must be a balance in our lives. Personally, I believe it is wrong to work yourselves to the bone and neglect your spiritual life. Jesus asked, “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?” (Mark 8:36). The problem is not gaining the world, but doing so at the cost of one’s soul.
Again personally let me say I think that is too big a price to pay. I do believe in hard work, the Bible says so. All I am saying, are you building up your soul as much as you are your retirement account?
What do you have to show for all your labour? A nice home? A fancy car? As one quickly discovers, possessions and prosperity in themselves can still make you feel empty and unsatisfied.
Today many have seen their jobs go. The harsh reality of lockdown has shown how vulnerable we are. Our lives need something more than the material world we live in.
We were made to have a relationship with God. It is why we have a soul and unless a person’s soul is alive and well I believe we are experiencing spiritual poverty, no matter how “well off” that person may be.
This was the truth with which the prophet Haggai challenged the Jews who had returned from Babylon (Hag 1:6). For the next decade and a half, they poured themselves into re-establishing an economy at the neglect of God’s temple.
So they began to build houses (1:4), and plant seed in their fields and set up their vineyards again, which required a great deal of hard work.
Nothing wrong with that except Haggai pointed out it was not that the work itself was wrong, but that it should not have priority over the temple which was still in need of repair. You see it is possible to have our priorities all wrong. They were prospering materially, but starving spiritually.
Second Now I do believe you can be prosperous both materially and spiritually. (1:12 -21) When the people realised they went back to repairing the temple. Yes, it took four months but it was well worth it for God poured out His blessing.
Remember our spiritual growth is often likened to a journey. Philippines 1:6 tells us exactly that. We are on a marathon, not a sprint. God wants us to be successful in all we do, so take heart and focus on God first and let God bring us out of our current situation. He alone can restore all things.
Third The best is yet to come. V9
Don’t look back as they did. Once they rebuilt the temple the older people said it is not as good as the old one. (Hag. 2;3). They remembered its beautiful cedar panelling, gold overlay, and other magnificent furnishings. You see by comparison the new temple seemed “as nothing” in their eyes.
The Lord did encourage them to turn their eyes toward the present. He challenged the leaders and the people: “Be strong and work; for I am with you” (2:4). The new structure might not bring back the days of Solomon but it would at least be a building of which they could be proud.
Please let me tell you God is at work today, just as He was at work yesterday. His Spirit remains with us (2:5; John 14:16-17), will talk to the Father, and he’ll provide you with another Friend so that you will always have someone with you. This Friend is the Spirit of Truth.
Just as He was with believers in times past so He is with you today. Do not let the past hinder your future. If we cooperate with what the Spirit is doing, we may bring even greater glory to God and accomplish even greater ministry than has yet been seen.
Stay Safe and Blessed