“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.’”
God frequently spoke to the prophets in the Old Testament, as He did with Haggai. In the second year of the reign of King Darius, God spoke to Haggai to rebuke the people for their misplaced priorities. The verse above is an excerpt from God’s rebuke.
God’s people had been putting off the project of rebuilding the temple, saying it wasn’t time yet. Instead, they continued to put their time and energy into their own homes, while the Lord’s temple remained in ruins. There are many reasons why the people kept making excuses.
Perhaps they didn’t have the money it would take to rebuild the temple, as the verse above might indicate. Perhaps the land was still desolate. Or it could even be due to the people’s laziness, and they knew the work would be difficult. Regardless of the reason or excuse, God was unhappy about it.
Haggai spoke to the people to show them the error of their ways. “You have planted much but harvested little.” Haggai reveals to the people that they are facing setback after setback and financial difficulty because they are not receiving God’s blessings. He says, “You drink but never have your fill,” telling us that the people are not satisfied because their priorities are wrong. By focusing on themselves, nothing will ever satisfy them. In order to be satisfied, the people must shift their priorities from themselves onto God.
Have you ever been like God’s people in the first chapter of Haggai? Are you ever felt like no matter what you do, you’re still measuring short? No matter how hard you work, you don’t have enough to pay the bills? Maybe you find yourself still hungry or thirsty? If you feel like you can relate, maybe you’ll find that your priorities have been wrong. Perhaps you have been too self-centered and focused on yourself rather than God’s needs. While today God is not calling us to rebuild his temple, he still does need us to work for him and his Kingdom. Obey God’s calling and listen to him.
Please don’t let me become like the people described in the first chapter of Haggai. Help me not to be so self-centered that I am unable to hear your voice and to follow your commands. Allow me to hear your call, deny myself, and follow you.
In Jesus’ Name,