that time the prophets Haggai and Zechariah son of Iddo prophesied to the Jews
So the Jewish elders continued their work, and they were greatly
encouraged by the preaching of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah son of Iddo.
Sometimes the Old Testament can be
a little confusing in the order and the overlap between historical records and
the prophets that served during such times. Such is the case involving the
return of the exiles from
The group that went back to
Then the Lord sent this message through the prophet Haggai: "Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins? This is what the Lord of Heaven's Armies says: Look at what's happening to you! You have planted much but harvest little. You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty. You put on clothes but cannot keep warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes! -- Haggai 1: 3-6 (NLT)
Look at what is happening to you! Have we ever gotten to this place in our walk as well? Where we are seemingly never satisfied? Where our harvest seems meager and things have gone cold? It may be time to examine our relationship with the temple versus our relationship with our own paneled houses. God does not want second place in our lives beloved. Nothing can be right in our lives if our relationship is wrong. It can be a very long walk sometimes. It is easy to become distracted by life. Our career, family, or even ministry can require so much of our attention that the temple is falling into disrepair. We got that big promotion at work but we don't read the Bible every day anymore. We have our daily family time scheduled but no daily worship time. We make sure that everyone sees how committed we are in our ministry but if they only knew the lack of commitment in our prayer life. What we fail to realize is that it is the relationship with God that is more important in every area of our lives. The closer we are to God the better we can hear that still small voice when it comes to our career decisions. The family is strengthened by an active relationship with God. Ministries will only stand the test of time if they are rooted in God. Paneled houses may look nice but if they lack God they will not survive the storm:
But anyone who hears my teaching and doesn't obey it is foolish, like a person who builds a house on sand. When the rains and floods come and the winds beat against that house, it will collapse with a mighty crash." -- Matthew 7: 26-27 (NLT)
We need to make sure the state of our temple is right before God. To get our attention God will use different people and different styles. Too often these days we see people espousing a "my way or the highway" mentality when it comes to their particular theological bent. As most know, I am a stickler for proper theology. The Apostle Paul warned Timothy to guard only two things -- his life and his doctrine. As a minister I am even more careful because one day I will stand before Jesus to explain what I did with the Gospel and every careless Word I uttered. Proper doctrine is crucial. That does not mean however that there is not room for differing styles for delivering the uncompromised Gospel of Jesus Christ. I have heard the lament from people that this preacher is too hard or that one is too soft. This one doesn't tell enough stories and that one tells too many. This one likes to run around a lot and that one is more of a stoic teacher. God made us all different but only one version of the Gospel. That means as long as the message is uncompromised, the messenger should not matter.