“You have planted much, but have 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.’”
~ Haggai 1:6
Hi James and Ellen,
Do you always finish what you start? Do you like starting something but do not like finishing what you start? Do you like doing something for a time – until you learn how to do it really well, and then you get bored with doing it, you stop doing it and you find something else to do? Are you good at living disciplined lives? Do you like to get up early every morning? Your grandpaa likes to get up early every morning. Do you spend time each day with God? How do you think that God feels when you do not spend time each day with Him? How do you think that God feels when you do not do something that He has asked you to do? God spoke through Haggai to Zerubbabel and Joshua on August 20, 520 B.C. (B.C. is the abbreviation for before Christ was born). Haggai was Jerusalem’s resident prophet. Zerubbabel and Joshua had been Jerusalem residents ever since they had arrived about sixteen years earlier in Jerusalem after having lived in Babylon. Zerubbabel made the trek from Babylon to Jerusalem to be the governor over Judah’s land area – which included Jerusalem. Joshua assumed the position of being Jerusalem’s high priest. Ezra wrote sixteen years earlier about Zerubbabel’s going to Jerusalem. Ezra was a well-known scribe and priest who an Artaxerxes authorized to go to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple of God that was in Jerusalem. Artaxerxes was a Persian king. After Zerubbabel, Joshua, and a number of other Israelite people group’s guys arrived in Jerusalem, these guys repaired the foundation of the temple of God but when some guys who were already living in Jerusalem opposed what these guys were doing, the guys stopped fixing the temple of God and settled into simply living life in Jerusalem and Judah. The guys left the temple of God the way that it looked when they arrived in Jerusalem – which was in a real mess. God would let the lives of these guys become a real mess.
How do you think that God felt after He had had Cyrus – who was another Persian king, encourage a group of His specially chosen guys – who were Israelite people group’s guys, go to Jerusalem to repair His house – which was the temple that was located in Jerusalem, and they did not do what He really wanted them to do? What do you think that God did after He had a group of His specially chosen guys go to the country that He – God, had given to their forefathers? When that first group of God’s specially chosen guys headed for Jerusalem – which was 536 years before Christ’s birth, their plan really was to first repair the temple of God the was in Jerusalem but . . . God picked Haggai to tell that first group of guys – who were still living in Jerusalem, that He – God, really had expected them to finish the task of repairing His house – which was the temple that was in Jerusalem. Haggai 1 is God telling His specially chosen guys through Haggai that He is tired of waiting for them to do what He had expected them to do which was to repair His house – the temple that was in Jerusalem, instead of repairing their own family houses. God in verse 6 tells His specially chosen guys who arrived in Jerusalem sixteen years earlier, “You have planted much, but have 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.’” What do you hear God telling His specially chosen guys who arrived in Jerusalem sixteen years earlier? Your grandpaa hears God saying to His specially chosen guys who He had blessed by letting them go sixteen years earlier to Jerusalem, ‘Over the last sixteen years I have given you enough seeds to plant, I have given you enough food to eat, I have given you enough wine or water to drink, I have given you enough clothes to wear and I have given you enough money to buy what you want but . . . why do you think it is that you never harvest very much, why do you think it is that you never have much food to eat, why do you think it is that you never have much wine or water to drink, why do you think it is that you never feel warm and why do you think it is that you never have enough money?’ The guys for sixteen year who God had specially chosen for Himself and who God had blessed by letting them go to Judah and Jerusalem – which was their native country and where their family homes were located, had been putting all their energy and efforts into rebuilding and/or repairing their own houses instead of rebuilding and/or repairing God’s house.
Do you know where God’s house – His temple, is located today? God’s house – His temple, is located today inside your bodies and in your hearts. What are you doing today to repair God’s house – His temple, which is your body and heart? Have you laid the foundation for God’s house – His temple, by accepting what Jesus Christ did for you while He was nailed to a cross? Making a decision of faith by believing in what Jesus did on that cross is laying a foundation for the rest of your lives to be built on as you get older and older. Your grandpaa knows that if you do not build on that foundation by thinking about what you are reading in the Bible, by talking regularly with God, by being with other kids who also believe in what God has done through His only Son – Jesus Christ, for them, by serving God through your lives, by living lives that are pleasing and blessing God, by . . . your grandpaa also knows that if you put all your energy and efforts into making yourself feel like you have worth, into making yourself feel important, into making yourself be rich, into making yourself the one who does everything – and not God, God will not be happy with you. God will make it so that you will feel like you have never done or have enough. When God’s specially chosen people realized repairing God’s house was . . ., they finished on September 21, 520 B.C. repairing it. What do you think will happen if you do not put the time into letting God repair your lives to reflect His glory?
Haggai 1 (218)