Haggai the prophet, Joshua the priest, and Zerubbabel the descendant of King David, were used by the Lord to steer the Jews toward godly choices as they returned to the Promised Land after decades of exile. The Lord disciplined His vulnerable refugees with a devastating drought as they tried to get back on their feet. What was the problem? “These people say the time has not come to rebuild the house of the Lord.” God’s answer to their troubles was simple enough, “Consider your ways.” The facts concerning their meager agricultural success were very disappointing, but what was the reason for their troubles? The Lord said, “Because of My house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house.”
The directive to first seek God and His worship did not fall on deaf ears. The three leading officials and “all the remnant of the people” heard the Word of the Almighty and “obeyed the voice of the Lord their God.” They did not have to wait long to receive encouragement from heaven. Jehovah said to them, “I am with you.” God “stirred up” His people and they “worked on the house of the Lord.”
We live in a very different time than Haggai, Joshua, and Zerubbabel. As we hear the call of Jesus to His church, it is no longer to construct a temple in Jerusalem, but to build up the body of Christ in our own neighborhoods and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Our Redeemer is our Cornerstone, and the apostolic foundation around Him is preserved for us in the New Testament. The faithful from every generation are “living stones” (1 Peter 2:5) in a house of worship that will never be destroyed.
God has given gifts to His children that we are to use for the coming of His kingdom. His priorities in our families, workplaces, and churches are more important than our own desires to have more beautiful homes and successful businesses. God’s numerous displays of kindness to us all have their importance in His purposes, but He needs to be our first desire. The strengths that the Lord has granted us must be combined with the varied blessings bestowed upon others so that our message concerning Jesus will shine forth in fruitful service. The works that God has prepared for each of us to accomplish together (Ephesians 2:10) are a part of the larger divine decree that will bring glory to God as we seek to do His will.
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Lord God, we must seek first Your Kingdom. We are busy with our own affairs, but nothing has seemed to work out according to our plans. We have looked for much, but our efforts have not been very fruitful. We recommit ourselves to Your Word and give ourselves to Your service. Be with us, O Lord. Fill Your servants with holy boldness for the glory of Your Name. Build up Your house, O God! Help us to see the part that You have for us and to offer up our lives for Your wonderful purposes.