An Obscure Tale
There is a wonderful, if somewhat obscure, story in the first chapter of the book of Haggai that speaks a strong warning to the Church today.
In this historical account, Judah had been conquered and many of the people taken into captivity to Babylon. In the course of time, God called on the remnant to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple and the wall around it.
In the second year of King Darius’ reign, God spoke to the people through the prophet Haggai with this message: “The people are saying the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord… Why are you living in luxurious houses while My house lies in ruins?” He went on to say, “Look around at what’s happening to you.”
The people were experiencing all sorts of hardships in their everyday lives. And God pointed out that it was because they were disobedient to His command to rebuild the temple. When the people heard the warning, they listened.
Obeying The LORD
Zerubbabel, Joshua, and the whole remnant began to obey the Lord’s message because they feared the Lord. Once God had their attention, He immediately told them that He was with them. He also gave them a spirit of enthusiasm. And once-united, the people turned their eyes back to the task at hand—the rebuilding of God’s house in Jerusalem.
Even though this is an Old Testament story about the temple in Jerusalem, it has great application for the Church today.
Could it be that we are more concerned with our own comforts and desires than about obeying the call to share the gospel with others? Could the hardships we experience in life be a result of our not building up the Church as Jesus commanded?
Today is the perfect time for us to prayerfully seek to understand the parallels between Haggai’s story and life today. We are the remnant. We too fear God. And we have received from Him a spirit of enthusiasm to rebuild His Church!