Back to the Work (Aaron Money)
Build the temple! Build the temple! Build the temple!.. This is the message that the prophet Haggai came to deliver to the remnant of Jerusalem. It wasn’t a complicated message, or a hard-to-follow instruction given. It was around 520 BC when The remnant of Jerusalem had the task of rebuilding the temple of the LORD. It was a project that started with zeal and on the completion of the foundation there was a huge celebration. What happened after the celebration though, was the cause of the visit of the prophet Haggai. After they had finished laying the foundation of the Temple, the people turned from the task and turned their efforts inward to their own dwellings, where I’m sure they had full intention to come back to their work there, but for whatever reason they left alone the building of the house of God, and began construction of their own homes. For the next 16 years their crops struggled, their livestock dwindled, they were hit with hail, and mildew, the works of their hands turned little profit, and it seemed as though everything they did was cursed and yielded little fruit. Still however they stayed turned unto their own selves not resuming the work of the Temple, until the day God sent his messenger. From the outside looking in it seems that if you were sent by god to do something and you could be found not doing it, the blessings of God for doing the work of God would be as absent as the site of the foundation they had laid. Though instead of doing what the obvious will of God for the was, they began to say “The time for the rebuilding of the house of the Lord has not yet come” It’s funny How often we have the tendency to make a situation seem much more complicated to avoid the actual hard-hitting truth of the matter, not applicable to us. Instead of outright acknowledging that we are wrong we give a list of reasons why this particular Biblical truth doesn’t pertain to us, or that our “special circumstance” gives us credence to do differently than what we know is right. So finally the man of God comes and like a surgeon cutting straight to where the problem lies he begins his address
"Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?
Now, therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways.
You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.
"Thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways.
Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the LORD.
You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the LORD of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house.
Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce.
And I have called for a drought on the land and the hills, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the ground brings forth, on man and beast, and on all their labors."
And so they are pricked in their hearts, and begin again the construction of the Temple. Haggai then says to them
“how did you fare? When [fn] one came to a heap of twenty measures, there were but ten. When one came to the wine vat to draw fifty measures, there were but twenty.
I struck you and all the products of your toil with blight and with mildew and with hail, yet you did not turn to me, declares the LORD.
Consider from this day onward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month. Since the day that the foundation of the LORD's temple was laid, consider:
Is the seed yet in the barn? Indeed, the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have yielded nothing. But from this day on I will bless you."
Because they had stopped from turning inward to themselves and began once again what God had ordained them for, they once again knew the blessings of the people in covenant with God.
So here is the application; How often do we have people who come into church who receive salvation, and achieve the foundation of the Christian life and never move on from that? How often do we celebrate because our converts have achieved the entry level and then leave them be? Do we expect them and God alone to build them up? Not only in our converts but in our own selves and in our ministries, we achieve spiritual break-through’s and then become stagnant and turn inwards towards selfish things that don’t come near to the importance of building what really matters! So for a moment take a look at where your efforts are going, and ask yourself; am I building my temple? Am I building the kingdom of God?” if so , then no doubt you experience the blessings of God that follow. If not and you realize that maybe your efforts are turned inwards to yourself then take the message of Haggai to heart and Build the temple. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all these things shall be added unto you.
“…seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.”