I love when God’s Word provides a remedy. The remedy may not always be palatable, but it’s a remedy nonetheless. In the book of Haggai, the prophet, Haggai comes to Zerubbabel, who lead the first group of captives from the Babylonian Exile with a challenge. He challenged the leadership that the people were living in luxury while the house of the Lord laid desolate. He encouraged Zerubbabel to consider their ways (Haggai 1:1-11). The phrase, consider your ways, brings a thought provoking decision for change, an evaluation of priorities, an act of obedience. God gives Haggai a very clear remedy for His people and one we should consider: return, rebuild, reclaim.
Haggai challenged the people to return – to turn their hearts back to God. They had gotten their priorities a little mixed up. God’s big thing became their small thing. They were caught up beautifying their own homes, while God’s home laid desolate. The people worked so hard, but didn’t have much to show for it. God’s ways were not in their blueprint.
Just like the Israelites, sometimes, you and I can get our priorities out of balance. It isn’t always the bad things that take priority – it can be the good things, too. The good things of ministry, family, and our jobs. While these areas of our lives are important, they can keep us from what’s most important: our time with God. Consider your ways. Return to Him and live. (Amos 5:6)
Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate?” Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways! You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes.” Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways! Haggai 1:4-6
The practical remedy for the Israelites was to go up to the mountain, bring down the wood and start to rebuild the temple which had been halted for nearly sixteen years. The next step was obey. Obey the voice of the Lord. And, obey is what they did. The people went up, brought back the wood and began to rebuild their lives on the firm foundation of God’s house.
Is God asking you to begin rebuilding? Does He want you to prioritize your relationship and commitment to Him? Will you take the next step needed? Yes! Go grab your Bible, set a designated time aside to meet with Jesus and let His big thing be your big thing – prioritizing Him.
Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways! Go up to the mountains, bring wood and rebuild the temple, that I may be pleased with it and be glorified,” says the Lord. Haggai 1:7-8
Reclaim means to retrieve or recover (something previously lost, given, or paid); obtain the return of. The Israelites recovered the house of the Lord and God blessed their renewed spirit.
He is with you too. It’s not too late to start again. The latter temple will be greater than the former. Or, in your case, the glory of the latter career, your latter ministry, your latter years, will be greater than the former. Won’t you turn your heart back to Him? Consider your ways. In God’s plan, the future is always brighter and tomorrow always has the potential to out shine today. (1)
Then Haggai, the messenger of the Lord, spoke by the commission of the Lord to the people saying, “‘I am with you,’ declares the Lord. Haggai 1:13
The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and in this place I will give peace,’ declares the Lord of hosts.” Haggai 2:9
It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being. Luke 12:34 (MSG)
So let’s start:
By Returning to our first love.
Rebuilding our relations with God.
And Reclaiming the ground that was lost.
Journeying with Him,
(1) Max Lucado, “Praying the Promises” (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2018), 77