Scripture: Haggai 1:1–15 (Today’s Readings)
The primary theme of the book of Haggai is the rebuilding of God’s temple. Our passage today opens with the description of a people who are truly discouraged. Saddled with opposition from their neighbors, and met with construction difficulties, the people had wrongly concluded that it was not yet time to rebuild the temple. With five pairs of poetic contrasts, Haggai paints a picture of their economic and social distress. The people are admonished for spending all their attention on their own homes and interests, while God’s home was set aside to lie in ruins.
We learn that Haggai’s message caused the people to consider their ways and energized both the leaders and the people to carry on God’s work of rebuilding His temple. Following the harsh command tone earlier, the Lord’s message of, “I am with you,” was a response to the people’s genuine repentance and obedience. This assurance only strengthened the people and their efforts to serve the Lord.
Prayer: Lord, as we dwell in the world today, we can become burdened with a myriad of discouragements and struggles. May You help us to be reminded to focus on You, and building Your Kingdom. In this time of expectation and anticipation, may we remain focused on the coming glory of Your Kingdom. Amen.
Contributed by Randy C. Adams II, Elder
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Artwork: Detail of No Between © Jan L. Richardson. janrichardson.com. Inspired by Isaiah 64:1: “O that You would tear open the heavens and come down … .”