There’s an oh-so-relevant-to-the-21st century story buried deep in the Old Testament: Haggai. You gotta read it. It’s only two chapters long so it shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes.
Basically the story goes like this. God’s people returned to the Promised Land from captivity in Babylon with high hopes of a better life. They started to rebuild the temple but they got sidetracked and started focusing on their own homes. Fourteen years later–you guessed it–still no temple, although by this time they had outfitted their homes quite nicely.
Unfortunately, prioritizing their own homes over God’s took a toll. We read that the people had planted much, but harvested little. They ate and drank, but never felt satisfied. They had clothes, but never felt warm. They earned money, only to put it in a purse with holes. (Yeah, Haggai 1:6 really says “a purse with holes.” Have you ever heard a more perfect description of your wallet?) In other words, they were living empty, unfulfilling lives in their fancy houses. They were on a treadmill, part of a rat race, working hard so they could get up and work hard some more. And they were making no progress on a place in their lives to worship God.
Is all this sounding way too familiar? Let’s do a priority check today. What are you working on? God’s house or your own? What are the things that are causing you to say “Not yet” to worship? Can we move God up the “To Do” list today?
“You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little…because of My house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house.” Haggai 1:9