"You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?" declares the LORD Almighty. "Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house." Haggai 1:9
I guess it might seem kind of strange that one of my favorite books of the Bible is Haggai. It is short, only two chapters. It can be hard to find, near the end of the Old Testament tucked in between Zephaniah and Zechariah. But it has so much to offer us for our lives today.
It is about focus and perseverance. It is about putting God first. It is about going on in the midst discouragement.
You see a small remnant of Jews had returned to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple, they got a start and then got discouraged by the peoples around them. So they stopped for sixteen years. In the meantime they built their own lives, but they just didn't have the blessings they expected. Then Haggai comes on the scene to tell them they have been neglecting the things of God (building the temple).
I know we don't have a temple building anymore. Instead our lives are supposed to be temples of the Holy Spirit. So this book always challenges me. How often do I get so busy with my earthly house and life, that I neglect my spiritual life - the temple of God?
It is a struggle, but praise God there is more to come in the book of Haggai. I will share more later in the week. For historical context, read Ezra chapters 4-6.