I often hear complaints about the cost of living these days. There are even riots going on about this. As I write this, Paris is getting ready once again for city-wide riots, looting and violence. “Everything is so expensive … I work hard but it never seems to bring in enough. Where does my money go, it just seems to disappear!” They complain that ‘just when we are managing to make ends meet, they move the ends! There is a lot of discontent in the world today and ‘the government’ is to blame…
The 'yellow vest' demonstrations, as seen here, are demanding increase in purchasing power' and less taxes. It seems like the only economic factor these days is 'purchasing power.' The demonstrator says, 'we want to live, not survive.'
Haggai was an older man and had spent many years in the very rich city of Babylon. However, he did not live in luxury but was humbled as an exile and a stranger in a foreign land. Together with many others he returned, at last, to his home, Jerusalem around 520 BC. At home the situation was dire. He lamented the lack of food, clothing and shelter.
Haggai received a special message from God about the situation. He called the people to reflect on their ways and their problems in making ends meet.
“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.” (Haggai 1:6)
Haggai’s solution? Their problems, says Haggai, stem from the fact that they had forgotten God and were neglecting to build God a home. The Jews had thoughtlessly placed their own interests before the Lord’s interests, looking after their own safety and security without giving consideration to the status of the Lord’s house.
When we forget God, we are focused on our own problems, become self-centered and disillusioned.
Haggai called the Jews to give priority to building the Temple. We are not called to build a physical temple, but a spiritual one.
“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” (1 Corinthians 6:19,20)
We, as believers, should set about looking to Gods interests first, as He builds His Church worldwide. Then we will discover that His provision will be enough for us, whatever this may be. Acknowledging that God owns me, will give me rest, pace and contentment knowing that He will provide everything I need to do all He asks me to do.
The poor widow visited the Temple and gave her last coins to the Lord, because she knew this truth and decided to live by it! (Luke 21:1-4)