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by Charles Box
Consider Your Ways
The captives returned to their homeland after the captivity cured of idolatry. However, as they began the rebuilding process they became too focused on material things. Haggai had a message for the people of his day that is very much needed in our day. The people were greedy and they left God out of their lives or relegated Him to a place of lesser importance than His greatness deserved. When will people ever learn that things do not satisfy? Only God can meet the needs of an empty heart. The psalmist wrote, "My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: when shall I come and appear before God?" ( Psa_42:2 ) Haggai wanted his people to understand the stupidity of selfishness. God's people must overcome greed with contentment. In Heb_13:5 we read, "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee." Haggai was bold and very much to the point in his teaching.
Greed causes us to think about ourselves and to forget about God. "The All-Powerful Lord said to His people, “You say this isn't the right time to build a temple for me. But is it right for you to live in expensive houses, while my temple is a pile of ruins? Just look at what's happening." The people cared about pleasing themselves and they would build the Temple when it was convenient for them. Haggai spoke very boldly is saying that we must see to it that the right things are always first in our lives. Haggai tied to emphasize the duty of the people to God. He urged them to put God first in their lives. Haggai believed that a person's actions demonstrated his love or lack of love for God.
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29