Whose House are we Building?

“Then the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now, therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: 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. Thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways. Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the LORD. You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the LORD of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house.”” (Haggai 1:3-9, ESV)

The year is 520 B.C.. The children of Israel have been back from captivity for 16 years. When Haggai speaks they have had time to rebuild their homes, reset their fields, restart their lives, and return to a semblance of “normal.” There is only one problem: in all of their work they have neglected the house of God. For 16 years there has not been a stitch of work done to build up God’s house. So God sends Haggai to tell them to consider their ways and take care of all of their obligations.

Sometimes it is easy for us to be like the Israelites of those days. We spend our time working on making our houses homes, taking care of our families, and trying to give our children the best lives they can possibly have. In doing so, it is often easy to leave the Lord’s house (the church) behind. We state that we are too busy to build up and strengthen the Lord’s house; someone else will have to take care of that. Unfortunately, most of the time when everyone waits for someone else to do it: nobody does it.

Are we remembering to work on the house of God? Are we working on strengthening our brethren and teaching to bring others into the house of God, or are we too busy? If we have made that claim as an excuse for not working for God, it is time to “consider our ways.”

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