In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came by the hand of Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest: “Thus says the LORD of hosts: These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the LORD.” 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. Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce. And I have called for a drought on the land and the hills, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the ground brings forth, on man and beast, and on all their labors.”
Haggai 1:1–11
Rebuilding something which has been lost can be a daunting prospect. The memory of what once was, the idea that the new won’t be as good as the old, the enormity of the task of simply starting over, all these things and more can paralyze us into not doing anything.  We can get comfortable with the lost and move on to other things in our lives. This was the case in Haggai’s day. The temple was in ruin and the people just didn’t seem to care. The Lord chastises His people for being concerned about their own houses while His sacred house lied in ruins. The people were suffering because of this. Just as we do today when we ignore the Lord’s work and focus more on taking care of our own material wants and needs while failing to support the work of proclaiming the Gospel. Thankfully our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, had a different priority. He came to serve, giving His life as a ransom for us. Though He was rich, for our sakes He became poor so that we might become rich. So now as a result, the riches we have received in Him move us to become rich in our love for Him and others. May we always have a zeal to have Christ first in our lives, and to be united in service with others.
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