This is what the Lord Almighty says: "These people say, 'The time has not yet
come for the Lord's house to be built.'" The word of the Lord came through the
prophet Haggai: "Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses,
while this house remains a ruin?" Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: "Give
careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat,
but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are
not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it" (Haggai
The people to whom this passage was referring had been
directed to rebuild God's temple. But through the course of time they had become
sidetracked by many things: the cares of this earth, making a living, and building for
themselves a nice comfortable house. Where they had once purposed to give of what they had
so that God's house might be established, they had instead used there resources to gather
what was pleasing to themselves. They were given a responsibility to care for the
temple--the house of God--and so are we.
In 1 Corinthians 3:16, Paul asks, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and
[that] the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?" In that we are the dwelling place of God
we are the temple of His Spirit. Even as the temple was to be consecrated and kept
holy--divided unto God for His purpose--so we are to be kept holy and divided from the
godless for the purpose and will of our righteous Father.
And yet, what would God say to us through Haggai today? Would He not say much the same as
He did in Haggai's time? For we have been given charge over the temple of God even as we
are His Holy Temple. And we (as a people) also have grown slack in our responsibilities to
the temple's upkeep. For though we should be making ourselves a Holy dwelling place for
the Lord, we are more concerned with filling ourselves with that which pleases us. The
temple of the Lord receives a portion of our time, our attention and our wages, when
indeed much more is needed to restore it to its proper place. We take what should be used
to build God's house and we panel the walls of our lives with comfort and pleasantry.
And to what end? What shall we show for our days when our days come to a close? We will
see our days gone by, spent in countless hours of working to provide even more and more
comfort to pacify us in this life. We eat, drink, work and spend and are never satisfied.
For the labor of our hands seem unable to keep up with what our desires would consume.
Meanwhile, the house of God in each of us goes unattended. We become more and more
weakened within our spirits and question God when life gets too difficult. We soon wonder
why we cannot seem to stop doing what is wrong and do more of what is right. We wonder why
it is so difficult to live as God wants us to. And we feel defeated and unable to stand as
a child of God.
We have given much time, energy, attention and thought to pleasing ourselves, having fun
and being comfortable. "What do you do for fun?" seems to be one of the primary
questions in getting to know someone. Perhaps it is time we begin to turn the tide, and
start placing our resources toward the best good. Perhaps it is time we put aside our
wants and desires and comforts, and take up the work of rebuilding the temple once more.