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Don't Pour Your Life Into A Bag With Holes: Haggai 1
The King's letter brought the rebuilding of the temple to a halt. The response of the Jews to this new situation is very disheartening. In the opening chapter of Haggai we find that not only are they not building, but they are prospering in nothing because of drought. It is easy to see how discouraging this situation could be: unable to build, unable to provide for their families. But the truth of the matter was that God did not want them to be in this position. Furthermore, the reasons that they were in this position were not the obvious reason that we, and they, might assume. The people were saying, "The time is not come, the time that the Lord's house should be built." (Haggai 1:2) God did not see it this way. Instead, He put the following question to the Jews through Haggai:
"Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste?" (Haggai 1:4)
Obviously, God did not regard the king's interdict as the only hindrance to the building. In the next verse He challenges them,
"Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages, earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. Thus saith the Lord, Consider your ways. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord, Ye looked for much and lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the Lord of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house. Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit. And I called for a drought upon the land..." (Haggai 1:5-11)
"Asshur shall not save us; we will not ride upon horses: neither will we say any more to the work of our hands, Ye are our gods: for in Thee the fatherless findeth mercy." Hosea 14:3
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