Haggai 1:2: “Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, saying: ‘This people says, “The time has not come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built.” ‘ “

September 8th, 2018 by Pastor Ed in devotional

After 70 years of captivity in Babylon, God began to bring His people back to Jerusalem. The first thing He instructed the 50,000 or so returned exiles to do was rebuild His temple, which the Babylonians had utterly destroyed. This would allow the necessary Old Testament offerings, sacrifices, and worship in Jerusalem to begin again. But, as we see through the prophet Haggai, 18 years after their initial return, they still had not obeyed the Lord. Instead of rebuilding God’s temple, they were rebuilding their own houses. We notice that God referred to the Jews as “this people” and not His usual title for them of “my people.” Haggai challenged the people’s apathy and lack of interest in obeying the voice of the Lord.

Haggai encouraged the people not to focus on their own homes but on the Lord’s temple, so that the required sin offerings could be instituted and the people’s sins forgiven. They seemed to be thinking that they served the God who does not act and so they could procrastinate and put off what He required of them. One dictionary definition of procrastination is “to postpone doing something, especially as a regular practice.” Proverbs 10:4 says, “He who has a slack hand becomes poor, / But the hand of the diligent makes rich.” When it comes to serving God, the time is now, the season is here, the opportunity is waiting. Today is the day of salvation, now is the acceptable time.

English pastor Charles Spurgeon said:

It is not after the storm has arisen, or the telegraph has reported that his ship has struck, that the merchant runs to insure his goods. He takes care of the insurance while the sun is shining and the air calm; he makes sure the insurance is in effect before the ship has cleared from the dock, or at all events before the ship has left the river. You should do the same, you living, but dying people! Now is the accepted time, today. God is with us waiting; his terms are still, “Whosoever will.” Today you may enter into life; tomorrow the door may be shut.

“LORD, please empower us to do the things You want us to do this day. We want to serve You.”