by Rev Joel Yong
On the first day of the sixth month in Darius’ second year as king, the LORD spoke his word through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel (who was the son of Shealtiel and was governor of Judah) and to the chief priest Joshua (who was the son of Jehozadak). He said, “This is what the LORD of Armies says: These people say it’s not the right time to rebuild the house of the LORD.” Then the LORD spoke his word through the prophet Haggai. He said, “Is it time for you to live in your paneled houses while this house lies in ruins? Now, this is what the LORD of Armies says: Carefully consider your ways! You planted a lot, but you harvested little. You eat, but you’re never full. You drink, but you’re still thirsty. You wear clothing, but you never have enough to keep you warm. You spend money as fast as you earn it. This is what the LORD of Armies says: Carefully consider your ways! “Go to the mountains, get lumber, and build the house. I will be pleased with it, and I will be honored,” declares the LORD. “You expected a lot, but you received a little. When you bring something home, I blow it away. Why?” declares the LORD of Armies. “It’s because my house lies in ruins while each of you is busy working on your own house.
I find it amazing that a variety of prophets spoke to Zerubbabel.
Zechariah did and so did Haggai. Zerubbabel was doing God’s work despite the opposition that he was facing.
To encourage Him, God sends different prophets to him to speak on the same matter.
In this particular passage, God chides Israel for not prioritizing God. You see, they had neglected building the place of worship, focusing instead on building their own homes.
God did not need them to build Him a house. He owned the whole universe and did not need a measly temple. But it would have shown, what mattered to the Israelites.
What about us?
Are we busy building up this and that in our life, whilst ignoring and neglecting the work of God? For the follower of Christ, there is no distinction. Our primary work in life must be that of pleasing Christ- fulfilling what He asks of us, not as an after- thought but rather, as a priority.