“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?
Haggai 1:2-4 ESV
This passage has been on my mind the past few days. I taught the book of Haggai in Bible class this week, and this passage has stuck with me. It is a very convicting passage. The book itself, although only two chapters long speaks volumes to those the Lord has set free.
In context, it is about God’s people returning from exile only to procrastinate on the rebuilding of the temple, while busying themselves with rebuilding their homes and their lives. They are ignoring the one that set them free in the first place. They are also forgetting that their ancestors had gone into exile due to their disobedience. Through Haggai the Lord reminds them of their task and what will happen if they remain in disobedience. The temple must be rebuilt.
The Lord asks his people; “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?” God wants to know if they believe that it is more important to take care of their “needs” or to honor the one that set them free. They were set free with a purpose, to rebuild the temple, and they continued to put it off while rebuilding their lives and homes. They were inwardly focused. They were committing the sin of procrastination.
I believe Haggai can be applied to our lives today. We have been set free in Jesus, and we too have been given a commission. We are to go and make disciples of all nations, as Jesus commanded. It is up to us to be sharing the Good News with others so that they too can be added to His spiritual house… As you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 2:4,5 (ESV) We cannot get so busy with our own lives, and houses that we forget that we have some building to do for the Lord. The body of Christ, the church, the kingdom is a living spiritual house of the Lord.
We must never take what God has given us in Christ for granted. We must not rest on our laurels and say, tomorrow we will get to work on building God’s house. Today is the day, it is the only day, and time we possess and it is fleeting. We cannot put off the work of building until tomorrow, tomorrow may be too late.
It is time! It is time to be about our Father’s business. Most churches today are smaller than they once were. Some are growing, while others lie in ruins. Some have ceased to exist at all. Why? Because the work of building, and rebuilding stopped. Why did it stop? Because many thought, I’ll get to that tomorrow, but tomorrow came and went and it was too late.
Let’s not put off until tomorrow what we need to do today. Let’s get involved in the building program. Is it time? Yes its time!
© 2015 Leo J. Woodman