Read Zephaniah 1
Judgment on Judah and future destruction of Gentile nations; reproof for negligence in the building of the Temple.
Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the Lord's House should be built. . . . Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this House lie waste? (Haggai 1:2,4).
Fourteen years had passed since the work had ceased on the Temple (Ezra 4:24). The people in Haggai's time could give many reasons why it was not the time to renew their efforts — the opposition of the Samaritans, their own poverty, the losses they had sustained from bad harvests, the many long hours they had to work in the fields.
Disregarding all possible excuses, Haggai said: Consider your ways — think about what has happened to you (Hag. 1:5)! Why is it that you reap a bad harvest? Why is it that you are never satisfied? Why is it that your wages are not meeting your needs? Why is it that you look for much and get so little? (1:6-9). Haggai wanted them to understand there was a reason all these things were happening to them. They were so busy working for themselves that they had forgotten the work that needed to be done to grow God's Kingdom. They had gotten so entangled in the day-to-day activities of life that they forgot about God. God had a purpose for each of these people and a specific design in mind for their lives. They had just allowed circumstances to overtake them. The Lord tells us: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will (Eph. 1:11).
Like these people, many today are not aware of the necessity of being actively involved in the Lord's work. We must remember, just like God's chosen nation of Israel, we are called by God for a specific work. The problem we face in our time is that there are hundreds of distractions to draw us away from the Lord's work. We find time for all our work hours. We find time to meet our family needs. We even find a little time for recreation. The one thing that is often given a lesser role is God. We should love Him above all these things. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the First Commandment (Mark 12:30).
But seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33).
Thought for Today:
Every person has twenty-four hours a day. What has priority in your life?
As King of Israel, even the Lord (Zeph. 3:15; compare John 1:49).
Zeph. 1:4 Chemarims, idolatrous priests in charge; 1:9 leap on the threshold, rush into houses to confiscate the property by extortion and deceit; 2:15 carelessly, securely, with no equal; Hag. 2:7 the desire of all nations, the One desired by all people, the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Pray for International Broadcasts in honor of Grace Oreta Rutherford's birthday • Staff: Ilene Wallace • Government Official: Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL)• Country: United Arab Emirates (2 million) on the eastern Arabian Peninsula • Major languages: Arabic and Farsi • Pressure and hostility against Christians are increasing • 95% Muslim; 4% Christian • Prayer Suggestion: Rise early in the morning to lift up your prayers to God and hope in His Word (Ps. 119:147).
Memory Verse for the Week: James 1:12