Haggai explains that God’s people suffer because they neglect to finish the temple.
As the children of Israel return from the Babylonian captivity, their first order of business is to rebuild the temple. Haggai, a prophet of God who is ministering at the time, encourages the people to work hard at restoring the temple. With great enthusiasm, they quickly lay the foundation. But discouragement sets in and work on the temple is soon forgotten as they begin to build their own houses. Finally, after 15 years, Haggai tells them that the afflictions they are suffering are because of their neglect of the temple. They must finish the temple first and then resume building their houses. First things first. God demands proper priorities.
Offer the Lord this psalm of praise as you express your gratitude for His justice:
O Lord God of our fathers, are You not God in heaven, and do You not rule over all the kingdoms of the nations, and in Your hand is there not power and might, so that no one is able to withstand You? (2 Chronicles 20:6).
Pause for praise and thanksgiving.
Pray this confession to the Lord as you seek to keep your life free from sin:
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Make me to hear joy and gladness,
That the bones which You have broken may rejoice.
Hide Your face from my sins,
And blot out all my iniquities (Psalm 51:7-9).
Confess any sins that the Holy Spirit brings to your mind.
Now pray this affirmation to the Lord:
“Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).
As you make your requests known to the Lord, include:
-- Your development of an eternal perspective
-- Your spiritual goals
-- Whatever else is on your heart
Offer this closing prayer to the Lord:
May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17).