I have been hanging out in the back half of the old testament.
The book of Haggai is 2 chapters long.
But it has some amazing principles that I have been gathering up.
It’s a plea for Gods people who were brought out of captivity to rebuild the temple.
2 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the LORD’s house.’”
3 Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”
5 Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6 You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”
They had forgotten what their real duty was.
What they had been called to.
The labor had become difficult so they chose to chase after other things.
As my commentary says, “there is a proneness in us to think wrongly of discouragements in our duty as if they were a discharge from our duty, when they are only for the trial of courage and faith.”
We, for the lack of courage, decide if it gets too hard we must be dismissed from the assignment we had previously been very sure of.
We begin to chase things that seem manageable and perhaps safe.
These people were intending to build the Lord’s house…
Just not quite yet.
They were going to get a couple other things done first.
How often do I miss God’s important assignments because I'm waiting on the perfect moment?
Waiting until I am better prepared.
Waiting because I am discouraged with the overwhelming task that lays before me.
And the Lord is saying,
“When I give you an assignment I will equip you with what you need to complete it.
Don’t give me your second best. Don’t make other things more important. I cannot bless half efforts. Don’t give up on the building process. I have not dismissed you yet.”
At the end of chapter 1 the people realize their sin and return…
12Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people [who had returned from captivity], listened to and obeyed the voice of the Lord their God [not vaguely or partly, but completely, according to] the words of Haggai the prophet, since the Lord their God had sent him, and the people [reverently] feared and [worshipfully] turned to the Lord.
13Then Haggai, the Lord's messenger, spoke the Lord's message to the people saying, I am with you, says the Lord.
True to his form Our God always Convicts, Corrects and Forgives.
Not only does he forgive them but he says
“I am with you”.
And if God is on our side who can stop us?
What could we accomplish if we believed this in the deep regions of our being…
God will be with us wherever we go.
Whatever the assignment we face.
Wherever he has called us to serve.
However long it takes to get the job done.
When we get on board with God’s purposes He will reveal himself in ways that
Blow. Us. Away!
He is the same God today as he was yesterday, and that promise remains for us today...
I AM WITH YOU!