“Be strong, all you people still left in the land. And now get to work, for I am with you, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. My Spirit remains among you, just as I promised when you came out of Egypt. So do not be afraid.” – Haggai 2:4-6 NLT
God knows us so well. He knows how easily we get defeated and demoralized by the slightest thing. Setbacks and disappointments leave us questioning God’s faithfulness and wondering if this thing called the Christian life is worth it after all. God knew that those who had returned to the land of Israel to rebuild the Temple were struggling with their assignment because the Temple they were building was nothing like the one that had been destroyed. It was just a shadow of its former glory. God knows what they are thinking. He says, “Does anyone remember this house – this Temple – in its former splendor? How, in comparison, does it look to you now? It must seem like nothing to you at all!” (Haggai 2:3 NLT). God understood that the people were having a hard time getting excited about building something that didn’t seem to have much significance. They were putting a whole lot of effort into a task that was beginning to seem futile and fruitless. They were comparing and losing heart. So God tells them, “Be strong!” Once again, God reminds them to not judge what He is doing based on what they can see. The significance of the Temple was not about the building they were constructing, but about the God who would occupy it. He tells them, “I will fill this place with glory” and “the future glory of this Temple will be greater than its past glory” (Haggai 2:8-9 NLT). The point is that it is the God who fills the Temple who gives it glory and signficance. There were going to be other Temples. This Temple would be replaced by Herod’s Temple. That Temple has been destroyed and it will be replaced by the Temple to be built in the Millennial Kingdom. It was NOT the building, but God that was important. They had missed the point and had begun to see the structure as more important than their God.
How easy it is for us to focus on the task at hand, even a good, decent spiritual task, and lose sight of the one for whom we are working. God is and always will be the focus. He is the one who gives what we do significance. Paul reminds us, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31 NLT). Our entire lives are to be focused on one thing and one thing only: God’s glory.
Father, never let me get my eyes of off You and begin to think that what I do for You is the important thing. Never let ministry take precedence over You. Never let Bible study become more important than You. Never let me think that living the Christian life is somehow more important than You. Nothing has value without You, including my life. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men