August 4

Haggai 1:1-11

The return to Jerusalem

After seventy years in Babylon, many Jews who had been slaves there started returning to Jerusalem. God was bringing His people back to their own land as He had promised.

Yet as the people settled in their home country, their main concern was to build beautiful houses for themselves while no one paid attention to the Temple of the Lord, which still lay in ruins. “It is not the right time to start building the House of the Lord,” they said.

But the Lord spoke through Haggai the prophet, saying, “Think about what is happening. You have sown much, but harvested little. You have food, but not enough to fill you; you have clothes, but not enough to keep you warm. Can’t you see why this is happening?

Now go up to the hills and get wood to rebuild the Temple and I will be pleased.”

Can one become too busy?

The Bible has quite a lot to say to those who are lazy (see Hebrews 6:12 and Ecclesiastes 10:18). God does not want us to be like a lazybones who never tries anything, does anything or achieves anything.

Yet, rushing from one activity to another and working like crazy is not what God had in mind for us either. One of the sins that the Israelites had struggled with before they were taken to Babylon was their constant longing for more money and things. Now that they had returned to Jerusalem, they again became so busy with their own things that they started leaving God out of their lives. They must have looked like ants rushing around; gathering and carrying, weaving and building.

So this is what God said to them; “Go and get building material and start rebuilding the Temple so that I can meet with you again.”

In the same way, God does not want our lives to be filled with so many things that there is no time left for Him! With all the things going on, it is important to set aside a special time to spend with the Lord each day; whether it works best for you in the morning, the afternoon or the evening.

Verse for today                              

Come near to God and he will come near to you. James 4:8