Consider Your Ways, Israel! #3

Monday, September 23, 2013

“Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes” (Haggai 1:5,6 KJV).

The Jews have built their houses, but they are apathetic that they have not finished JEHOVAH’S….

Through the prophet Haggai, JEHOVAH corrects the thinking of the post-exilic Jews returned from Babylon to Jerusalem and Judah. Haggai, in today’s Scripture and its context (verses 1-11), speaks forth God’s Word and prompts Israel to think critically: why are things amiss in Jerusalem and Judah? These Israelites have forgotten about JEHOVAH’S unfinished Temple, which they had begun to rebuild nearly 20 years earlier.

In short, God is not blessing them. Actually, they are under a curse. Verses 8-11 explain that God has closed the heaven that it rains not, and because of this drought, Israel’s harvest of crops in Jerusalem is almost nothing. What little profit they are making in the area is wasted (today’s Scripture). The purpose of the prophets—in this case, Haggai—is to lead Israel back to JEHOVAH’S Word. Will Israel repent (change her mind) so that her behavior reforms?

Read verses 12-14 to learn Israel’s response: “Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the LORD. Then spake Haggai the LORD’S messenger in the LORD’S message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the LORD. And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God….”

Let us now briefly consider their actions….