Consider Your Ways, Israel! #5

Wednesday, September 25, 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….

Thus far, we have seen the Scriptures that demonstrate the complacency of the post-exilic Jews living in Jerusalem and Judaea. They had forgotten about JEHOVAH’S unfinished Temple because they had forgotten about JEHOVAH. In His mercy, grace, and longsuffering, He sent prophets to preach His Word to those Jews, to the intent that they would see their error and turn to Him.

The Jews considered their ways, and they believed the Word of God that Haggai and Zechariah the prophets preached to them. “And the elders of the Jews builded, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they builded, and finished it, according to the commandment of the God of Israel…” (Ezra 6:14; cf. Ezra 5:1,2; Haggai 1:12-15). God’s Word encouraged them and, by faith, they finished the Temple about four years after construction resumed under Darius the Persian king (Ezra 4:24 cf. Ezra 6:15). As an interesting historical side note, circa 500 years later, Herod the Great refurbished that Temple, which Temple existed during Christ’s earthly ministry, and which Temple the Romans destroyed in A.D. 70.

Although these Scriptures were not written to us or about us, we can appreciate them in their rightful place in God’s inspired Word. Moreover, there are parallels to these Scriptures regarding the Bible books written to us and about us—Paul’s epistles, Romans through Philemon. In the next 10 studies, two companion devotional arcs, we will look at how these Scriptures from the books of Ezra and Haggai help us to better understand and appreciate the purpose and plan that the Lord Jesus Christ has for us….