This week I was reminded of a fairly unknown verse in the book of Haggai. God’s people had returned from exile with the express purpose of rebuilding the temple. Yet, within months of their return we read; ‘the LORD sent this message through the prophet Haggai: “Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins?”’(Haggai 1:4).
Sadly, rather than focus upon the call that God had placed upon them, the people prioritised their own well-being and comfort. Instead of rebuilding the temple, they built their luxury dwellings. However, having received this rebuke, the people were then given these explicit instructions. ‘“This is what the LORD of Heaven’s Armies says: Look at what’s happening to you! Now go up into the hills, bring down timber, and rebuild my house. Then I will take pleasure in it and be honoured, says the LORD.’ (Haggai 1:7-8)
I love the simplicity of God’s command as he essentially states, ‘go up and bring down’. In many ways I believe that we can see this as a picture of God’s plan for each of our lives. Metaphorically we are called to ascend into The Lords presence after which we can make him known in the place that he has called us. Why? In order that he will take pleasure in our service and will receive all honour.
Therefore, I want to encourage you to ensure that our priorities are his and ensure that we are not side-tracked like the people of Judah were so many centuries ago.
Your and His, Gareth