Ok, for some reason I can't type a title for this blog. It's just as well -- this blog is all about leaving things undone...
As I've written previously in other blogs, I have been studying the Minor Prophets of the OT to teach my class on Sunday mornings. I have been amazed how much I've learned, how much God has spoken to me, through the Minor Prophets. This week was Haggai. The lesson title was "Commitment." Before I even read one verse of Scripture, I pondered this question: What am I really committed to? It's not my diet -- I really want to lose some weight but the calling of the brownies is much louder than the desire to lose weight. What else have I given up on way to easily?
The people of Judah had been released to return to their homeland following their exile in Babylon. After the Medo-Persians defeated the Babylonians, the Jewish people returned to rebuild their homeland. They were supposed to rebuild the temple and they had started the task, but then they got sidetracked. They wanted to build their own homes and plant their crops -- hey, everyone wants a nice house and food to eat and a successful business... The work was hard, they had opposition, they didn't have all the materials they needed. Wow! Sounds like some excuses I've made..."No, God, surely You don't want me to do that. It's too hard. I don't have the time or talent to accomplish that. I don't know how and I don't have the things I need to do it. What will people say?"
You know what God said to the people through the prophet Haggai? "Get to work!" (my paraphrase, obviously, from Haggai 1:8) Stop making excuses and be obedient. Finish the temple just like I told you.
Here's what really got me -- the people did have crops, but not as much as they could have. They had clothes and money and things, but they were not living under God's blessing because they were not being obedient. They were working hard but not receiving their full reward...
Wow! I can hardly type one more word except wow. It's a heavy wow not one of joy or excitement. Not because I want more things but because I wonder what blessing I might be missing...what did I leave undone that I was supposed to accomplish? Did I give all that I could to that task the Lord called me to? Was I obedient every step of the way?
The people repented and got busy building the temple. It wasn't the magnificent temple like Solomon built, which might have caused some sadness for those that remembered what they used to have, what they lost. Haggai tells the people to consider the past -- learn from your mistakes -- but look forward to the future blessings of the Lord.
The easy road may not always be the most fulfilling.
Serving the King,