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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Enjoy the Good Life

Italiano: Tempio di Apollo a Delfi in Grecia.
Italiano: Tempio di Apollo a Delfi in Grecia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Book of Haggai in the Old Testament carries a stern warning for this generation. We who ignore  God's righteousness and denounce his name and his claims on us should read its short message with fear and trembling.

Haggai was a contemporary of Ezra and Zerubbabel and he prophesied in Judah during the period after the return from captivity. The time is described as the first day of the sixth month in the second year of Darius, but Ezra and Nehemiah had already brought about work on the rebuilding of the wall around Jerusalem and begun the rebuilding of the Temple. Then they got tired of all the work and spent their time living in their "paneled houses." Now the message of Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and Joshua son of Jozadak, the High Priest, was one of reproof. God sharply criticized them for enjoying the good life while they left the house of God in ruins. 

The need for the Temple in their lives was emphasized in Haggai 1:6 "You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but they are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it." 

The key to abundance for the Israelites and for us is worship and thanksgiving. It wasn't even the magnificence of the Temple, but the quality of the worship and labor God sought. "'The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house," says the Lord Almighty. 'And in this place I will grant peace, 'declares the Lord Almighty"

Read Haggai and learn his lesson and hear the promise to Zerubbabel  that he will be the Lord's signet ring. What has God promised to you?
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