Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying, Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your paneled houses, And this house lies in waste? Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. (Haggai 1:3–5, KJV)
After their departure from Babylon to reconstruct the Temple in Jerusalem, God dispatched the prophet Haggai with a message for the Jews: “Consider your ways.” But what prompted this directive from the Lord?
In 538 BC, King Cyrus of Persia decreed that the Jews could return to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. This decree was a manifestation of God’s divine plan. However, upon their return, the Jews encountered significant opposition, as detailed in Ezra 4, and subsequent Persian rulers halted their efforts. This setback, which lasted 18 years, disheartened the Jews until Haggai was sent with a divine message.
During this time, the people prioritized their own homes over God’s temple. Their personal endeavors were unfruitful, as Haggai pointed out:
“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 1:6, KJV)
Haggai’s “Consider your ways” was a call for introspection, urging the people to identify the source of their challenges. They were trapped in a cycle of hard work with little reward. God wanted them to recognize the consequences of neglecting His House.
In the New Testament, God’s House symbolizes the Church(the people not the buildings), which Christ is building (Matthew 16:18). Every believer is called to contribute to this construction. Ignoring this duty, as the Jews did with the temple, can lead to challenges. As Christ taught:
“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33, KJV)
Just as Haggai advised the Jews, he offers the same counsel to us: “Consider your ways.” Reflect on your role in God’s grand plan. How are you contributing to the spiritual growth of others? Use your gifts to further His purposes on Earth.
What does “consider your ways” signify to you?
Apply the Word
Every Christian has a God-given ministry. While you might not preach or pastor a congregation, you have a unique role in God’s kingdom. Prioritize His House—use your ministry gifts to serve His people( Matt. 25:14-30).
Ask the Lord for guidance in utilizing His gifts to build up His Church and serve others.
- What is Ministry?
- God’s Idea of the “FiveFold” Ministry
- I will Build My Church
- The Nehemiah Strategy: Building and Fighting
- Ministry and Ministers in the New Testament
- View All Deshen Daily Devotionals
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