Haggai 1.7-10 – Seeking God’s glory before all else.
Posted: 2 March 2012 in Haggai

Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD. Ye looked for much, and, lo it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house. Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit. And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands.

In the New Testament Jesus tells his followers that nobody can serve both God and mammon, and, further, that they should take no thought for their material needs, but, as their first priority, always to seek the kingdom of God. To obey that injunction naturally requires both a commendable detachment from material wealth, and a great deal of faith in the providence of God. Neither of which exactly comes naturally to human beings: but to disobey is, as always, sinful.

The above passage carries much the same message as the sayings of Jesus, but in the more concrete situation of an actual disobedience. The recently returned exiles from the Babylon were putting the pursuit of material well being ahead of their obligation to serve and glorify God, and, in consequence, they were reaping the due reward of their disobedience. Being prepared to rely upon the providence of God is part of what it means to be a holy fool. If we put our physical welfare at the top of our list of priorities, in the world’s eyes, not to mention our own eyes, we are doubtless behaving in a way which is rational and sensible. But our lack of faith will not necessarily play well with God. That is a hard lesson.

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