“In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the Lord came through Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, the governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest . . .” (1;1). It just strikes me how the Bible is so historical. It is a narrative of history – times, persons, places, events – and of God's participation in and directing of that history. Our God is not far off and disinterested. He is not silent, nor is he inactive. He speaks into history. He acts in history. He instructs. He judges. He redeems.
The returned Jews had started to rebuild the temple, quit, and were now greatly discouraged. To them, Haggai spoke, “Is it a time for you yourselves to live in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?” (1:4) And so, the prophet’s primary task was that of encouraging the people to get back to work, back to work on the things of God. Apparently, they had quite well taken care of their own needs (paneled houses!) while disregarding the things of the Lord. The Lord said to them, “Think carefully about your ways . . .” (1:5).
That’s a good word for today: “Think carefully about your ways.” Jesus taught, “Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these other things (material needs) will be given to you.” Thinking about this, and remembering, we can testify that God has always been faithful to give us whatever we have needed. Let us can take care of the things of God and trust him to take care of us!
Abide with me: fast falls the eventide;
the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me. --Henry Francis Lyte (1847)