It’s TIME to ‘CONSIDER OUR WAYS’
October 1 Bible Reading: Haggai Chapters 1-2
Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: "Consider your ways! You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but do not have enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag with holes." Thus says the Lord of hosts: "Consider your ways!" (Hag 1:5-7)
In 520 B.C. the prophet Haggai stood up and rebuked the people of Judah for their laxness toward God. This message was delivered near the end of the summer harvest season. The people assumed “the time [had] not yet come for the Lord’s house to be built,” even though they had begun the project 16 years earlier (Ezra 3:6–10; 4:4–5, 24). God’s house remained in ruins while the people were “living in paneled houses,” so God withheld blessing from them. For years their planting had resulted in only small harvests. Their problem was misplaced priorities—they put their interests above honoring God. Haggai’s solution was simple: The people were to get right with the Lord and get back to constructing the temple.
“Consider your ways” in Hebrew is literally, “set your heart on your ways!” This command was issued five times throughout the course of this prophecy (vv. 5, 7; 2:15, 18-twice). It was a plea on the part of God for the people to take note of what they are doing, and amend their ways accordingly.
Thus, God was asking the people to take stock of their lives. Though they ate and drank, they never seemed satisfied. Though they put on clothes, they never felt warm. Wage earners constantly felt as though their pockets had holes in them through which their money was lost. Their economic and social hardship was the effect of God’s covenant curse on their disobedience (Deut. 11:8–15; 28:29, 38–40; Lev. 26:20). God had frustrated their efforts because of their lack of concern for His glory!
Let us always remember that when we plan to give to God once we have enough for ourselves will never have enough! When we neglect God, we never really improve ourselves. When we put ourselves first, we lose God’s blessing and whatever we spent on ourselves! However, when we put God first, we have the promise of His care. We never lose when we put God first in our lives!