Archive for January 12th, 2018

Psalm 90.7 asks God to ‘establish the work of our hands’ and He does, but we can be so busy with ‘our’ work that we forget what God has called us to do! The returnees had forgotten why they were back: rebuilding God’s house.  At last God’s people had taken on board what God was saying after He’d ripped away all they had: the land, the Davidic king, their way of life. Into exile they went for 70 years.  The focus must be on GOD, on right worship first and right living, covenant living, law and word-focussed living – so now it’s Temple first.

Haggai’s words from the LORD are about renewing focus and getting on with the job. I need to do that daily as I remember what God’s call is on my life and our churches need to do the same.  Are we doing what God has asked of us? Or have we lost focus or gone off to complete our own ideas both in life and in church?

David and Solomon built up Jerusalem and the first temple using slave labour, now all the families, all the people are called to build God’s house – a sign of their own commitment to God. And they’d lost focus – it would have been hard and possibly quite depressing and of course there were all the other pressures of the new life back in Judah: work, housing, growing food. The prophecy seems to suggest that everyone had got on quite well with those aspects of their lives!  But it also echoes again the promises in Deuteronomy – follow me and I will bless you; obey ME first and blessings will then follow: fruitful living.

I’m interested in the order that things happen once this prophesy is given and perhaps a challenge to us: the people and their leaders hear the Word, they simply get on and do it and THEN God speaks again, and the people feel it ‘God stirred up the spirit……’.  They didn’t all sit and wait for God to stir them, they obeyed wholeheartedly and immediately.  They knew Haggai was right and speaking God’s words.  What a change! Remember how Jeremiah was treated just before the exile; no one listened, but NOW they are.  Here we see God’s people transformed!  Praise God that we can all be transformed too.















Ask God to examine your focus and renew your commitment to listen, follow and obey, even when the work is slow and difficult. Thank you, LORD that it is YOU who works in us to will and to act in order to fulfil Your good purpose.  Stir us up, AGAIN to listen and to do all You command. Amen.

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