Our nation is facing an economic crisis such as it has not seen in a long time. Gas prices are rising which in turn is causing the price of everything else to rise. However, in spite of all this, God promises to bless his people.
When the children of Israel returned from 70 years of captivity in Babylon, almost immediately they laid the foundation for the temple. However, Satan reared his ugly head, & the work ceased. For some 16 years it just laid there.
Needless to say, the Lord was quite displeased. The Temple remained unfinished so He sent the prophets Haggai & Zechariah to warn Israel & give them clear direction.
6 "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."
7 Thus says the Lord of hosts: "Consider your ways! 8 Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified," says the Lord. 9 "You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?" says the Lord of hosts. "Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house. 10 Therefore the heavens above you withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit. (NKJV)
The children of Israel stopped the work of the Lord to take care of their own affairs. As a result, vs. 6 tells us…
In other words, the Lord wasn’t going to bless them. In fact, it seems as if He actually cursed them.
Then He tells them in vs. 7, “Consider your ways!” (Read vs.8 & 9)
In essence, He was telling them to finish his work first & things would turn around.
Look at our text. From the day they committed to continue & finish the temple, He would bless them! He would bless them from then on if they would obey Him.
As I said before, this is a time of crisis in our nation, but you & I as believers have a recourse that the world doesn’t have. We have the Lord!
(Tell how when the children of Israel were bound in Egypt & the plagues came on Egypt, but Israel wasn’t affected by them. They were blessed!)
Church, if we are going to make it through this crisis, there are 3 things we must do.
I) Put God First
It would be so easy to look at circumstances & think that other things are important. Hear me; nothing takes precedence over the Lord’s work! I would think that the area we would be more tempted to be lacking in, especially at this time, would be our giving. After all, it would be so easy to pay the bills first, then if there’s enough left, pay our tithes.
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (KJV)