Summary: In spite of today’s economic crisis, God promises to bless his people.
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)
Whatever the Lord has instructed you to do be sure you do it. Don’t allow the enemy to steer you from it.
2 That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief.
3 And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you?(KJV)
When the enemy tries to destract you & pull you away from the Lord’s work; when he tries to lure you to the valley of Ono, Just tell him "Oh No!" I’ve got a work to finish.
The Lord’s work must be completed!
III) Expect His Blessings
19 Is the seed still in the barn? As yet the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have not yielded fruit. But from this day I will bless you.’" (NKJV)
I don’t know about you, but I want the blessings. I need the blessings!
10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
Now is not the time to cave in to fear. If we will continue in the Lord’s work, we will see His blessings. We can expect his blessings from this day on!