Summary: "You have sown much, but bring in little....."
I’ve Got Holes in my Pockets
Haggai 1: 6, 7
6 Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.
7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.
This text focuses on five messages given to the prophet Haggai as Israel enjoyed life after exile.
The Jews had been in captivity for many years in Babylon.
During that time they had wept, mourned and prayed that God would deliver them from their exile.
I think that daily they watched and prayed for Jerusalem and yearned to see its walls.
If you will remember, Daniel opened his windows facing Jerusalem and prayed.
In all of their troubles and suffering the Jews never stopped hoping and praying that they would one day return to Jerusalem.
While they were in Babylon they managed to have some faith in God but their formal worship life disappeared.
In Psalm 137:1-4 they said;
1 ¶ By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept, when we remembered Zion.
2 We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof.
3 For there they that carried us away captive required of us a song; and they that wasted us required of us mirth, saying, sing us one of the songs of Zion.
4 How shall we sing the LORD’S song in a strange land?
Our scripture text takes place about 16 years after Cyrus decreed that the Jews could return to Jerusalem from the exile.
He allowed them to take financial security and even materials to rebuild their temple, according to the book of Ezra 1:1-5.
So they finally got to do what they had yearned to do for many years, return to Jerusalem.
But once they were there they spent their time building a life for themselves.
Even though God had blessed them for a purpose, they ignored the purpose of their return and paid attention to their own growth and prosperity and ignored God’s intention.
God’s intention and even theirs when they left Babylon was to rebuild the house of God. That was to be their first priority.
Once they settled in Jerusalem their priorities changed.
In verse two they are saying, “It is not time to build the house of the Lord.”
All of a sudden they came up with new ideas on what to do with all the free-will offerings and building materials given to them by Cyrus the King. (Ezra 1:1-5)
So they built for themselves fine homes, the most modern for that time.
They planted themselves fine crops and prospered.
They made and bought fine clothing for themselves.
Those who worked made good wages; in retrospect, the Jews were living better than they had ever lived before.
They had more stuff, they ate more, having need of nothing; and were generally in better shape than they had ever been.
Shame on them! They yearned for Jerusalem! They prayed and longed for a temple where they could meet with God and perform their worship.
In Psalm 137: 5-6;
If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning.
If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth; if I prefer not Jerusalem above my chief joy.
Oh what a picture of the condition of many Christians today!
There was a time when we prayed for revival to sweep across our land.
There was a time when serving God was our most top priority!
There was a time when we yearned for the out-pouring of the Holy Ghost.
I am told that during World War II, when there was so many of our service personal being killed behind enemy lines, that churches across America would gather and pray for our nation.
There was a time when Adolph Hitler was advancing with his armies and the Japanese armies were making tremendous progress that America called upon the name of the Lord.
There was the depression year that lasted during most of the 1930’s (most of us do not remember).
It began in the United States and quickly spread to Europe and every part of the world, with devastating effects in both industrialized countries.
International trade declined sharply, as did personal incomes, tax revenues, prices and profits. Cities all around the world were hit hard.
Unemployment and homelessness soared. Construction was virtually halted in many countries. Farming and rural areas suffered as prices for crops fell by 40–60%.
It was virtually impossible to find a job. Many families got by on the most meager of resources.
I understand that people called upon God to meet their needs. Revival stirred in the land.