Hag 1:2 Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD's house should be built.
Hag 1:3 Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying,
Hag 1:4 Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste?
Hag 1:5 Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.
Hag 1:6 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.
Hag 1:7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.
Hag 1:8 Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD.
Hag 1:9 Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.
Hag 1:10 Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit.
Hag 1:11 And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labor of the hands.
Many people needlessly spend too much effort worrying, working and wrestling with things without the blessings of God. Haggai’s message to the people taught them how to get their priorities straight. He gave them a word from God that reversed the curse and motivated them to engage in God’s work. Like these people we often place too much emphasis on our own concerns forgetting to put God’s work, will and worship first. When God is pleased with our ways He promises to empower, guide and enable us to enjoy His supernatural blessings.
Illustration: As a minister was addressing a group of men, he took a large piece of paper and made a black dot in the center of it with a marking pen. Then he held the paper up before the group and asked them what they saw. One person quickly replied, “I see a black mark.” “Right,” the preacher replied. “What else do you see?” Complete silence prevailed. “Don’t you see anything other than the dot?” he asked. A chorus of noes came from the audience. “I’m really surprised,” the speaker commented. “You have completely overlooked the most important thing of all—the sheet of paper.” Then he made the application. He said that in life we are often distracted by small, dot-like disappointments or painful experiences, and we are prone to forget the innumerable blessings we receive from the hand of the Lord. But like the sheet of paper, the good things are far more important than the adversities that monopolize our attention.
Yes, rather than concentrating on the trials of life, we should fix our attention upon is blessings. Let us say with the psalmist, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits” (Psalm 68:19). - R. W. D.
Our Daily Bread, March 10
Blessings are missed because people fail to remember God’s will, word and ways. Haggai urged the people in Jerusalem that the work of God was neglected, overlooked and considered as a lower priority their own concerns. Haggai spoke, "This is what the Lord Almighty says: Consider how things are going for you!... You hoped for rich harvests, but they were poor. That is why the heavens have withheld the dew and the earth has withheld its crops. I have called for a drought to starve both you and your cattle and to ruin everything you have worked so hard to get." (Haggai 1:7-11)
God has the ability to withhold His blessings to the disobedient. Fear the Lord you His saints for to those who fear Him there is no want. The young lions lack and suffer hunger, but they who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing. (Psa 37)
3. God’s blessings are missed because people procrastinate. The people began building the Temple 23 days after they arrived back from being in exile. Forgetting to act is a recipe for disaster in God’s plans. James wrote, "Be doers of the word and not merely hearers who deceive themselves." (James 1:22) When you hear a message from God be sure that you put it into action. Ask God what He wants you to do when you read/hear His word and make plans to put it into practice immediately. Many people have delayed too long and so have settle for mediocrity bereft of God’s blessings because they failed to act on God’s will when they were young.
4. God’s blessings are often missed when people wallow in their discouragements. Haggai helped the people overcome their inertia with a strong authoritative word from the Lord. He overcame excuses that were given about building the temple as there had been a delay for 16 years.
5. God’s blessings are often missed unless people gain supernatural perspective. Haggai gave the people divine perspective on what was happening to them economically, politically and agriculturally. When people are able to see their circumstances from the eyes of God they are apt to reverse their course. People began to fear God more than anything else and started to obey Him. "Blessed is the man who fears the Lord who greatly delights in His commands. He will not fear when the evil day comes because his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. I have never seen the righteous go hungry or his seed begging for bread." (Psa 112) Learn to use God’s word to head off excuses, discouragements and detours that people may throw in your face.
6. God’s blessings are often missed when people think the size of the work is too great. Haggai fired up the people to not wax and wane in their enthusiasm. He strongly promised God’s strength, provision and enablement as they trusted and obeyed His will. Haggai did not give complicated answers but simple solutions from above. Often times it is much better to just give God’s wisdom than intellectually complicated answers to peoples’ problems. This will often come from our own communion with God’s Spirit. Just begin where you can and gradually the provisions, guidance and resources will be heaped upon you. As your days, your strength will be in measure. This the promise He has made.
7. God’s blessings are often missed when people lack patience. The writer of Hebrews penned these words, "You have need of patience so that after you have done the will of God you might receive the promise." Haggai taught the people that in order to see the full blessings of God they needed to not immediately look for blessings, but wait upon the Lord and He would eventually come through. Keep on asking, seeking and knocking and the doors will be opened to you. (Matt 7:7) Persistence, importunity and faithfulness in prayer, devotion and obedience always yields God’s great blessings.
Heb 10:35 Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.
Heb 10:36 For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.
Heb 10:37 For yet, a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.
Heb 10:38 Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.
8. God’s blessings are often missed when people look to other means for protection, progress and persuasions. Haggai gets a special word from God assuring the people that He would provide protection, progress and persuasion against their enemies as long as they sought first His kingdom and His righteousness. (Matt 6:33,34)
The people started to worry that they needed to put aside the building of the temple to attend to other necessary things,but God cautioned them against getting side-tracked.
9. People miss out on God’s blessings when they think that some work is too small. No work of God is too small when it is done with His timing, His teaching and His treasures. Let us rely on the Lord’s power, people and priorities as evidence that we are walking in the presence of God.
naaman dipped Noah built Israel marched