Summary: A Message calling the church to step up for Christ.
What Time Is It?
* (READ Haggai) In 1969 a rock album entitled “The Chicago Transit Authority” was released with huge success. One of the songs on that album was entitled “Does anybody really know what time it is.” Candidly, that song is considered a rock classic these days. The words to the chorus are “Does anybody really know what time it is, does anybody really care? If so, I can’t imagine why. We’ve all got time enough to cry.” Interestingly, the second chorus changes the word ‘cry’ to ‘fly’ while the third chorus change this word to ‘die.’ That is the truth. We will die.
* Today, I ask question; “What time is it?” Everybody has their own answer, but there is only one answer which interests me, that is, God’s answer. After reading our text, let’s take a deep breath and a sincere look into the story in God’s word.
* The stars of our story would be the Children of Israel. Their history is marked with all types of behavior. They were captives in Egypt and were led out by Moses under the mighty hand of Jehovah God. God parted the Red Sea and led them to the edge of the land He promised them where their stab at the Baptist Democratic process proved to be disastrous. After wandering in the wilderness for 40 years, burying over 1.2 million adults (including Moses), and demonstrating a propensity for abandoning God at every opportunity; God led them back to the promised land, across the Jordan river, and gave them victory to possess the land. Even after God has blessed them immensely, they repeatedly disobeyed & turned from God. Yet God still had a heart for them.
* Now fast forward through the Kingships of Saul, David, and Solomon, and once again, this stubborn, stiff-necked people, defied God until His patience ran out. When you belong to God, He will treat you like His own (2 Chronicles 36)
* The first year of King Cyrus (Persia) would be approximately 539BC which is the year that God told this pagan King, “It is time to build the temple in Jerusalem.” God soften the heart of the King to begin to release the Jewish people to return and build. So the return began – but the building never happened. How often does God get us out of trouble, give us a task to do, and we refuse to do it?
* Now go back to Haggai and understand that the 2nd of Darius is now 520BC which means almost 20 years had passed since God said BUILD! Do you know why?
1. The Problematic Condition of the People – Before we become judgmental about the inaction from the returning exiles, perhaps we can see how we are like them.
a. They were Insubordinate (to God) – Actually insubordinate is the one of the nicer words I could find for them (and us). To read that God said, “It’s time” and know that they said, “We don’t think so” borders on arrogance, conceit, & pride.
* When the one in charge says something, you don’t debate you do, you don’t give you opinion – you give your best. Can you hear the change of tone from verse 2- 4 to verse 5? The frightening part is found is verse 4, “Is it really time for you to take care of yourself, your family, & your stuff, while mine lies in ruins?”
* Why am I a preacher? Because God called me. Why am I here in this place? Because God called. Why do you do whatever it is you do? If there is any other answer besides “God called you”, you are like them, meaning outside of His will.
b. They were Incompetent (on their own) – Verse 6 begins, “You planted much, but harvested little” and gives us a view into God’s heart. The church of the 21st century is way too busy taking care “of us.” We are busy, busy, busy, until we become (what the Bible calls) ‘busybodies.’ We do and do and do – we plant much and, as God looks down, we have little to show for it. We tend to think God is interested in things He is not interested in. Tim Tebow made the point very well. When the Denver Broncos were on their winning streak and pagan reporters were trying to get Tim to say “God did it”, what He did say was, “This is a football game. He’s has more important things on His mind.” God view and vision is eternal. Candidly, nothing we do on our own measures up.
c. They were Insatiable (about things) – Verse 6 continues by saying, “You never have enough food, drink, clothes, or money.” How much is enough? More!