Summary: When God’s people hear His Word and respond to it, blessings will come.
I. Where Are the Blessings, Preacher? (Neglected Foundations)
A. Text: Haggai 1:2-11
B. God says, ‘Your house looks good, but what about mine?’
C. Our history begins with the Babylonian exile in the past, and a newly returned group of Jews (some 50,000) were back in the land. This would give way for a great opportunity to rebuild the temple, the house, of God.
D. However, at the writing of the book of Haggai, sixteen years have passed after they began the building project and it is still unfinished. They only laid the foundation. And, the monies they had brought back with them from Babylon had been used for other futile purposes.
1. Read ‘History of The Return from Babylon.” (attached)
E. It would seem from our text, that, according to the Lord, the people’s concern for their own lives and their own houses was more evident than their concern for the house of God!
1. They had an excuse. They said ‘it’s not time yet.’ Time? They hadn’t done anything for 16 years!!! Actually, the temple had laid in ruins for over 60 years by that time! Time was all they did have!
2. What do you think may have been some other excuses they could’ve used? How about these:
a) God wants us to take care of our own families, doesn’t he?
b) The job is too big. We’ll never finish it.
c) Not our fault so it’s not our job.
d) Someone else will do it if we don’t.
e) We need to pray about it some more.
f) I don’t think we need a temple anyway.
g) The time just isn’t right.
h) Our motives are good, but we’re just too busy!!!
3. Any of these sound familiar?
F. God says, “And you wonder why you haven’t received the blessings I have promised?” He said:
1. You have sown much, given much – but have reaped little.
2. You have to eat, but never have enough.
3. You drink, but are never filled.
4. You are clothed, but still cold.
5. You earn wages, but it’s like you put your money in a bag with holes, you never have enough.
G. Why? Because they spent more time and money on their own houses than God’s house!
H. It’s all a matter of commitment! Or, in this case, a lack thereof. You see, they may have had an interest in seeing the temple rebuilt, but there was no commitment. Commitment and interest are two different things!
1. Illustration: Once a chicken and a pig took a trip together. After many miles and many hours on the road, they got hungry. Finally, the sharp-eyed chicken spotted a restaurant. Approaching the door they read a sign which said, "Ham and Eggs: Our Specialty!" "Hold it!" shouted the pig. "What’s the matter?" asked the chicken. "Plenty. All they want from you is a contribution. They are asking me for total commitment!"
2. Today, Christianity seems to be less a matter of commitment and more a matter of convenience. Thus the excuses!
I. What is the result of a neglected foundation? Please remember thatn when Solomon initially built the temple it was to be the place where God dwelt. It represented the very presence of God Himself!!! So, what happens when you neglect the presence of God? It’s just what I’ve said time and time again: that what happens in your heart affects every other part of your life. Let’s look. Again, He says: