Saturday, September 20, 2008

A Bag with Holes

September 20: Haggai 1-2

5 Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. 6 You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.

7 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. 8 Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the Lord. 9 You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house. 10 Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce. 11 And I have called for a drought on the land and the hills, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the ground brings forth, on man and beast, and on all their labors.”
Haggai 1:5-11

A Bag with Holes

Eighteen years! It had been eighteen years since the decree of Cyrus allowing the rebuilding of the temple. Remember how glorious it was? The people wept and praised God at the same time expressing their joy upon finishing the foundation of the new temple. It was not long, however, until discouragement set in when the workers were threatened with their very lives. Now the tools of their labor had remained silenced for fourteen years!

Oh, they were still busy--building their own houses! Financially, however, they just could not seem to get ahead. Did they understand that their difficulties came from the Lord?

5 Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. 6 You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.

Does that sound familiar? With the rapidly changing economy, our money just does not seem to go as far as it once used to go. When our wages increase, prices increase all the more until it seems that we just put our money into a bag with holes.

Through the message of Haggai, the people began to understand that the Lord was sending financial pitfalls their way. But why?

You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house.

How did the people respond to Haggai's message from the Lord?

Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the Lord their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared the Lord.
Haggai 1:12

But, you may ask, "How does Haggai apply to my life?"

The general principle of Haggai's message centers around our hearts, does it not? Where is our heart? Who or what do you we serve first? Is Christ first in our lives? In our "busy-ness" of life, where do we center our affictions?

Does our money just seem to fall into a bag with holes? Perhaps we should stop and take a moment to reflect upon our relationship to the Lord Jesus Christ, and remember that our real purpose in this life is to serve God and to advance His kingdom here on earth--first!

God Bless You,
Linda

All Scriptures are from the English Standard Version of the Bible.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Linda,
I want to thank you for your daily devotional. In these end times its difficult to find such a well organized devotional that really fits everyday life.
I have had to give up a job I had 29 years in on due to my third spinal fusion surgery and I dont get around like I used to. Gods Word brings hope to troubled hearts and you have helped bring Gods Word to many. Thank you so much.
ladylpnsman

Linda Croft said...

Thank you for your kind comments. I, too, have had to quit a job for some physical problems, but through that experience, this daily devotional blog as well as my website, Devotional Reflections from the Bible, was born. When God closes one door He often opens another! God has been so good to me; I am truly humbled in the way He has used this small ministry of mine to bless others.

In Christ,
Linda