Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. 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. ~Haggai 1:5-6
The San Francisco Bay Area is one of the most expensive places in the country to live in. Many people work long hours in their primary employment, and many others work a secondary job just to make ends meet and stay current with the cost of living. I think many hardworking people feel like they are putting their wages into a bag with holes. In other words, there is never enough money, there is a lack of satisfaction, and they feel like they are going nowhere in life. Let us consider our ways this morning about living a life that is like a bag with holes.
We see the distracted priorities.
“Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste?” Haggai was a prophet during the initial return of the Jews from captivity in Babylon. The people were excited to be back in their homeland. However, after a period of time, they became distracted with rebuilding their businesses, their houses, and their farmland. One of our greatest weaknesses is being distracted. We can sometimes substitute the good for the great. We substitute our business for the Bible. We substitute our work for the Word. We substitute gain for God. We substitute fame for faith. We substitute school for serving. Do you feel like you have distractions keeping you from doing what God expects you to do?
We see the disappointing proportions.
“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.” In effect, the people were going backward and not forward in their life. Even though they were working hard, they had little to show for it. Their results were unfulfilling and unfruitful. Activity is no substitute for abiding in Christ. Money is no substitute for the Master. They thought that as long as God was in the picture, their efforts would be blessed. They were barren and not blessed. The description of their condition is similar to the one that Christ gave of the church at Laodicea: poor, naked, wretched, and blind.
We see a dogmatic principle.
It is not enough that God is in the picture: God must be our priority. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). God’s house needed to be repaired and fixed, but the people neglected God’s house and, instead, gave their time to building their own houses. When God is not first and preeminent in our lives, all that we do for ourselves lacks His blessing and we just plod along, unfulfilled, and with little results to show for our efforts. I believe that we are trying to balance our time commitments by trying to accomplish everything on our wish list without realizing that the unchanging Bible principle is, “God first, then us.”
We see a determined practice.
After realizing why their efforts were going nowhere, the leaders and the people were stirred in their spirit and “came and did work in the house of the LORD.” Thankfully, the house of God was rebuilt and the people resumed the sacrifices and worship of God. The people had to realign their priorities and their efforts, but they saw the hand of God on their lives once again. Let us not wait until what we are doing is like wages put into a bag with holes. Let’s abide by the principle of putting God first in what we do so that all these things can be added to us.
Have a God-first God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Ecclesiastes 1-4