Wednesday, May 27th, 2009 | Author:

Welcome to the Word for Wednesday meme. I hope you’ll decide to particpate.

Just pick a scripture passage that means something to you right now, and copy it into a post with as much or as little commentary as you choose. Please note that Mr. Linky is not available at this time due to a server overload, so just leave a link to your post in the comments. It’s that easy, and you may never know whose heart God touched because you took the time to share His Word.

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I have been compelled this week to read and re-read the little book of Haggai. This is the passage that stands out, emphasis added.
Then the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, saying, “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate?”

Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts, “Consider your ways! You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes.”

Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Consider your ways! Go up to the mountains, bring wood and rebuild the temple, that I may be pleased with it and be glorified,” says the LORD. “You look for much, but behold, it comes to little; when you bring it home, I blow it away. Why?” declares the LORD of hosts, “Because of My house which lies desolate, while each of you runs to his own house.

Therefore, because of you the sky has withheld its dew and the earth has withheld its produce. I called for a drought on the land, on the mountains, on the grain, on the new wine, on the oil, on what the ground produces, on men, on cattle, and on all the labor of your hands.” (Haggai 1:3-11)

This passage is often used by pastors to recruit workers to do cleaning and repairs on the church building, but I don’t think that’s the point. Perhaps God will show you something different, but this is what I’ve drawn from this passage thus far.

1) Consider your ways! While we’d far rather consider what everyone else is doing, and just go on ourselves the same as we’ve always done, God repeatedly tells us to consider what we are doing. One such verse that God wrote on my heart many years ago is Lamentations 3:40.

Let us examine and probe our ways, And let us return to the LORD.

Paul reiterates this idea in 2 Corinthians 13:5.

Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you–unless indeed you fail the test?

2) Go up to the mountains Throughout scripture, going up to the mountains is equated with meeting God. From the familiar Psalm 121 “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth;” to Horeb and the burning bush (Exo 3:1-2); to Hermon and the transfiguration of Christ (Mk 9:2); to the ascension of Christ from Olivet (Act 1:12); mountain-top experiences change lives.

3) bring wood While wood is used to build things, it is also often used as fuel to start a fire of sacrifice.

4) rebuild the temple Scripture also tells us that the temple of the Old Testament age is a representation of the church and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament age:

Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1 Corinthians 3:16)

Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:18-20)

Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. “Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord. “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you. “And I will be a father to you, And you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” Says the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

Therefore, putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation, if you have tasted the kindness of the Lord. And coming to Him as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:1-5)

5) that I may be pleased with it and be glorified Each of our temples exist only to please God and glorify God.

6) because of you The trials and tribulations that fall on the whole world are often the result of the disobedience of God’s people, although today’s Christians would far rather blame the woes of our nation on evil unbelievers.

If I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or if I command the locust to devour the land, or if I send pestilence among My people, and My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:13-14)

Is God calling us to consider our ways, and go up the mountain to meet with Him? Is He calling Christians to sacrifice the things of this world and rebuild the spiritual temples of our bodies, renouncing immorality and alliances with unbelievers? If we seek to please and glorify God instead of ourselves, will He relent of the drought and pestilence that plagues our nation?

You decide.

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3 Responses
  1. Queen of Pith says:

    Awesome.

    I need to rebuild the temple God gave me by eating healthy and exercising.

  2. Jim Wetzel says:

    Wow, Jean, you’ve said (or written) a mouthful! As Christians, when we read the Old Testament, we should read it in the light of the revelation of Jesus Christ. Once God the Holy Spirit takes up residence within each of us, there’s no doubt where and what the “Temple” is: our minds, our bodies, and our spirits. (And, as Lisa suggests, all can use some improvements!)

  3. Jim Wetzel says:

    Sorry — I forgot the link. (And here’s the Queen’s, too.)