The setting was in Babel exile. Israelites was so full of themselves, their own business, their own crops, their own houses, and matters so that they forgot at all about building the house of the Lord.
And the Lord got furious at them, as it is mentioned in Haggai 1
2 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild theLORD’s house.’”
3 Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: 4 “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”
5 Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 6 You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.”
7 This is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. 8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the LORD. 9 “You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blewaway. Why?” declares the LORD Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house. 10 Therefore, because of you the heavens have withheld their dewand the earth its crops. 11 I called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil and everything else the ground produces, on people and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.”
The Israelites experienced many hardships and fruitlessness labor because they just focus on themselves, and without a single thought about what God wants for them to do with their life. But as soon as the rebuke came, they repented, and so they started to build the House of the Lord.
It turns out to be (the House of the Lord) much less majestic, luxurious, splendid, etc than the first House of the Lord which was built by Salomo, Israel previous king. But then we see what the Lord said to the Israelites who turns their HEART TO GOD:
Haggai 2: 2-9
the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: 2 “Speak to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, to Joshua son of Jozadak,[a] the high priest, and to the remnant of the people. Ask them, 3 ‘Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing? 4 But now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ declares the LORD. ‘Be strong, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,’ declares the LORD, ‘AND WORK. For I am with you,’ declares the LORDAlmighty. 5 ‘This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.’
6 “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. 7 I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD Almighty. 8 ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LORD Almighty. 9 ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the LORDAlmighty.”
The Lord said that HE WILL STILL BE WITH THEM, NO MATTER HOW BAD THE HOUSE OF THE LORD LOOKED LIKE THAT TIME COMPARED WITH THE FIRST ONE. God’s presence and favor are still available for them not because they have made marvelous things, BIG things, as we often thought, but because they HEARD HIS VOICE and TURNS THEIR HEART TO HIM.
And the Lord also said that
18 ‘From this day on, from this twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, give careful thought to the day when the foundation of the LORD’s temple was laid. Give careful thought: 19 Is there yet any seed left in the barn? Until now, the vine and the fig tree, the pomegranate and the olive tree have not borne fruit.
“‘From this day on I will bless you.’”
From THIS DAY ON (when the foundation of the House of the LORD was laid on), God will bless them. No more lack, only abundance!
What about our life? Do we tend to get busy and only care about our own matters? My life, My money, My family, etc etc. or we are on our journey to embrace life the way God wants? To “seek His Kingdom first and its righteousness, and all these things will be granted to you as well”?
Have a blessed day everyone!