3 Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying,
4 Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste?
5 Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.
6 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.
7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.
8 Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD.
9 Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.
10 Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit.
11 And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands.
In this passage, the people of
sound a lot like modern Americans.
According to verse 6, they were working hard for very little, and were not
satisfied with what they had. Their money was going out faster than it was
coming in. There is an old saying that states, "If your outgo exceeds your
income, your upkeep will be your downfall." That seems to fit ancient Israel and modern Israel equally well. America
Verses 10 and 11 reveal that God sometimes causes us to have hardships and struggles, but why? The answer is in verse 9. The people were neglecting the Lord's house because they were so busy building up their own. God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and is willing and able to provide all of our needs if we will just get out of the way and let Him. He wants to bless us, but will not as long as we are focused on taking care of ourselves instead of doing what He has told us.
24 No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.
25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?
26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?
27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?
28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin:
29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith?
31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
33 But seek ye first the
, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. kingdomof God
34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
If our needs are not being met, then we need to examine our priorities. God has a plan for us, but if we fail to follow it then we will also fail to receive the rewards from it.