Preparing the Temple
 

2 . . . This people say, the time is not come, the time that the LORD'S house should be built.
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 (paneled) 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. Haggai 1:2-9

The foregoing passage was written to God's people who had committed themselves to rebuilding the temple after the Babylonian exile. Their energies had been spent, not on God's priorities for them, but on business endeavors, on comfortable homes, as well as food and clothing—none of which had brought satisfaction. Having invested themselves in the wrong direction, they had become objects of God's disgust—He had caused the fruit of their efforts to slip through their fingers (vv.6,9).

Based on the premise that today, God's temple is the body of each believer (I Corinthians 6:19,20), Haggai's message is loud and clear. We, too, are to consider our ways. That is, we are to so rearrange our priorities that we will cease from striving for things and security and concentrate on building God's temple—the testimony of His Spirit living in and through us.

That we are to work, there is no question. But, we are to do all with the overriding attitude that nothing is more important than preparing His temple through yielding to the Master Craftsman, that He might prepare a useful vessel in and through which He will be glorified.

Since each of us desires to use our lives and resources to His honor and glory, we can, together, benefit from this timeless lesson in God's priorities for His people.

Toward that end, as you have questions or need help sorting through stewardship alternatives, I invite your call or letter.

Cite this article: Tom Manning. 1999. Preparing the Temple. Acts & Facts. 28 (5).

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