Revising priorities and changing ways
Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the Lord their God had sent him. And the people feared the Lord. Haggai 1:12
For the last couple of days, we’ve been focusing on these words –
Give careful thought to your ways. Haggai 1:7
The people were just getting on with life. They’d forgotten what life was really about, not just about everyday survival, but about so much more than that. They’d fallen into that materialistic rut that so many of us have fallen into. Where life is all about things, about accumulating things, about holding tight to the things we have and wanting more and more things. We fix on something and believe that when we have it, we will find happiness. As soon as we get it, we experience a fleeting moment of happiness, but how quickly it fades, how quickly we move onto desiring the next thing and the next thing and the next thing…
Then something happens to stop us in our tracks. A moment of life-changing significance. A tragedy of some sort that puts everything into perspective. A fresh insight that pulls us up short and makes us see life as it really is. A divine prompting to give careful thought to our ways.
And when this happened for the people of Judah, when Haggai brought this message to them, they responded. They did what God was asking of them. They changed their ways, revised their priorities, put things right. They remembered who God is and what He had done for them. They remembered their place before the one true God.
God knows best. They’d lost sight of that. They’d forgotten to trust in that truth.
And so for them, this newfound, restored trust and obedience looked like this: they set to work restoring God’s temple to its former glory.
That is not our work. For each one of us, this response will look different, because each one of us is living in a different context.
We are called to bring God’s kingdom to earth, to our context, in the way that only we can. To make this a priority in all that we do. To seek to bring love and acceptance and justice and joy into our context today. To work out what living life to the full looks like for us today. To trust that God knows best, that He has our back, that we can trust in Him for the path ahead.
Our day may not contain anything as grand as rebuilding the temple. We may be called to make healthier choices in the supermarket that consider people and planet; we may offer a place at our table to someone who always eats alone; we may encourage our children in exercise; we may relax with our partner and connect with them in a special way. That may be it for today.
That may be my opportunity to bring a glimpse of heaven to earth today.
To obey God and trust Him.
What will that look like for you today?