“Consider from this day onward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month. Since the day that the foundation of the Lord’s temple was laid, consider: Is the seed yet in the barn? Indeed, the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have yielded nothing. But from this day on I will bless you.”– Haggai 2:18-19.
The people are hard at work, building the Lord’s temple and sowing their crops into the fields with uncertainty in their minds. Whether it was a good year for crops or a bad timing, nobody knew. Will there be drought (Haggai 1:11) or another year of little harvest (Haggai 1:6)?
God ensured His people that when they put His house first from their lives and sow seeds into the kingdom, He will bless His people.
We see the same assurance from God in the new testament.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”– Matthew 6:33.
Furthermore, God is like a coach who constantly encourages His believers who does His work with a sincere heart.
“Be strong, all you people of the land, declares the Lord. Work, for I am with you, declares the Lord of hosts.”– Haggai 2:4.
The Lord urges us (and me) to serve in church and to do His work, because His intention is to bless us and to see that we are all saved. Yet in our busy life in the secular world, we have let our busy schedules prevent us from maximising our time in church, not mention serving in church. I feel ashamed and guilty for such behaviour because I know that there is definitely a way for me to strike a balance between work and church.
Apart from this, the Lord further assured me that without His presence or His guidance, it would not be possible for me to get through the day at work feeling blessed and satisfied. Without His presence in my daily life, I would just be doing things in my own strength, and that is not going to help. This serves a reminder for myself that I should always count on God in all things I do.
“Now then, consider from this day onward. Before stone was placed upon stone in the temple of the Lord, how did you fare? When one came to a heap of twenty measures, there were but ten. When one came to the wine vat to draw fifty measures, there were but twenty. I struck you and all the products of your toil with blight and with mildew and with hail, yet you did not turn to me, declares the Lord.” – Haggai 2:15-17.
On the other hand, Haggai 2:14 warns us that when we contaminate our hearts with sin, it will defile all our sacrifices made to the Lord. Therefore, from this passage, living in sin during the week and then come to church to worship is like dragging a dead person into the temple. By so doing, it has defiled the very heart of worship and service unto the Lord. So by coming to service in church and doing God’s work isn’t enough because God looks at the heart of everyone. If there is sin hiding within it, God is not fooled.