It is said that history repeats itself. That I am not sure about, but I do know that people, and the way that they respond to certain situations, are much the same. Psalm 92:12-15. In this psalm we find David singing about the blessings of the righteous who are "planted in the house of the Lord." I like David's phraseology. Planted indicates permanence, they have put down roots. They withstand the winds of adversity and the storms of life quite well. But most important ... they flourish and bring forth fruit. When an apple tree is uprooted, it will stop bearing fruit. The same is true of God's people; if they are not well-grounded and planted in the house of the Lord there will be no fruitful life. That is sad. Unfortunately some, like an uprooted tree, are unable to stand the test of trials and often they are uprooted in the midst of a storm. As I said before, people, in all ages, are much alike in the way they respond to situations. In the first chapter of Haggai we find some problems that are very similar to us today.
I. The problem (1-2)
In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD'S house should be built. (Haggai 1:1-2 KJV)
A. The people said, "Not yet"
1. They had returned to the land with one specific purpose
2. To rebuild Jerusalem and in so doing rebuild the Lord's house.
3. But they were saying the time wasn't right. NOTE: They were not saying they would never rebuild the Lord's house; they were just not ready to do it just yet.
B. People today say, "Not Yet!"
1. They say "not yet" to salvation
a. When confronted with the good news of the Gospel many do not flatly reject it but they quietly reject it by saying "Not Yet".
b. When Paul stood before King Agrippa in Ac. 26:28, Paul gave his testimony of how he was saved and preached the gospel to him and his only response was "almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian."
c. Almost but not yet - my friend if you are without Christ today don't put off this matter of salvation, don't tell God - "not yet"
2. They say "not yet" to serving God faithfully.
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. (Galatians 6:9)
a. The problem in Haggai's day was that anything and everything came before God's house.
b. It seemed as though there just wasn't enough time for God in their lives.
c. Doesn't that sound familiar?
d. It seems that people today find time for everything but God.
II. The Consequences (3-6)
Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying, Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. 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. (Haggai 1:3-6)
A. God is offended
1. When God so loved the world that He gave His Son Jesus to die for your and my sins
2. He was giving us the best - Jesus the only begotten son.
3. Notice God's words in verse 4 ....
Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste?
4. God says this: You say it isn't time to build my house - but is it time for you to live in fine homes while the house of God is forgotten?
5. God is offended by those who place their lives and their desires above His will.
B. God says, "Consider Your Ways"
1. Think about what you are doing because ....
2. There are some consequences to be paid for that kind of thinking.
3. There will be no satisfaction in your life.
III. The answer
A. Do the Work!
1. The only time in Scripture that we find Jesus' mother, Mary, giving a command is found in John 2:5
His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
2. Jesus said, "If ye love me, keep my commandments" in 14:15
3. Certainly we understand that we do not perform in order to receive God's grace, but…
4. Having received His grace and forgiveness we should have a heart to obey Him in all things.
B. Do what? God's formula
Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house…
1. Go - we are commanded to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature
2. Bring - we need to bring folks into the services that they might hear the Word of God.
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)
3. Build - they need to be built up in the Word
4. This is our mandate today…we are to go, bring, and build!
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20)
C. Why do it?
1. Positive reasons:
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. (Haggai 1:8)
a. God will be pleased…
b. God will be glorified…
2. Negative reasons:
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. Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit. 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. (Haggai 1:9-11)
a. Because the blessings of God would be withheld.
b. They could not - or would not be allowed to continue their offense against God.
c. It absolutely amazes me that people want to thumb their noses at God's principles…
3. And His Word while at the same time expecting His blessings!
4. If we want the blessings of God upon our lives, we must respond in obedience to His Word!
IV. The Results (12-15)
Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the LORD. Then spake Haggai the LORD'S messenger in the LORD'S message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the LORD. And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God, In the four and twentieth day of the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king. (Haggai 1:12-15)
A. They obeyed the voice of God.
1. God doesn't speak to us today in an audible voice.
2. He doesn't have prophets in the sense that Haggai was a prophet.
3. I am not a prophet in the same sense that Haggai was, God only speaks through me inasmuch as I preach His Word.
4. He speaks through His Word - the Bible
B. They came and did work
1. The Lord had to stir up their spirit
2. We know it was the Lord because they came and did the work
3. They finally got their priorities right sometimes God has to stir up our spirit to accomplish His will.
C. The results are based on one thing - obedience
1. Because they obeyed the Lord they came and did the work.
2. Obedience is better than service.
I Sam. 15:22, "...to obey is better than sacrifice..."
3. Because obedience is an act of the will and it will always result in service.