Have you ever noticed that the smallest of things make the biggest difference? You know, like if you hurt your pinky toe and then you have to hobble for a few days? Or if you leave out the peanut butter from a batch of preacher cookies and then you’re only left with chocolate covered oats? (Yeah, it’s gross. Just trust me on this one, y’all.) Makes you stop and consider your ways, doesn’t it?
It’s kind of the same way with the books of the minor prophets in the Bible. Sometimes those books are overlooked because, well, because they’re small. Some of them are only a few short chapters. But, oh man, do those books pack a powerful punch!
A few days ago I was spending some time reading Haggai. To be honest, I’m guilty of overlooking the smaller books. Sometimes the what-could-these-teeny-tiny-books-have-to-say-that-the-more-popular-books-haven’t-already-said? thought runs through my mind a little too hard and too fast and I just skip onto something bigger. Well, y’all, it turns out the minor prophets have a lot to say about stuff. Stuff that is still relevant to a Christian’s walk today.
What does Haggai have to say?
The book of Haggai tells of God encouraging Zerubbabel and Joshua, along with the remnant of the Children of Israel, to get up, pick up their tools, and get back to work rebuilding the House of the Lord. It’s apparent after the first House of the Lord was destroyed, the Children of Israel were stunned, did not quite know what to do, and were maybe a bit disheartened. So, they slowed down on working for the Lord.
I imagine the Children of Israel running back to their houses defeated with the wind knocked out of them because of so much opposition. Why do we even bother working for the Lord, if it’s only going to be destroyed by the enemy? Maybe they had to repair their own houses, too. So, while the House of the Lord laid in ruins, they took their time building themselves beautiful homes. I bet they were even wondering when the work on the House of the Lord would begin… or if they should even bother trying to build the House again.
It’s safe to say they were stuck in a rut.
Stop and consider you ways
Sure, they wanted the Lord’s work to continue and maybe they thought their small, halfhearted efforts were cutting it. But, it took a word from the Lord to get them to open their eyes and dig themselves out of their rut.
The Lord told them “ye have sown much seed 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 1:6). And then the Lord told them to consider their ways.
He that earneth wages earneth wages to put into a bag with holes.
Let’s consider this for a minute. How many of us have put only half of our efforts into doing the Lord’s work? Or said one too many empty prayers? And then we’ve sat around and wondered why we weren’t seeing any fruit from our labors or answer to our prayers?
I’ll be the first to raise my hand. I may have put a few of my wages into a bag with holes in it.
Put in all your effort
If we think about those wages as being our hope and faith and if we stick our hope and faith into a bag with holes, what’s happening? Every time the enemy strikes, a hole gets bigger and then we lose half of our hope and lose a majority of our faith. It’s not that we don’t have faith that the Lord will move in our situation or save that lost soul we care about. We know He can and will do those things. It’s just we’ve let the adversary shake us and our faith falls a little.
We have to mend our bags so we can be full of hope and faith and see our prayers answered. And we have to mend our bags so our work in our ministry (whatever that may be) doesn’t fall flat. We have to mend our bags so when we speak the Word of the Lord to the lost, the word doesn’t fall on deaf ears.
Y’all, we truly are living in the last days and we cannot afford to let the enemy continue to rip holes in our bags. Be strong, all ye people of the land… and work: for I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts (Haggai 2:4).
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