Judah had returned from exile in Babylon, commissioned by the Persian king Cyrus to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and its Temple. They half completed the project before they became half-hearted and the work stopped. For almost two decades the work had been ignored and the Temple remained in ruins when Haggai stood before the people and berated, “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?” (Haggai 1:4). It was not that Judah did not have the means to finish the Temple, because they had the means to finish their homes. It was a choice, and it was me first, which is always what we choose when it is not God.
The irony is “me first” serves me least. “Consider your ways. You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes” (Haggai 1:5-6). God saves the best for last, and those who put him first feast at his table. This time, the people listened to their God and obeyed, “and they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God” (Haggai 1:14).
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” ~Matthew 6:33
My God, I love You with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. My life is committed fully to You. May the life I live reflect my devotion to You. Where I work, may I serve You by serving others. In my home, may I build my house on the solid foundation of Your Word. In my neighborhood, may I love my neighbor as myself.
May the things I do be for You first and bring You praise and glory.