After pointing out an irrefutable truth that they were investing in their own lives and ignoring their relationship with God, Haggai speaks for God and tells them in 1:5 to “Consider your ways.” He wants them to reflect on their lives. At least six times in this short book God says “consider your ways.” He wants them and us to think about how we are living. It’s one thing to ask about what you believe, but it’s another thing to ask if what you say you believe is acted upon in the way you live. He suggests that by looking at what you do, you can readily discern your major priorities. Haggai points to the fine houses they are living in and contrasts them with the broken-down temple, God’s house.  He’s saying “think about it. Doesn’t your actions indicate what you truly believe in?” Jesus once said, “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” I think Haggai is making a similar point.

I don’t think any warning could be more relevant for us today in a world that is running rampant with more things to do and activities to be involved in. We all live at such a hectic pace today and we often get so caught up with it that we have no time for God. When this happens, we truly lose out on what matters most in life. We spend all our energy climbing the ladder that we find is leaning against the wrong wall. We reach the top but what we thought we’d find is not there. I think that’s what Haggai is referring to in the following verse, Haggai 1:6, “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.” I think the people had enough to eat. It just didn’t satisfy. They had plenty of crops, but it didn’t matter in the end because they were left without any real meaning, purpose, and satisfaction in life.

They would earn wages that would be stored in a bag with holes. The result of all the effort was more dissatisfaction and discontentment. It reminds me of Jesus’ words to the woman at the well in Samaria. “Whoever drinks this water, will thirst again.” The things of earth will never satisfy. Haggai points at something the people could not deny and asked them to think about it. “What is really important to you?” he asks. We don’t have time to stop all the business and reflect on our lives. We move from one thing to another without pause. I’m always trying to multitask. I think I can do two things at a time. I spend way too much time fretting over regrets. I shouldn’t have done that. I shouldn’t have said that. I have trouble enjoying the sunrise or the sunset because my mind is reeling over things to do. Haggai says, “Stop it!” We need to set aside all the business in our lives and consider our priorities and compare them to our behavior. What is really important to me? Boda says, “These are displayed vividly in our financial priorities but are also seen in our time management, goal setting, and family expectations. In a world filled with increasing activities and opportunities, individuals and families need to ask serious questions about their priorities in light of God’s kingdom. What values do we bring to modern life and society that reflect the priorities of God? Will we establish individual and family rhythms of rest that release us from the tyranny of the urgent? Will we clear space in our schedules to hear the voice of God and rejuvenate our souls?[1]

[1] Boda, Mark J. 2004. Haggai, Zechariah. The NIV Application Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.