Haggai’s prophecy calls for the people to think about their lives. In 1:5, we read, “Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways.”  Haggai calls God’s people to reflect on their lives. At least six times in this short book, God says, “Consider your ways.” He wanted the Israelites to think about their lives. That causes me to want to think or consider my life as well. It’s one thing to ask about what you believe, but it’s another thing to ask if what you say you believe is really acted upon in the way you live. He suggests that we should be looking at what we do. By looking around at their activities, the Israelites would be able to discern their priorities. We can readily discern our major priorities also. 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 really 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. I went to meet some friends for coffee the other day and left my cell phone at home. I was halfway there before I realized it and decided to go on without it. That was a hard two hours! I need that lifeline in my life. I couldn’t wait to get home to my phone. My grandsons, all teenagers now, come over for dinner twice a month and I’ve noticed them checking their phones on and off throughout the dinner. When we become obsessed with things like that, it is not good for us. When this happens, we truly lose out on what matters most in life. Such obsessions rob us of the joy of our moments. The technology and fast-paced lives we live do not bring a sense of fulfillment and meaning to our lives. As a matter of fact, it seems to take them away.

Haggai wanted the people to look at the business of their lives and “consider” it. The people were planting but harvesting little. They ate but would never have enough. They would earn wages that would be stored in a bag with holes. The end 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. That includes all the modern Xboxes, PlayStations, computers, and high-definition television screens. I’m not speaking against all those things. I have them. But, if we let them rob us of our intimacy with God, we’ve lost what matters most. We do want what it takes to live a satisfying life. Everyone does. Jesus tells us that he wants us to have those things as well and instructs us, “Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God… and all these things will be added unto you.” Luke 11:31