You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house.
There is rarely a time when we human beings are not tempted to look out first and foremost for what is ours. At times of unique crisis like the one we are currently experiencing, however, that temptation is much more difficult to overcome. Let us face it: it is human habit to prioritize self and those closest to “self.” This is not a judgment against any of us, by the way. It is simply fact. Yet the predilection to prioritize “me and mine” usually ends up also pushing God well down the list of what we deem important in our lives. This is something that has never been healthy for the people of God. This is also something that God has never looked upon favorably—not by a long shot.
At the top of this article are words of God as delivered through the prophet Haggai. Haggai writes during the time of the rebuilding of the Temple. Solomon’s Temple (as it is called) was destroyed in the early sixth-century BC. Now, about seven decades after that destruction, the Temple still lay in ruins. And, as the LORD himself states, it seems that no one is as concerned about the ruins of the LORD’s house as they are about their personal circumstances. There is a lot more going on in this context, of course. But as it stands, people are simply looking after their own homes, trying to build bigger and better. People are looking solely after their own possessions, making sure that they have all they need—and more! People are apparently far more concerned about their own dwellings than they are about a “dwelling” for the LORD Almighty. It is “Home Improvement” for everyone—for everyone, that is, except the LORD God. Does any of this sound familiar?
I admit it: I cannot help but look out for my own, especially in this particular state of affairs. And I admit this, too: I feel convicted because I find it all too easy to forget that there is One who is in control, who is concerned about our every step, and who loves us beyond belief.
May we all remember—every moment of every day—that we are in the hands of a perfect, infinite, gracious, loving, and holy God who will always, always, always do what is best for his people. He constantly looks out for us. Our spiritual wellbeing is his priority. Let us pray that we continue to grow in order to become a people who will prioritize this great God who has saved us.
Even in times of crisis such as this.