• johned@aibi.ph

To subscribe to Eternity Daily Bible Study click here

Eternity 78 - Consider Your Ways!

(Haggai 1:5-8 NKJV) Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: "Consider your ways! {6} "You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, Earns wages to put into a bag with holes." {7} Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Consider your ways! {8} "Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified," says the LORD.

Life was disappointing and unsatisfying for the Jews. Something was definitely wrong. Why wasn't life working out!

In answer to this heart question Haggai comes along and says: "Consider you ways! Think about your life and your lifestyle, your ethics and their outcomes." He challenged them to look at their life and make a specific change that would put things right.

Haggai was dealing with an apathetic people struggling in disappointment and failure and poverty who were putting God as last priority while they got on with the seemingly urgent task of making money. But while they put their priority, ahead of God's priority, life did not work at all.

Later on, after obeying the prophet Haggai, they did find economic reward and blessing. (Haggai 2:8-9,18-19 NKJV). Haggai came along, put his finger on what needed to happen, and when it did happen, the whole tenor of life changed.

Sometimes we need to sit down, pray, think hard and take stock of our life - where it has gone, what has happened, the recurring patterns, and our values and see if something obvious has been missed; if there is something we need to put right in a definite way, in order to know God's blessing.

We may have done this when we were saved, but we need to do it afterwards as well.

We may find that our relationships, careers or finances suffer consistently, often fail or are puzzlingly disappointing. And the answer to the problem might be a major adjustment or task that we have put off for a long while - just as the Jews had put off rebuilding the temple.

Maybe you know you need to listen more and react less, maybe you know you need to control your spending, or give more, or work a bit harder, or do the degree that you keep thinking about. Maybe you need a really major adjustment, maybe its an affair that has to end or an addiction that has to be broken. Its time to consider your ways.

There have been "Aha" moments in my Christian life and also there have been "Boy have I been dumb not to see that" moments as well.

Both are useful.

Some days we just have to acknowledge we have been building wrongly, doing dumb things, and that we have been paying the painful consequences. These realizations can hurt the ego. But a bruised ego is better than a wrecked life.

Ask God to show you, in a very clear way, what has been going wrong and how you need to fix it. When the post-exilic Jews needed correction God sent Haggai and Zechariah and told them straight, and in no uncertain terms, just what was wrong and what specifically needed to be done to fix it. He can do the same for you.

When God tells us what is wrong and what needs to be done - its clear and specific and possible (though it may at first seem difficult).

For the Jews it involved a trip to the mountains and a bit of manual labor, but it was thoroughly within their capacity to do. Fixing up your life will not be a series of passes of a divine magic wand. It may also involve a trip to the mountains and some sweat and toil.

But when you are finished you will know that you did the work and you got the results with God's help and that you have made a difference to yourself and your lifestyle.

For instance my moving from being a very untidy and disorganized "creative" type to a more orderly and functional lifestyle has not been an overnight journey - but it has brought benefits and made me easier to live with and work with - and I now feel proud of my new-found orderliness. You may need others to be your Haggai and to prod you along (my wife more than prodded!) and this will be invaluable.

Ok, get pen and paper and your bible, find a quiet space and ask God to help you "consider your ways" and tackle the areas that are disappointing to yourself and others.

John Edmiston
Asian Internet Bible Institute


Visit the Asian Internet Bible Institute



Eternity Archives

Eternity Main Page