“Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: 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. Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways.” (1)
Hmm. 🤨 It certainly sounds like these people “never have enough”(2); they are never satisfied. Why is that? I think it is because they are ignoring the advice given: “Consider your ways.” (3) In other words, think about what you are doing!
Okay. So, let’s think about it. 🧐 What’s so wrong with working and eating and drinking and clothes and money? Absolutely nothing. But if that is all we have, it will never be enough. If that is all we are pursuing, we will never be satisfied. Why? Because all those things perish; the gratification they give is temporary. If you don’t believe me, listen to someone who tried to make it work—Solomon. His observation was this: “All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it; the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.” (4) In other words, the world will wear us out as we pursue what it has to offer, and in the end it will not be enough.
Well, this is quite depressing. 🙁 What are we to do? “Consider your ways.” When Haggai wrote those words, the temple lay in ruins. He was telling the people they needed to be rebuilding the temple instead of spending all their energy building their own houses. It was about priorities.
Perhaps the same is true for us. If all we are doing is chasing after the things the world offers, we will soon find ourselves weary and wanting. So . . . we should build a church? 😐 Well, that’s a good idea but actually it’s a lot more personal for you and me. Paul reminds those of us who believe, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (5) The question for us is what kind of condition is our temple? If we have neglected it, we should “consider [our] ways.” Think about what we are doing!
What should we be pursuing? Righteousness. What does that mean? Living as God would have us live. Why? Because that is the only life that is satisfying. Our jobs, eating and drinking, the things we buy with the money we make—they are necessary things but not the most important things. Jesus said, “Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (6)
“Consider your ways.” And remember another thing Jesus said: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (7) 😀
(1) Haggai 1:5-7 (2) Haggai 1:6 (3) Haggai 1:5 (4) Ecclesiastes 1:8 (5) 1 Corinthians 3:16 (6) Matthew 6:33 (7) Matthew 5:6