(1)"Now, Isra'el, listen to the laws and rulings I am teaching you, in order to follow them, so that you will live; then you will go in and take possession of the land that ADONAI, the God of your fathers, is giving you...(9) Only be careful, and watch yourselves diligently as long as you live, so that you won't forget what you saw with your own eyes, so that these things won't vanish from your hearts.~ Moses to the Israelites (Deuteronomy 4:1,9) CJB
“You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat but are not satisfied; you drink but are not filled” Haggai 1:6
But . . Not – How do you like life on the treadmill? How many times have you and I felt exactly like Haggai’s description of futility? We work hard and have nothing much to show for it. We eat but are still hungry. We drink but remain thirsty. What’s our solution? More of everything. Supersize it. Stuff ourselves. But we discover we have the same gnawing feelings. It’s all been for nothing. The wheel just keeps on turning.
God has a solution to this constant human emptiness. In fact, that’s what the message of the prophet Haggai is all about. God’s answer is “Get your priorities in order first.” The holes in your soul can’t be filled with more production, more food and more drink. Tend to what matters most, and you will be filled to overflowing.
In Haggai’s day, God reminded the people that they neglected the things of the Lord while they accumulated for themselves. They soon discovered the law of diminishing returns. Filling life with everything but His purposes only increases the hunger. God told Israel, “Why are you consumed with your own well-being when you have not made my house the top priority?” What is the result? Emptiness – inside and out! God withholds prosperity and satisfaction until the priorities are in the right order.
We can learn a bit more about the serious nature of this sad state of affairs by looking at the Hebrew construction here. It is v’ayin, a word that combines a conjunction (“but”) with “not.” However, the particular characteristics of this word for “not” are very wide ranging. It can be a simple “no” or it can be a comparison asserting that something is as nothing. It can refer to lack of something or it can be used to say that something is not permitted. It’s used hundreds of times in Scripture. If we think about this wide range of applications, we can see just how penetrating YHWH’s statement really is. When His plans and purposes don’t come first, all kinds of negative things happen. What we work so hard to achieve ends up as nothing. What we so desire for basic sustenance still lacks the ability to satisfy. What we thought was acceptable becomes something that is not permitted. Everything in life is messed up. In the end we discover that nothing really works the way we wanted it to.
How simple the solution! God comes first. We all know that this is true, but we seem to have such a hard time making it the central operating principle of daily living. Here’s a suggestion. Haggai tells us how to notice when our priorities are getting detoured. Satisfaction diminishes. Take a hard look at your life. Are you really satisfied? Are you filled up with delight? Or are there holes in your soul-pockets? If you find some empty places, don’t run out and try to fill them! Instead, see if your priorities are a little out of alignment. God’s job is to fill us with purpose and delight. Our job is to please Him. It’s so easy to get the two confused.
Jail Ministry Prayer Requests 10/19/08
As for me, far be it from me to sin against ADONAI by ceasing to pray for you! ~ 1 Samuel 12:23
Jennifer - My name is Jennifer. I am in here for hot checks. My court date is December 18th and it feels like an eternity away. I don't know where I'm going when I get out of here and so I need prayer that God will provide! I need prayer for my marriage. For faith, peace and strength Also that my children will be restored to me and forgive me. I also need prayer that God will take the anxiety that is attacking my mind and body.
Gloria - My name is Gloria and I would like prayer for my mother who has been in the hospital. I would like a prayer for myself, that my days in lockup will go by smooth and quick as possible also for lots of love for everyone in my family and my loved ones. Amen
Sara - I am Sara I pray for God to show me my purpose He intends for me. And for faith and hope to guide me through the trials I am in. Thank you and God bless you.
Michelle - Please pray that my children are safe while I am away.