Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways.” (Hag. 1:5)
I was on a hike with some friends in South Carolina, and we came near the peak of Whiteside Mountain. We had stopped at a lookout point to soak in the incredible view, and I decided to find a way down toward a rock ledge below us. As I neared the ledge, I slipped on some mud, and my friend said to me, “Noah, you know there’s a plaque honoring a guy who fell off the mountain doing exactly what you’re doing now.” In other words, “Stop and think; your life is at stake.”
I can hear Haggai saying this to Israel: “Stop and think; the covenant is at stake here!” The words of verse 6 are reminiscent of the covenant curses (see Deut. 28:38–40). Displacing God from first place is an issue of unfaithfulness to him. Their relationship with God was at stake! Though not explicit, hope yet remained. If the curses were in purview, so also were the promised blessings for obedience to God. In 2 Chronicles 6, Solomon—who exemplified right priorities by building the temple before his own palace—asked the Lord to hear his people and forgive them when they prayed toward the temple in repentance.
God called the people to rebuild the temple because he wanted to answer this prayer and forgive! They needed only make him first in their life again.
Think carefully and ask God to reveal any unfaithfulness in your priorities.
Noah Cromer serves as a residence director on Southern Wesleyan University’s campus (SC), along with his wife, Kaitlin, and daughter, Elianna.
© 2023 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.