After the 70 years of Babylonian captivity had been completed and Babylon had been captured by the Persians, the Lord stirred the heart of King Cyrus to send the Jewish people back to Jerusalem to rebuild the temple. A large group returned to begin the work and they all rejoiced when the foundation of the temple was completed.
But not everyone was happy about this development. There were others living in the land, adversaries of Judah and Benjamin, who wanted the work to stop. Eventually there was a new king who was not sympathetic to the Jews and he caused the work to be stopped. Those who opposed the work “went up in haste to Jerusalem against the Jews, and by force of arms made them cease.” Ezra 4:23
Approximately 15 years passed and still the temple rebuilding had not been resumed. Into this scene comes Haggai the prophet with these words:
“Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins? Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: “Consider your ways!”” Haggai 1:4-5
The work that they had begun with such zeal had been abandoned in the moment of opposition. The years passed and they started building their lives there and going on with things. Nothing they did really prospered, but it was life without the confrontation of enemies. Much more comfortable. They were lulled into complacency.
However, in the kingdom of Persia things had changed and a new king was in power. And God sent His word to wake His people up to the work to be done.
Do you hear that word today, for He is surely speaking it? Lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest.
Of a certainty the world is more wicked than it has been at any time in history. The end draws nearer every day. And there are many, so very many, that do not know our wonderful Jesus. I must ask myself, how does this affect my life? I must hear these words to me – Consider your ways.